Most Dallas Cowboy fans know LB Victor Butler for two things: racking up a high number of sacks relative to snaps played, and making big plays at important times. You will soon start to hear that Victor Butler is one of the NFL players who really devotes a lot of time and effort try to connect with his fans. If you don’t already know about some of the awesome Cowboy stuff that Victor Butler regularly gives away to fans, you need to start following him on twitter: @Victor_Butler57
Victor was kind enough to talk to us about his recent Twitter give-away, his off-season, and some of the things he has planned for the future (his explanation of what he does to relax in the off-season was sheer brilliance).
SportDFW feels it is important to recognize that most of the players are good people doing good things, and some of them, like Victor Butler, go above and beyond the call of duty when trying to be accessible to fans.
When we saw that Butler was having another contest on Twitter giving away Cowboys stuff, and so many of the entries were so good, we thought we would share the some of the best ones with you, just in case some of you are still not using Twitter.
We would like to offer our sincere gratitude to Victor Butler for taking time out of his busy regiment (the NFL really is a 12 month job – I had to have a nap after just hearing about it) to talk to us and answer some of our questions. Thank you.
Sport DFW: Can you explain to us why you decided to have this contest?
Victor Butler: I mean it’s simple really, we have the best fans in the NFL and not everyone can make it to signing and meet and greets, this way I can reach more fans. The graphic contest I chose to do because I’ve had some fans send me graphics before, so I figured why not? This way I can give back to them.
Sport DFW: I know you were bombarded by thousands of entries. How difficult was it choose just 2?
Victor Butler: It was extremely hard, everyone who entered was really talented, that’s why I was so pleased that SportDFW agreed to honor some of the runner ups for me. Thank you.
SportDFW: You’re welcome. Why did you select the two that you did?
Victor Butler: I picked the profile photo because I always say “We don’t want fans, we want believers” … so that picture really fit my pages theme. I chose the background picture because I really like the way she put the collage together.
Sport DFW: Can you elaborate on what you mean by “believers, not fans“?
Victor Butler: I mean that we don’t want fair weather fans, or fans that only are there for the wins and hate the Cowboys after the losses. We want true fans. In Dallas, I have heard some fans say, “Win, lose, or tie, I am Cowboys fan til I die.” That’s the kind of fans we need.
Sport DFW: It seems like you really make an effort to connect with your fans. Why is it so important for you to interact with your fans?
Victor Butler: It’s important because growing up I idolized players, and if I could have connected with them once on a personal level it would have been amazing. Twitter is a great tool to connect with fans directly, so I try to answer every tweet. It’s tough, but I do my best.
Sport DFW: Can you tell us about some of the other things you have done or are planning to do, to stay connected with your fans?
Victor Butler: At least twice a month I’m running some sort of autograph giveaway, so if you follow me, you will eventually win. Sometimes it’s trivia, and this holiday I had people send in what they were doing to give back to the community during the holiday season, I picked 10 winners and gave away a football signed by the team, signed hats, t-shirts, and other memorabilia.
Sport DFW: Wow. A football signed by the entire Dallas Cowboys team?
Sport DFW: I noticed that the contest instructions were clear that you wanted #57 included. When did you first start wearing #57? Why did you choose that number?
Victor Butler: I first started wearing #57 when I became a Cowboy. I actually didn’t get to pick it, but like I always say, “#57 on the field, but #1 your hearts” lol.
Sport DFW: What do you do to relax and enjoy yourself in the off-season?
Victor Butler: Training, right now with Athletes Performance Inc. and I also mix it up and do MMA training and yoga. I train all throughout the offseason, I can relax when I retire. A great man once said, “In the race to greatness, there are no days off.”
Sport DFW: If you could only pick one thing, what are you most excited about when you think of the 2012 nfl season?
Victor Butler: Just getting on the field, being with my teammates, and just getting back to playing football.
Sport DFW: Thank you for speaking with us.
Victor Butler: You’re welcome.
The following are the winning entries along with some honourable mentions as decided by Victor Butler. Please take the time to look at each of the entries and the designer’s comments about the Cowboys; every one of them has something that should be interesting, memory provoking, and/or funny to any long time Dallas Cowboy fan. The anecdote about Coach “Beer Parcells” is classic.
1. Ivneet Nagra:
Ivneet Nagra, is a six year old girl from Toronto. She told us, “I was born in a family who loves the Cowboys. My parents, brother, cousins. I’ve grown up watching the Cowboys, and I love them!“
Favourite Cowboy memory: In 2010 I went to a Cowboys game with my dad and I met Miles Austin. Another favorite memory is the Cowboys winning a playoffs game against the Eagles.
Favorite Cowboy: My favourite Cowboy of all time is Tony Romo. I like it when he throws touchdowns. 😛
2. Michael Feteira
Michael Feteira is from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Michael runs a Portuguese Restaurant and a Landscaping Company. Mike told us, “I love Soccer and Football. I follow the Cowboys like I work for them. I have seen every game since 2002. My high school friends and I split on Sunday Ticket package so I never miss a Cowboy game. In Portugal, for the opener last September, I had to watch the game at 1:30am on stream on a small net book. I saw this contest I had to do something, and now that I have been re-tweeted and going through this interview it is truly a highlight for a Cowboys fan and one memory I will be able to share with my son that is due in May.” You can follow him at @mike_fetz
A Cowboys fan since: When I was 5 yrs old my older brother was a Cowboys fan, so Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith, and Michael Irvin were all I knew. I have been following them religiously since 2002. A day does not go by without me looking online to see what updates are going on, even on vacation.
