Raptors fans fall into tens of different categories, in the first installment of a series analyzing the loyal legions that constitute the Republic, we present seven types of creatures.

The Frustrated Fan: He’s like the dad who’s into any decent sport but grew up watching hockey. When the Raptors came, it peaked his curiosity more than his interest. The Vince years teased him a little, even took his kids to a few games, bought a jersey for his annoying son and started watching the games when nothing else was on TV. His interest right now is pretty low, he just took out a second mortgage, has started hating the Leafs and is thinking about divorcing his wife. He could care less about the Raptors right now, but if they start doing better, he’ll follow them just to take his mind of his crappy life.

The Lonely Adult: Puberty hit right about the time the Raptors were created. Lack of interest from the fairer sex meant more time doing other stuff and that stuff turned out to be Raptors basketball. He loved the team for the sake of loving something and to be loved back. The team did love him back, through hard work, effort and all that good stuff that’s missing these days. Throughout the four tumultuous university years, he kept a close tab on his beloved team. When he finally graduated and got a job as low-level tech-support, instead of investing he bought season tickets to make his dream come true. Unfortunately, the excitement of the Vince hears had gone, and had been replaced by a decaying smell of pending doom. He doesn’t care, he’s the eternal optimist and will love his Raptors as much as he loves his mother, who probably thinks he’s weird. Is obviously single.

Young Gunz 4Ever: If you ask him who Vincenzo Esposito was he’d take a guess at it being a Sopranos character. Too young to remember the Damon days and has a very faint memory of Carter. An enthusiastic individual who loves basketball and believes that hockey is only a suitable sport if you’re living in Nunavut or Siberia. Buys the Raptors merchandise, quietly digs 4Korners, spends a lot of time on Facebook, and slacks off when it comes schoolwork. His love of the team isn’t matched by his knowledge of the game, but you can’t fault him for it since it’s early days in this arduous and unbreakable love affair. Doesn’t care much about defensive rebounding but loves it when DeMar throws one down. Goes to the games whenever possible and isn’t heartbroken when the team is sliced open in the fourth quarter. It’s all good.

The Reasonable Fanatic: Has missed maybe 20 games since 1995. It’s become an unhealthy addiction without him even realizing it, knows every contract on the team down to the qualifying offer and vehemently takes out anybody who makes even the slightest mistake when discussing the salary cap. Gets especially agitated when ‘idiots’ don’t count cap-holds when figuring out the payroll . Can’t afford to buy season tickets but does go to every game whenever something free comes his way. His knowledge of the four major sports is impressive and slowly but surely, he’s adopted basketball as his favorite one. Doesn’t get emotionally attached to a player, but is loyal to the team, win or lose. Schedules dates with his girlfriend around Raptors games and if there ever was a conflict, he’d send her to go see 27 Dresses alone.

The Flip-Flopper: Changes his opinion about the team, the franchise and the city after every game. Will show his frustration after every loss by attacking the ESPN Trade Machine with ridiculous 8-player trades. A win makes his day and renews his enthusiasm for the team and his life. After every loss, he’ll have a re-match on the PS3 where he’s the Raptors and the other team’s the computer – proceeds to hammer his opposition and when the game’s over, mutters “Take this, biatch” as he hurls the controller to the ground. Comments frequently on message boards, often his impatient typing technique will lure people to comment for the first time on the internet.

The Lost Dream: Plays in a rec-league which he feels gives him a special take on things when watching basketball. A calm and composed man, doesn’t get too excited when the team bombs and is reserved in his excitement whenever the team performs. Is the sane voice on the message boards that tries, unsuccessfully, to make the The Flip-Flopper see the light of today. Is at least 35 and wonders what could’ve been if he hadn’t hurt his foot when he was 19, or if he had chosen to pursue his basketball talents instead of giving in to the 9-5 routine. Has a solid understanding of the game and tries to execute the plays he watches on TV in his rec-league. Unfortunately, everybody else on the team is there to burn some calories, thus leaving his complex play-calling to fall on deaf and uncaring ears.

Gaarly Gyarl: A young lady who owns a pink Raptors jersey. Knowledgeable about a lot of aspects of the game which surprises the Young Gunz 4Ever, who had mistaken her for just another shorty. Loves the Raptors as much as she is allowed to love something which is not Drake.