Los Angeles Rams season ticket member Albert Montoya was randomly selected from our season ticket member list to represent the Rams at the 2017 Pro Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
During his trip, Montoya enjoyed the Pro Bowl festivities, met the Rams Pro Bowlers, and hung out with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.
We caught up with Montoya to learn more about his Pro Bowl experience.
When did you first become a Rams fan?
I have been a Rams fan all of my life. I grew up a Rams fan. My dad is a Rams fan so I just followed his lead.
What were your earliest memories of the Rams?
I have vague recollections of watching Rams games in the late 1970s. The games were always on in my house. However, I distinctly remember making a true effort to watch games when Eric Dickerson started playing, so I was 9 years old.
Did you ever attend a Rams game growing up? If so, what do you remember?
Yes I did go to a number of games growing up. My dad and I had season tickets the last 2 seasons before they moved to St. Louis. We always had a great time. I remember wanting to have season tickets before we got them because I wanted to go to every game. It was always a great experience. I also remember the giveaway days and events. I remember going to a Father/Son day and I still have the picture they took of us. Many great memories.
What was your first reaction to the Rams coming back to Los Angeles?
My reaction to the official announcement of them coming back was disbelief. It is something I have wanted all this time and it was finally happening. There had been some talk for a few years before that, but when it finally happened, I can't even put into words the joy I felt.
What made you want to buy season tickets?
As soon as I heard the Rams were returning, I started inquiring about the season ticket process. I remember what a great time we had when we had season tickets before they left. I knew I had to buy tickets to share those experiences with my wife, 2 daughters, and my other family members. I was dating my wife when the Rams were still here so she did go to several games with us. That made it much easier for me to buy season tickets because she remembers the great times we had.
Do you have a favorite Rams player?
My favorite player would have to be Eric Dickerson because that is when I started watching the Rams. I would also have to mention Isaac Bruce. He played in LA for one year before they moved to St. Louis. I remember reading a quote from him after they won the Super Bowl thanking the fans of St. Louis and Los Angeles. That showed me that he cared for the fans that supported him.
How was your experience at Rams games this season? What was your favorite part?
I have really enjoyed going to the games this past season. I wish I saw more wins, but I still had a good time with the other Rams fans. My favorite part has been the tailgating. It has been great getting to know other fans and celebrate our team coming back. So I am glad to have that opportunity to be able to tailgate before the game.
Tell us about the Pro Bowl. How was your experience?
My experience at the Pro Bowl was great. I wish the weather was a little warmer considering it was in Florida, but nobody has control over that. I thought it was great to have Roger Goodell speak to us and give us an opportunity to answer questions we had.
I really enjoyed the events that was provided for the Season Ticket Members. It was great to be able to talk to other fans across the country and get to know them. We found that we have a lot in common and enjoyed each other's company. The fans I interacted with felt the same way.
We heard you met punter Johnny Hekker. What was it like to meet him?
It was really cool to meet Johnny Hekker. It was before the practice session, he happened to be on our side of the field and he was passing out shirts. He didn't see us at first, but then we finally got his attention. When he saw we were in Rams gear he came right over and graciously took a picture with us. I didn't get a chance to ask for his autograph because he had to get over to start practice. But it was still really cool. I actually met his high school coach in the lobby at the hotel after the Pro Bowl game. On a side note, Jake McQaide's dad saw me in the lobby the day before the game and introduced himself to me. He said that if he sees any Ram fans he would make it a point to say 'Hello.'
I also wanted to mention that I have the greatest wife in the world. She was not able to accompany me because we just had a baby in October. But she was kind enough to allow me to enjoy this once in a lifetime event. In her place, I brought one of her sisters who became a fan this season. She is all in. She went to every game last season and will be buying one of my season tickets for this season. We are very grateful for this opportunity.