Favourite Cowboy memory: Cowboys-Bills Monday Nighter Oct, 8 2007. Me and my friends drove to Buffalo for the game. Got heckled the whole game, Romo threw the 5 interceptions but I never felt like we were going to loose that game, and we didn’t Folk kicked game winner as time expired.
Favorite Cowboy: Emmitt Smith (OFF) and Darren Woodson(DEF)
3. Rolando Ramirez.
A Cowboys fan since: I was a kid; my family has liked them, so I have always followed them .
Favorite Cowboy memory: Watching them beat the Redskins last season.
Favorite Cowboy of all time: Roger Staubach
3. Anthony Lord.
Anthony Lord is from Cinnaminison, New Jersey. He told us, “Living in Jersey can be tough because it is Eagles Territory. I don’t have to tell you what Eagles fans are like, but I hold my own.”
A Cowboy fan since: As long as I can remember.
Favorite Cowboy memory: Other than the Super Bowls, I saw a game in 1988 and was lucky enough to meet some of the players.
Favorite Cowboy: Tony Dorsett
4. Mark Lawrence
Cowboy fan since: All my life, as long as I can remember my family has been Cowboys fans.
Favorite Cowboys memory: Super Bowl XXX, I was 5 years old and it was my first ever Super Bowl party.
Favorite Cowboy of all time: Emmitt Smith.
5. Christopher Hill
Major Christopher M. Hill is from Haymarket, VA. He is in his 16th year of Army service. He is an Intelligence Officer specializing in Army Acquisition. He has been married for 17 years to his wife Carla; they have four children (Chris Jr., Jonathan, Jasmine, and Dominic.)
He told us, “ I live in the D.C. area, so I am right in the middle of Redskin territory. They have a strong dislike for the Cowboys, as you can tell by all the Cowboy talk on the sports radio stations. They are obsessed with the Cowboys. We always have spirited conversations, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. It feeds into my competitive nature. It does make Mondays after losses very hard, though.”
Cowboy Fan Since: I was 6 or 7 years old. I grew up in Alabama, so we didn’t have a local NFL team. Every Sunday at 11 am, there was always one constant: Dallas Cowboy football on TV. I was hooked.
Favorite Cowboy Memory: Winning the Super Bowl the year they got Deion. I thoroughly despise the 49ers (more than any other team) and watching #21 (and Haley) on our sideline was the most gratifying thing we could have done.
Favorite Cowboy: Michael Irvin. I played WR in college (Alabama State University) so watching #88 play with the passion and skill he brough to the team was always fun to watch and appealed to my inner WR.
TITO is from Los Angeles, Norwalk CA. Tito told us, “I love my Dallas Cowboys so much, that I never miss flying out to watch them play at least 2 – 3 games every year!!!” You can follow him on his website or on Twitter: @TiTotheCEO
Cowboy fan since: My Sister & cousin would pick me up from Elementary School in the 1990’s, he was a Dallas Cowboys Fan, so I became one too. Then they played in the Super Bowl close to my home (Pasadena in 1993) and it kept going from there.
Favorite Cowboy memory: This past year I drove 6 hours to San Francisco to watch my Dallas Cowboys play the 49ers. I watched Romo get knocked out, then Kitna stepped in, then Romo went back with a broken rib and punctured lung to bring us back to WIN in overtime with an all out pass to a person / player I respect so much:Jesse Holley. Kicker Dan Bailey hit the FG to win. Wow, thank god I was there LIVE in person to experience one of the Greatest Games and Comebacks!
Favorite Cowboy: The Trio – Irvin, Aikman, Smith!
Fawnia Franklin is from Twin Lakes, NM. She told us, ” I love the Cowboys so much, I have the star tattooed on my arm. Everyone who knows me, knows I am a fan of the Dallas Cowboys. After the Lord calls me home, I’m sure when those who knew me see or hear anything Dallas Cowboys, they’ll think of me.” http://www.twitter.com/fawnfranklin
A Cowboy fan since: Forever. I became a huge fan when I was 12. I received my first Dallas Cowboys jacket for Christmas that year.
Favorite Cowboy memory: I’d have to go with almost being run over by coach Wade Phillips at training camp in San Antonio a couple years ago. I was mesmerized and trying to take a picture of him, paparazzi style, and did not realize I was right in front of his SUV. My sister pulled me out of the way. My camera was not set to take pictures, it was on video. I have a small clip of the front of the SUV while being jerked out of the way. Diehard fan!
Favorite Cowboy: Emmitt Smith. I LOVE the guy for his values, committment, and strength. He will always be my hero!
What is it like being a Cowboy fan in NM? There is no NFL in NM, but it is Cowboys Hater Country. At least that’s what it feels like. It builds character. I have a thicker skin and am stronger because of all the hate! Ha! Mad love for my Cowboys!
Another classic story from Fawnia: I practically raised my niece from the time she was born to now to be a die hard Cowboys fan. She’s the only Cowboys fan in a house full of Niner fans. She’s 10 now and still a fan. Everyone says I brainwashed her. I would teach her the coaching staff and players names. At 4 years old I’d ask her who the coach of the Dallas Cowboys is and she’d say “Beer Barcells!” She’ll be wearing her Cowboys jersey while everyone else is wearing their Niner jerseys. They talk smack to her all the time. She’s brave and can handle! I raised her right!