–VNN Magazine March 3, 2011
When it comes to the playoffs, many Canucks Fans expect choking with the resigned exasperation of a Madam sending girls to Charlie Sheen’s house.
To the avid fan, the Canucks’ last-minute plummets are a special kind of disappointment. One where you pin all your hopes on a long shot dream, and just when you start believing you have a chance at the unthinkable, it blows up in your face. Like when your Plenty of Fish date ends up robbing you and locking you in the trunk of your car.
While Vancouver fans have a reputation for being as fickle and stormy as their weather, sometimes the Canucks upsets are so dramatic you have to wonder. Is it all an evil scheme? Is Gary Bettman sitting in some foreboding castle atop a chair made of human bones, cackling to himself at our pitiful small-market dreams?
We may never know. But the cycle continues. Anguished fans who end every season by furiously vowing never to watch a game again somehow find themselves busting out the jerseys and bolting oversized Canucks flags to their cars each April with the renewed optimism of a battered wife.
Why don’t we give up this time-eating succubus of a sport and obsessively follow something that won’t let us down? It’s not like our team winning actually affects our lives. But, like an abandoned donair on the Skytrain, the idea of Stanley Cup Glory is inexplicably tantalizing. It always will be. It’s more than just a sense of supporting our city, or peer pressure, or the rumor that Fin, the Canucks Mascot, is secretly Gary Busey that keeps us cheering. It’s the Stanley-freakin’-Cup! The fabled symbol of commitment and hard work that every Canadian dreams of taking a drunken profile picture with.
Also, if we didn’t have the Canucks, what would we talk to our dates’ fathers about, or bring up to change the subject when we say awkward things?
Still in spite of the impressive amount of wins, long-suffering Canucks followers will have a hard time shaking their uneasiness. As hot as the team is right now, many fans have a wary, animal look in their eyes like some poor, badly beaten dog I dropped off at the shelter after it tried to eat my face in the night.
Uhhh… so how ’bout those Canucks?
And at the end of the day, it’s undeniably good entertainment. And that’s important. If it wasn’t, we’d watch Little Mosque on the Prairie instead. Like any abusive relationship, the lows are just as big a part of being a Canucks fan as the highs. Vancouver is known as a healthy city. We do yoga, we eat sushi, we can take a little hockey-induced arrhythmia every now and then.
Perhaps Canucks fans do get a bad rap for being cynical, but our team is on top of the heap right now and it’s time to live it up. Who knows? This could be the year Vancouver takes the cup! And maybe that guy really does love me! Maybe he’s going to let me out of the trunk and take me to The Keg!
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an oversized Canucks flag I’ve got to strap to my car before it starts raining again.