But to get back to the point. I sat here thinking what could I do that could get me back into the media that I truly love and enjoy. I had started reading blogs quite a bit. Some of the main ones that cover the Raptors in the main stream media. I had always been a Raptor Fan and I had some experience in Radio and T.V. Maybe I could turn that into writing a blog. So I took that idea and started writing the Dino Nation Blog. It was very rough around the edges. I am not as good of a writer, as I am in talking about things. In fact if there is anything I have taken critique on more in the last year that would be it. Day after day I hope the writing level has gotten better. I think in looking at it myself it has. But the one thing that I have found is that people despite that have enjoyed the content and ideas that make up the Dino Nation Blog. I am very happy about that. I really have worked hard at that aspect of this blog and think it is the blog's greatest strength.
One of the things that I was able to do is get interviews with a lot of people in this blog connected to the Raptors media. A great deal of the credit for that belongs to Eric Smith of the Fan 590. I had know Eric when I was doing radio and he was cool enough to be a guest on my little basketball segment on the Radio. He and Chuck Swirsky both made appearances on the radio with me. So in writing the blog I happened to write about my great respect for Jack Armstrong as a broadcaster. I was very proud of what I had wrote. So I had emailed Eric and asked if he could pass along the blog I had wrote to Jack. The next day I had a kind e-mail from Jack Armstrong and before I knew it he was a guest in my blog and would come back many times since. Eric would later get me in touch with Paul Jones and he also has been a guest here several times. Not to mention Eric himself who writes a blog as well has made a few guest appearances in the Dino Nation Blog. They through being kind enough to do that gave myself and the readers of this blog a lot of info and made the Dino Nation Blog a true source for information. I am smart enough to understand that most folks had no idea who James Borbath was. They did know who all of these folks were though. I said to Eric after we finished an interview once that is was like in wrestling when the new guy gets the rub by beating the big star wrestler. That is what these guys were giving me by being in this blog. It would be a big step for the blog. I am happy to know that I can e-mail these folks and ask for advice or help and know I will get a positive response from them. If anyone has anything bad to say about these guys I will be the first in line to defend them.
There were some other folks that have come to visit that were people I was able to get on my own as well. Matt Devlin, Sherman Hamilton, Lexi Haslam and a bunch of folks in Australia to learn about Nathan Jawai. I am always trying to find more folks to talk with. I really love doing interviews with anyone. We can all learn stuff in talking with people. Not just about basketball but life itself. It is really hard to sum up all that has gone on in this year. I mean so many things that I never expected have happened. Something written here has ended up on Raptors.com, NCAA Websites and had links from so many other blogs that I have come to know and enjoy reading myself. The latest thing that has come the way of the blog is The Score. When I got an e-mail from Scott Carefoot who at the time I honestly did not know really at all. I was pretty taken back. A chance to have the idea I had just less than a year ago and have it associated with a major sports network. It all seemed really to unreal for words. I was truly so excited to take on this new challenge and see where it would lead.
All of this stuff has been really cool. But to be honest one of the greatest things for me has been getting to know the people like you that read this blog everyday. I have got to know so many great folks that share a love of basketball and the Toronto Raptors. People from all across this country and even some from around this globe. The fact that I can sit in front of a computer in Hamilton Ontario and reach out to people from all these places is something that is truly amazing to me even a year later. I have always said that any success that I get from this blog will be in part your success too. I truly mean that and am grateful to have the support of so many great folks from so many places. I can't tell you how many e-mails I have gotten from folks thanking me for the work I do. Many of these e-mails end with something like keep it up. It is not always easy to do this each and everyday. Getting an email like that on the right day or time can really help you get back on track. It has also has been great that when things happen for this blog, people have responded with a lot of congratulations and kind words for me. I have to admit when I first thought about writing on the Internet I was prepared to take a lot of people being less than kind. However I have been very happy and honestly surprised that majority of feedback I get is of such a positive nature. You the readers of the Dino Nation Blog are always going to be a big part of what this blog is. Don't every think that you do not matter to me because you all do. I try to respect everyone and I am happy that for the most part that respect has been given back to me. I understand you may not always agree with everything you read but that is fine. I just do my best to give you my best at what I think and believe on a daily basis.
In fact in knowing this event was coming I wanted to come up with some way to say thanks to you all. So I had an idea and that is the basis for this contest that I am going to tell you about. It is thanks in part to Raptorman.ca
Dino Nation Blog and Raptorman Are Giving You A Chance To See The Return Of T.J Ford
You can win a seat right next to me. To watch the return of T.J Ford to Toronto as he and his Pacers take on the Raptors on December 10th at the A.C.C.
So how do you do this? Basically it is pretty simple. In whatever creative way you can come up with. Tell me why you are the best fan of the Raptors and the Dino Nation Blog. You want to make a wacky You Tube Video. Just write an e-mail how every you choose to do it is up to your imagination.
You have from now until December 3rd Midnight Eastern time to send in your entry. From there 3 finalist will be selected. Those entries will be posted on December 4th. (Which will also be the day I am going to re-start the Nation Speaks where I will answer questions and comments from readers in the blog.)
Why are they being posted? Well because your fellow readers will be one of the 3 votes that can help you win the prize. The readers will have 2 days to pick their favourite that they feel deserves to win. I will also have a vote and I have selected a third party to be a third judge. The winner will be selected Friday and contacted via e-mail on Saturday with the details on how you can claim you prize.
I wanted to come up with a way to say thank you for a great year and this is it. I will work on a few other things for the winner as well. I am not sure how that will go. So just expect to get a ticket and have fun and get to meet me and have a great time.
Obviously if you can not get yourself to the ACC on December 10th please do not enter. The idea of this contest is to get a winner that can make it to the game and enjoy the experience of Raptors Basketball. If something comes up that the winner is unable to claim the prize the person that came in 2nd would be contacted and become the winner by default. But I hope that does not happen
The Dino Nation Blog is responsible for selecting the winner and that decision is final. The Dino Nation Blog also claims the right to publish any entries for use in the Dino Nation Blog. The winner will get a seat for the game versus the Pacers in the 300 level of the A.C.C. The Dino Nation Blog will not be providing any transportation or costs beyond the ticket to the game.
In order to make sure the winner is a true reader of the Dino Nation Blog there is also a skill testing question to be answered and if the answer is not correct the entry will be null and void. Meaning it will nor be considered. But if you have read the blog it should be simple enough to answer.
Who has not been a guest in the Dino Nation Blog of this list of people:
That is the question please include the correct answer with your entry.
So send your entry to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please Mark E-Mail: T.J Return Contest
Keep all entries to under 500 words if written or less than 1:30 seconds if it is video
The Dino Nation Blog would like to thank Raptorman.ca for providing this prize. This contest is independent venture and is in no way connected to The Score.