#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Andrew Keel (@clouduphigh)

I have been a fan of the Toronto Raptors ever since there original colors of purple, silver, black, red, white and the contest they had to name our TORONTO team. With the new colors our team looks fierce.

As a child and teenager I couldn’t wait until it was time to do the basketball unit in gym class. My favourite was game H. O. R. S. E. and I also played basketball on the house league where i use to love to show off my dribbling skills and shoot at the net and pretend to be my favourite Raptor player witch at the time was VINCE CARTER. In grade 8 I made a shot from half court which surprised everyone in my class for I was the smallest person in my grade and never use to try out for sports teams. After having  that sort of lucK, I bought myself a basket ball net for my house. I still love to shoot hoops and play H. O .R.S.E.

My favourite Raptor memory is winning a ticket to my first Raptors game ever at the ACC thru a twitter contest held by RTZFANS. I loved it so much that I also went to the final home game for this season with the FANOPOLOOZA night filled with celebs like Roberto Alomar and JYD, fans dressed as Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street and a million dollar shot and many other prizes. I am glad that theres a fan group out there to discuss everything RAPTORS — A fan for life.

#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Gavin Sodhi (@gsodhi32)

Win or lose, I love the raptors. I always get excited going to raptors games, even though they arent my first. I always get the great feeling. I first started liking teh raptors was when I was in the 4th grade. My cousin took me to a game for the time, I still remember, Boston Celtics vs The raptors. Since then Basketball has been my favourite. People ask me why I like the Raptors, I always say they are the best team ever, no matter what the win column says. 
I always loved playing basketball. I started playing on the community teams when I was in gr 5. Now I’m still playing, but this time on my High School Junior team. I love being on the court and doing what I do best. The fact that this year the raptors have been giving back to the fans, it’s gotten me even more closer to them. I remember goin to the Raptors game vs Celtics this year, November 21, 2010, to me it was the best game of the year. That was probabaly the most yelling I had done ever! Also most of the game I was on my feet cheering. I loved the feeling at the end of the game when it was very close, and Amir won the game for us. After that game I could barely talk, I remeber when I came home and my mom asked what happened to your voice, I said I was cheering for my team, and they won. 
I just began using twitter and I love it already. Talking with raptors fans, and #rtz being an amazing group. I’ve been to games raptors game quite a bit, but I have never sat that close (I wished I would be able to though). I want to thank #rtz for an amazing experience. Sitting with a group of real raptors fans felt great, felt like I need to sit here more often. Now I can’t wait for next season. 2011-2012, its going to be a great year!

#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Sarah Bisch (@SBisch)

I’ve loved basketball for as long as I can remember. None of my friends in the small town I grew up in really took much interest in basketball, but thankfully the eldest of my three brothers and his friends was really into the sport. I used to hang around outside my house to watch him and his friends playing half court, 21, and HORSE and always begged for them to let me join in. My first introduction to the Raptors was when I was young and flipping through my older brother’s Sports Illustrated. I was captivated by the pictures of Vince Carter dunking while sporting the Raptors jersey. Where my friends had pictures of the Backstreet Boys on their wall, I collaged my room with clippings of the Raptors from the sports section of the local newspaper. I caught the games on TV whenever I had the chance growing up, but since the majority of my family wasn’t really into basketball, it was hard for me to actually get the chance to watch the game. 

When I got to high school my interest in basketball got pushed to the side as my schedule got progressively busier. My devotion got even worse when I went off to college as I no longer could shoot hoops every day afterschool on the net at my parents’ house.

I graduated college and moved to Toronto and this year I finally got the chance to catch my first live Raptors game. The first basket from the Raps instantly got me hooked again. Win or lose, the energy at the ACC during a Raptors game is electric. No other sporting event that I have been to can compare. I found #RTZ on Twitter, and they have helped me get back into the loop with what’s happening with the Raptors, and have connected me to a bunch of other devoted Raptors fans. I thankfully got to catch three Raptors games at the ACC this season and I know that next year I’ll be catching a lot more.

