Patrick ‘Crazy P’ Thomas got into character in Glanford Park on Oct. 15 where he spent years he spent playing for the Saanich Hornets. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Patrick ‘Crazy P’ Thomas got into character in Glanford Park on Oct. 15 where he spent years he spent playing for the Saanich Hornets. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

B.C. Lions, Canucks hype-man sidelined as sports move to fan-free play amid pandemic

Crazy P misses seeing fellow fans who’ve become family, pumping up players

The COVID-19 pandemic has sidelined well-known B.C. Lions hype-man Patrick ‘Crazy P’ Thomas as professional sports leagues moved to fan-free play.

In September 2019, Thomas, 51, celebrated 15 years as the B.C. Lions superfan and told Black Press Media his goal was to eventually cheer at a Canucks game. He didn’t have to wait long because shortly after, he was called in for an interview with the team’s staff.

“They needed someone to rile up the crowd and someone referred me” Thomas explained.

As a lifelong Canucks fan, cheering at Rogers Arena in front of NHL teams was “a dream come true” for Thomas. The first few games were fantastic, he said, adding that he was able to get the arena “roaring” which in turn got the team fired up.

READ ALSO: B.C. Lions hype-man marks 15 years of cheers

Like the players, Crazy P feeds off the crowd as he hops around, waving his arms and bellowing chants that carry across the stadium. He attributes much of his cheering persona to his former Saanich Hornets football coach, Roy Vollinger, who died in June at 78.

Thomas played for the Hornets in Glanford Park some 44 years ago under Vollinger’s tutelage. The coach’s commanding presence, booming voice and overflowing energy inspired teamwork and passion among the young athletes, said Thomas.

“Crazy P was born here in Glanford Park,” Thomas said, gesturing around the field now used for soccer. He would rush the field after a game, cheering and shouting chants, not unlike those he uses now to rile the crowds at Lions and Canucks games.

READ ALSO: Legendary Greater Victoria football coach Roy Vollinger dies at 78

Cheering for hockey is different from cheering for football, but he quickly hit his stride and cheered at 35 Canucks games – while also cheering at B.C. Lions games, which required a lot of energy drinks and Tylenol – before the season was cut short by the pandemic.

He’s hopeful that things will return to normal soon so fans can get back to stadiums – with cleaner hands and social distancing.

“I miss the people most. We need that connection as humans,” Thomas said, noting that this would have been his 16th season with the B.C. Lions and he’s known some fellow fans since the beginning.

READ ALSO: Bubble fatigue cited as mental challenge during NHL playoffs

“We’re family and that’s the part that really hurts,” he said while scrolling through photos of himself posing with other fans in team gear.

Thomas hopes there will be some opportunity for Crazy P to return this season.

“I’m so looking forward to next year. This is my calling.”

In the meantime, Thomas is looking for other opportunities to bring out the Crazy P persona and invites anyone running pandemic-friendly sporting events to reach out to him via Instagram, @crazyp44.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

BC LionsCanucksSports

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Patrick ‘Crazy P’ Thomas can’t wait to get back to cheering for his teams – including the B.C. Lions, the Canucks and the UBC Thunderbirds. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Patrick ‘Crazy P’ Thomas can’t wait to get back to cheering for his teams – including the B.C. Lions, the Canucks and the UBC Thunderbirds. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Just Posted

A rendering of Victoria Wonderland, a drive-thru immersive holiday experience that has been cancelled due to COVID-19. (Courtesy of Transcend Victoria)
Victoria Wonderland drive-thru show cancelled due to COVID-19

Organizers hope to host a similar event, if restrictions allow, in the new year

Oak Bay High students Mimi Hill and Aine O’Donnell run along the Jack Wallace Memorial Track. The old track is due to be resurfaced. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Oak Bay track resurfacing delayed

Oak Bay commits $50,000 towards renewed Jack Wallace track

Swiftsure International Yacht Race 2018. (Black Press Media file photo)
Popular Swiftsure yacht race cancelled for second consecutive year

International sailing race hopes to run its 77th event in 2022

Saanich golfer and top B.C. junior and juvenile player Willy Bishop was named to the 2021 Canadian National Junior Golf Squad on Nov. 19. (Photo courtesy Jenny Bishop)
Saanich student to tee-off with national golf team

Willy Bishop, 16, named to Canadian National Junior Golf Squad in 2021

The Oak Bay Police Department has announced plans to purchase the municipality’s first electric marked police vehicle. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Electric police vehicle could soon be patroling Oak Bay streets

Oak Bay police plan to purchase first marked electric police vehicle in 2021

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

(AP Photo/Paula Bronstein)
POLL: Has COVID-19 changed your plans for the holidays?

The lights are going up, the stacks of presents under the tree… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 1

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Watch Messiah at home with the Sooke Philharmonic

Concert available to stream Dec. 12

Emergency crews used a backhoe loader to clear fire debris from the scene of a fire on Wesley Street Thursday as police and firefighters gathered up propane tanks, stoves and fireplaces used by camp residents to heat tents. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
City of Nanaimo dismantles downtown homeless encampment after fire

Four to six tents burned up in Wesley Street fire Thursday, Dec. 3

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

BC Ambulance Services reassures people that the service is well staffed and ready to respond. Photo by Don Bodger
BC Ambulance assures the Island community they’re ‘fully staffed’

‘Paramedics are not limited to a geographical area.’ — BCEHS

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Most Read