Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Life with the Raptor

Recently, Chris and I got engaged. When we started to spread the word, one of my friends asked, "I guess this means I have to book the Raptor, huh?"

I could kiss this friend, that's how much I love her - firstly, for humouring me and secondly, for remembering that years ago I told her if she has to hire entertainment for my bachelorette, it has to be the Raptor. (And for not disowning me after I sent a link to her about how to go about booking the Raptor...when I was far from being engaged to anyone.)

Chris took this photo as part of
 one of his professional sports photography gigs.
For those of you who don't live in Toronto, perhaps I should explain. The mascot of our NBA team is The Raptor. He is simply the BEST mascot of any sports team, ever. And I've seen a lot of professional baseball, hockey and basketball mascots in action across North America.

The first time I met the Raptor was in the inaugural season - 1995. I was 13, and I got his autograph. I'm sure my Mom has the game program somewhere - at least I hope she does. Unfortunately these were the days before the digital era, and my Mom didn't have a camera with us.

The years went by, and the Raptor easily became my most favourite "player". More often than not, the friends and family who go to games with me get annoyed because I have no idea about what is going on in the game - but I can tell you exactly where the Raptor is, who he mimicked in the last 5 minutes, and which stunts he pulled before that. The Raptor is ridiculously entertaining - if you lose him in the arena for even a few minutes, you may miss out on his ultimate awesomeness. (YouTube "The Raptor" and you'll see some awesome stuff.)

On October 24, 2010 during Fan Appreciation Day, I got my first photo with him. I felt really special that he cut the line for photos off at me. Perhaps it was my Raptors hat. More likely, it was the "95" I had drawn on my face in purple eyeliner (his number is 95). I bought a stuffed animal version of the Raptor to commemorate the day.

This is what I call the single photo, because it's just the two of us.
Then, Chris and I went to a Family Fun Night in March 2011 and got our photo snapped with a green Raptor for St. Patrick's Day.

This is the couple photo.
Last year, I really wanted a photo with the Raptor while I was pregnant. But because of the NBA strike, that never happened. The Raptor still played a part in my pregnancy though - I slept with my stuffed Raptor many nights during those 40 weeks. He was even packed in my hospital bag as my "focus" item.

So why am I admitting to my mascot love on my blog which primarily focuses on my baby?

Because today, dear reader, my daughter met the Raptor.

To prepare Hannah, I let her play with my Raptor before we went. And because he's red (her favourite colour) she loved playing with him. Unfortunately that didn't make a difference when it came to meeting the real Raptor.

Today was my latest and longest interaction with the Raptor. Instead of one quick photo, we tried many - because Hannah was unsure and the Raptor was happily willing to take a million photos to try to give us a good shot, even with other folks waiting. Eventually Hannah ended the photo session, not him. As you can see below, the Raptor is even trying to comfort her by rubbing her back. Just when you think you can't love someone more...

Unsure Hannah.

Moving from unsure to upset...

The Raptor and I are happy, but Hannah has had enough.

So yes. I am proudly Raptor obsessed...and in a weird way (I refuse to use the term "unplanned") my photos with the Raptor document my life.

If you've ever seen the Raptor in action, I'm sure you're his fan too. Maybe just not as big as I am. But definitely more than Hannah (at least at this point).

Thank you, Raptor, for having such an amazing personality and bringing so much joy to the lives of Torontonians. And thank you for always being so kind to your fans, however old they may be and however they may react to you (Hannah will love you too one day, I promise!).

Obviously, a Raptors game is a great place to take kids - especially during Family Fun Days! There are ample family washrooms and activities just for them. Our usher today was very knowledgable and very kind, giving us a great game day experience.

Do you have a strange way of tracking your life, a la my photos with the Raptor?

© 2012 YYZ Bambina. All Rights Reserved.


  1. Love this post! I love that you have Raptor love! Did you use him as your focus item?
    I agree that the Raptor is the best mascot and I too have seen many different sports teams all over North America. I love to watch basketball but also love to find where the Raptor is at all times. I took my neice to the game and she was obsessed with finding him in the stands too! I can't wait to take Princess Peach to her first game this year!

    1. He actually didn't make it out of my bag due to the way my labour went.

      Yes, one game I went to there was this five year old boy a few rows ahead of me. I kept wanting to let him know where he was bc I could hear him ask the adult he was with, "Where is dino?" It was so cute!

      I hope you and PP enjoy!

  2. I have Raptors onesizes for the boys that we were given. They are CUTE!
    Love this post and your story.



  3. HAHA! These photos are too funny. Maybe it's because your toy is much smaller than the one she met in real life ;)

    I was a huge Raptor fan when Jerome Williams was on the team. Unfortunately he got traded to Chicago and I never stepped foot in ACC again. I'm bitter about it still even though he retired years ago.

    No I don't think I have a strange way of tracking my life -- maybe some silly costumes every year at Christmas time but that's about it. If they kept JYD on the team then maybe I would have considered pics with the Raptor like you have ;)

  4. Poor Hannah - but those photos are too funny. Wait till you take her to see Santa!


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