#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Nickeisha Ormsby (@keishaormsby)

I feel like basketball has always been in my life. I played on my school team all throughout elementary and high school and loved every minute of it. My earliest memories of the Toronto Raptors date back to their 1999-2000 season. Tyrone “Muggsy” Bogues had just signed with the Raptors as a free agent and I remember sitting in the living room with my older sister, who was in Grade 8 at the time, watching Raptors games together. Ever since then I have been a fan of the Raptors and as the years go by, I fall more in love with the sport and the team. Yes, at times they frustrate me with silly turnovers and sloppy plays but at the end of the day, I still choose to support them, win or lose.

One of my favourite things about the Raptors is the fact that they are always giving back and staying connected to fans. In 2001, I remember a basketball court was built in Regent Park to help get kids in the community more active and involved in sports rather than violence and drugs. The Toronto Raptors were one of the sponsors, along with the Toronto Police and Burger King, and Antonio Davis came and made a speech and played ball with the kids who were there. Fast forward a few years and you have Raptors All Access, a Young Onez Xbox event at St. Louis Wings, and you have Amir Johnson who brought 50 fans to ‘roll with him’ to a game and dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steak House afterwards. I am lucky enough to have been able to experience all of these events and be able to get to know the players off of the court.

I’ve been to a fair share of games this season, and I’ve witnessed some wins and quite a few losses. But it’s the energy in the ACC that makes the live Raptors experience all the better. I owe much of my Raptors experience this season to RTZ. I’ve won a few of their twitter contests and had the luxury of sitting with them. Although not much conversation occurs during the game since everyone is excessively tweeting, I know that the people who run @rtzfans are amazing. I’m happy I get to watch my last game of the season with them on Sunday, April 10th when the Raptors face the New Jersey Nets. It’s been a heck of a season and I look forward to seeing what new players and skills the Raptors bring to the court in the 2011-2012 season!

#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Sari Birnbaum (@Sarimb)

The Raptors have always been a part of my life and I am honestly not sure what I would do without them. I was only seven when the Raptors arrived in Toronto but some of the most vivid memories I have are from the ACC/Skydome - the win against the 72-win Bulls, Vince’s first game back in Toronto, our first ever home playoff game, or the night the division banner was hung in ‘06.

People often ask how I can still be watching a blowout and my answer is always “December 11” - the night the Raps came back from down 25 to beat the Pistons. Watching this team on a nightly basis has been both painful and exciting, miserable and thrilling – but I’ll never stop watching! I have spent the majority of my evenings at the ACC this season and I wouldn’t have it any other way. There is something about this years teams, this years group of guys that has captivated me. Part of my morning routine has been going back over my twitter time-line to find inside jokes, motivational tweets, or just random thoughts from the guys. From Sonny & Demar’s love for each other, to Jerryd’s death stares, Jose’s 3-pointers, Reggie’s leadership, JJ being a ninja, and Amir’s determination to play through anything - how can you not love this team!!

Some of my highlights this season (away from the court) include being part of the ‘MGD Girls Night Out” “RTZ Night” “One4One” and “Roll With Amir” - all incredible opportunities that I won’t ever forget. I believe in this team.  I believe in what they’re doing and I cannot wait for these young guys to grow together and take the NBA by storm!! The growth of each player from October to now is what has me excited about the future. 

#Raptors @ #Knicks - Top 20 #RTZ Tweets

a_dot_a - I always enjoy watching the #raptors vs #knicks at msg… Usually a competitive game. Last year was the hedo ‘ball’ incident. #rtz

Ptrishalyn - Looks like trying to get Bargs involved is slowing them down tonight.#RTZ

MegiMK - Raptors shooting like Butler today, or #likeabosh… Take your pick.#rtz

Ronny006 - Bayless has been playing so much better as of late…this may spell the end of Jose #RTZ

RyanJHTurvey - James Johnson knows he’s the long lost Wayans brother right?#rtz

Nat77 - The #Knicks have made 6 3’s in the first quarter. #Raptors haven’t been able to close out on shooters since 1999! #rtz

Darkstar_Inc - I’m seriously speechless guys. This is painful to watch.#rtz

Ronny006 - So yea, this is really starting to look like that game against the Warriors…do we ummm blame Bargnani?? Lol #rtz

