Q&A - OUR FIRST LOYAL FAN FEATURE
Posted on 08 December 2014
Welcome to our first edition of the Loyal Fan Feature!
We know that for every city, team, or player, there is a passionate loyal fan that has stories and amazing mementos to share. We find that their level of enthusiasm is incredibly contagious so we wanted to take this opportunity to find out more. Throughout the year, we plan on asking them to share with us a little about what or whom they’re loyal to.
If you're reading this and are a super fan that want to be featured, send us a note info@LOYALtoaTEE.com with a short description of yourself and what you want to share!
So without further ado, let’s get started. Our first feature is on a super fan of the Toronto Raptors. In fact, he runs an Instagram account under @TorontoRaptorsSuperFan, which is really self-explanatory.
Hey, so who are you?
Just a neighbourhood friendly Toronto Raptors fan from Whitby, Ontario.
When did you start becoming a loyal fan of the Toronto Raptors?
Considering I was born in ’93, it took me a while to understand and get more interested in the game. It was always the Toronto Raptors and Toronto Blue Jays for me growing up. When I started watching them and getting more into sports, it was during the Vince Carter and T Mac era. The energy they brought, game in and game out, made you want to watch every single game and not miss a single one because you didn't know what to expect from them. One game they could be doing the craziest dunks or a highlight reel alley-hoop play and next game they would hit a game winner. One thing about that era for the Toronto Raptors was they were and always will be an underrated and unpredictable team, still seeking the respect from around the league that they deserve.
What is your first memory of the Raptors?
My first memory of the Toronto Raptors is probably when Vince Carter participated in the Slam Dunk competition in 2000. The dunks he pulled off in the contest - I couldn't even believe my eyes, Never knew VC had some of those dunks even in his repertoire, whether it being the 360-windmill, the between the legs dunk, or even the cookie jar dunk. Ever since Vince won that contest, he put the Toronto Raptors on the map and the league took notice to this Toronto Raptors squad, and that same year they earned there first playoff berth.
Can you tell & show us what items you have collected over the years for this team?
Some of my most prized possessions which I have collected over the years include:
- In 2004, Morris Peterson and Milt Palacio hosted a basketball event at Canada’s Wonderland. I was lucky enough to play bump with both of them and ended up making it into the finals against Morris Peterson. Sadly I lost but still put up a good fight especially considering how much younger I was. After the game, both players ended up signing a Raptors t-shirt I wore to the game. To this day that is still one of my most prized possessions.
- Another one of my most prized possessions was from a basketball clinic called Bell Raptor Ball, organized by Toronto Raptors commentator Leo Rautins. They held a 3-point competition which I won and was given a signed Vince Carter basketball
- I have a signed Jonas Valanciunas jersey. During last season’s all-star break, he decided to reach out to his fans and give a jersey to one of his fans that posts the best highlight of his. I posted one of his highlights on his page and he contacted me the next day saying that I won and he’d sign the jersey. A couple days after I received the jersey, I ran into Muggsy Bogues at the Eaton Centre. So I ended up getting JV and Muggsy Bogues autographs on the JV jersey.
- One other prized possession I will share with you fans would be my signed Greivis Vasquez shirt. I was walking to work downtown Toronto one day and I saw a group of people playing basketball at Nathan Phillips Square. I had some time to spare so I joined in for a bit. I soon learned that Greivis Vasquez was going to be hosting a 3-point contest with fans promoting the 2015 Pan Am Games. After the contest, I had to opportunity to meet The General himself and ended up getting an autographed shirt, a picture with Greivis, and made it into his personal video that he uploaded to his Instagram account. It was definitely a day to remember.
What made you gravitate towards becoming a super fan of the team?
No matter what our team looks like and who we have on our roster, we will always be the underdog and always will have something to prove to the league. Before this season even started, all the analysts predicted the Raptors being third or lower in the Eastern Conference. Right now, we're 15-5 and have held the first place spot in the Eastern Conference for quite some time now and really proving that they can keep up with the best of them. Another reason is just by reminiscing on how they started off and no one knew about Toronto Raptors, they’ve really developed as an organization since that time.
Who have been your favourite players, past and present?
Past: Morris Peterson because the style I play is similar to his. I'm more of a shooter and Morris Peterson was an outstanding shooter, always enjoyed watching him shoot the ball, and even all the trick shots he could pull off in games were ridiculous.
Current: Lou Williams or Greivis Vasquez. I'm a big fan of Lou because of his pure jump shot. Also, love his ability to convert on jump shots while getting fouled is an incredible thing to see. I'm also a big fan of Greivis Vasquez because of his swagger and the energy he brings game in and game out. He knows what his role is, accepts it, and knows how to play within his abilities. These two players can always provide that spark off the bench if they ever need it, especially when both DeMar and Kyle’s game are off.
What is your favourite Raptors moment?
My all-time favourite Raptors moment was when Toronto was playing Washington in the Gilbert Arenas and Chris Bosh era during the 2005-06 season, The Raptors were down three with 3.8 seconds to go in the game, so they tried throwing the hail mary pass to Chris Bosh for a three but the pass gets intercepted by Washington’s Michael Ruffin. He tries throwing it away and gets deflected by Jose Calderon, which then falls right into Mo Pete’s hands. He launches off a 3-pointer and makes the shot to beat the buzzer…somehow he got off that shot with .5 seconds left on the clock.
What record will the Raptors end the 2014-15 regular season with?
Any final words for our readers?
If you're looking for anything Raptors related, whether it be scores, stats, video coverage, news, or even pictures from the game, please give our page a follow (@TorontoRaptorsSuperFan). Also I just want to take the time out to thank all the readers who are reading my feature and also a huge thanks goes to LOYAL to a TEE for giving me this opportunity.
When I first saw your tees, I immediately fell in love with the designs. I had to get myself some being a Raptors super fan so I now have the The North Tee featuring Alvin Williams, Charles Oakley, Vince Carter, and Tracy McGrady and the ProveEm Tee featuring DeMar DeRozan & Kyle Lowry and of course, the 20 Years Anniversary Tee! Really appreciate what you’re doing for fans and giving them an option for fan gear that is both high quality and has fresh designs. Thanks and I can’t wait to see more releases from you all!