Entry #1- Brett L
I distinctively remember seeing that huge Raptor Mascot in the back of the court in the Skydome (no one like to call it Rogers Centre so stop trying to change the name Ted) when I first saw the Raptors. To me, this was the highlight of the game. I was 6. It was the Raptors first of many sold out games against MJ and the Bulls. That huge Raptor did it for me. That along with the fact that I was sitting up close and personal with the best player to ever grace a NBA court. My love for the Raptors has grown exponentially since that day. I think it was potentially, errr perhaps, ahh PROBABLY the acquisitions of Dee Brown and Dell Curry that set my heart in Raptorland. I, like every other little kid, loved the three ball and there were my two heroes raining threes for Mcdonalds charity like it was going out of style (Can hear it now... "DEE FOR THREEEEE BA DA BA BA BA..IM LOVING IT...). I have a huge passion for the game and watch every Raptor game I can (barring me having an exam. If not my eyes are fixated on the tele). The Raptors are the first team that I ever grew up loving, and will always cherish for being in my hometown.
What sets me apart from any other Raptor fan in winning this competition? Not much. We Raptor fans stick together and are very similar. We know we want a winning franchise and we all seem to know exactly how to build one (Gerald Wallace?). We all would put our lives in Colangelo's hands because we have that much faith in him. We all would bleed purple and red if given the choice of what colour our blood could be. We all unite in Dino Nation and cheer collectively because we are the best fans in the NBA. I cannot possibly differentiate myself from the other hardcore Raptor fans, that would be way too hard. What I can do is put my name into the pot and try to give you a whole night of insightful commentary and chatter while watching TJ Ford run circles around us. Now that would be bad.
Thanks for this opportunity James!
Entry #2 Jonathon G
I have been a Raptor fan since day 1. I remember Zeke being named GM and thinking "this is it! We are legit!" I was so disappointed when BJ Armstrong dissed us, and yes, I booed when we pick Damon over Ed O'Bannon. But I was there opening night in the 'Dome vs. Jersey and he made me a believer. I remember the big win over the Bulls in '97.
Probably the highlight of the year. I fondly remember the tough guy years with Oak and Willis. Even named the family dog Oakley.
I feel lucky to have seen Alvin in his prime and Muggsy suit up in T.O.
Chauncey, too for around 15 games. We've had class guys like Doug Christie and MoPete. And the Thin Towers. Vin-Sanity was both an incredible high an incredible low. And now, we have a true world-class player who is still developing and maturing in CB4. We as fans should feel lucky to witness what he brings to the floor every game.
The Air Canada Centre opened its doors on my 19th birthday. I was there, 2nd last row in the Sprite Zone. Unfortunately, I have only been back once since. Like many of you, trying to earn a living, basketball tickets unfortunately do not fit the budget. I would love to sit side by side with the Dino Blogger and see The Little Engine That Could match up head-to-head with Numero Ocho and know we made the right move.
I sit at work and hear all the suits talking about taking their kids or clients to a game, and after missing half the first, they leave in the third. I think my desk has an imprint from me banging my head on it. Please, I have suffered enough concussions playing ball, I don't think I need anymore. Help me save my brain.
Entry #3 - Maurice W
In my younger days I spent many years playing and watching basketball. Although my knees have many kilometres on them it has been some time since I have played, it was time to hang up the laces. I now resort my passion to the sport by simply watching and teaching the young my knowledge.
My basketball experience not only was taught by good coaches but digesting games in the late 70's on tv and the advantage of living in a city close to Buffalo to see live games. Watching the likes of Bob McAdoo , John Shumate, Randy Smith and Ernie D facilitated a better understanding of the game. From a fan perspective it was all we had in southern Ontario at the time.
Eventually Buffalo made their way to San Diego and Toronto was left with NBA exhibition games and Toronto Tornadoes(cba). Having to resort to a cba team (which folded after 1r and half) and odd games on tv , increased the demand of a team in Toronto. Forward to 1995 and finally an NBA team to conquer Toronto. After many years of rumours, a Canadian team arrived and my dream finally came true.
I spent many years following Julius Erving and the Sixers and of course MJ thereafter. However, having a team you can call your own changed everything. Win or lose I have followed this team from day one. The Raptors still have many ups and downs but to spend several years watching other cities' teams , it simply can't match how blessed we are to have team of our own.
My passion for the Raps and the organization exceeds their abilities at times, simply because of the many years of anticipation.
We have seen many changes through out the years and I will continue to support change necessary to improve our team but true fans always believe, no different than believing the Raps would eventually arrive here.
The organization for the most part provides great entertainment, charitable to the community, and influential to younger ballers strivng to hopefully someday live their dreams. We should also be thankful for the exposure the raptors have created across our beautiful country Canada.
In conclusion thank you Raptors ,John Bitove, and MLSE for fulfulling many Fan's dreams. With so many supporters one day we will see the ultimate dream, an NBA championship banner. Dino Nation Blog helps me feed in my passion for that dream.
Good Luck to all 3 Finalists and please everyone else show them support by voting for who you feel should win.