MattyQuinlan - New York bench 33, Raps 32 #rtz

MistaBill - I’m guessing no one is holding hands after this one. #rtz

Ronny006 - Holy crap…Melo pulled up and shot that three from the Bronx and hit it #rtz

RyanJHTurvey - Not sure @DeMar_DeRozan called glass but helluva shot to end the half. #rtz

j1_2_tha - So that is DeRozan’s 5th 3pt shot this season. Something for him to work on this summer? #rtz

Ptrishalyn - I don’t think Bargs had his #PrimoPasta before the game today. #RTZ

jennlong_ - Raptors are only down by 12! They still can win the game! Let’s GOOO! #rtz

jakob_huber - If someone told me before the season Demar Derozan would have 6 30-pt games I would have been surprised and happy to take it. #rtz

Ronny006 - Look at Ed Davis do work in the post…this kids gonna be a force in a few years #rtz

rtzfans - This team plays 100x harder without Mr. Primo Pasta. #justsaying #rtz

mkhan_mvp - HOLY SHIT! Are these stat lines for @DeMar_DeRozan & @eddavis32 right?! 36/10 & 22/13 respectively! CRAZYNESS! #thefuture #RTZ 

KennyNorton - Hating on the Raptors? I think we’re in the best shape in a while with this young core, we keep losing.. this is how you rebuild! #RTZ

#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Brad Spencer (@wellthatsdumb)

I’m a home town boy that reps all his teams. I’m a passionate fan and remember the good to the bad. I take pride in booing any player who has in someway insulted the team. It is a fans right to get behind his or her team and let the other team know whats up. I make sure to wear my jersey when away on vacation and let the other cities know whats up. Toronto is a top 5 market whether the Americans like to admit it or not. We are smart fans that back our team. My favorite memory was the Mo Peterson half court shot to tie the game and force OT which we later won. Nothing will match the Swirsky’s excitement on that call.

The team is on its way to greatness. I will be at the parade when we finally win one this decade.

#RTZ: Repping the Raptors - Matt Quinlan (@MattyQuinlan)

I don’t even know where to begin. The Raptors have always been a part of my life, and I don’t know what I would do without them. I have been a fan since my dad took me to the first raps game when I was only 5 years old. Watching the movie Space Jam the next year solidified my love for basketball. I couldn’t get enough of the Raptors team from 99-02, as they were a great team and were making the playoffs. Remembering Antonio Davis, Alvin Williams, Vince Carter, Charles Oakley, and more, brings back great memories.

Over the years I have been to tons of games, and have so many amazing memories. An awesome game was in March 2005 when LeBron James scored his career high 56 points, and the Raptors won! Nothing compares though to the Raptors making the playoffs. When I was younger and the raps were making the playoffs, I was not able to go to any games. When the Raptors played Vince Carter and the Nets in the 2007 playoffs, it was the greatest experience. Toronto fans are ridiculous, and I’ve never been in a greater atmosphere since. Mo-Pete was always my favourite player, and he gave one of the most memorable games in 2007 when they were trailing the Wizards. Mo-Pete caught the ball Michael Ruffin had thrown up, and shot a three pointer to send the game into overtime where the raps would win. To this day I know everything about the history of the Raptors and know almost any stat. I don’t know if anyone loves the Raptors more than I do. I am a huge Raptors collector, and my room is filled with team signed balls, jerseys, pictures,and more.

The future of the Raptors is looking special. I like how Bryan Colangelo is bringing in quality young players, though I believe more veteran leadership is needed. The energy of the Young Gunz is awesome. This season DeMar DeRozan has taken strides, and I can’t wait to see his full potential. With the addition of Ed Davis, James Johnson, and Jerryd Bayless, I believe this team will continue to grow and one day will be a force in this league.

I would like to say that I enjoy @rtzfans. It gives Canada a way to discuss the Raptors game by game. It’s nice to see how many people appreciate the Raptors as much as i do. The contests are great, as getting tickets to the game is an awesome experience.

The Raptors are a big part of me, and I will support this team for life!