Embrace The Hate
The Angus Reid poll wasn’t necessary, we already know Canada doesn’t love the Canucks. In fact only 35% of Canadians are rooting for the Canucks this playoffs. To me that sounds about right. I could care less about most other Canadian teams so I don’t expect the same.
I have been a Canucks fan since the tender age of 2 (at least that’s what my mom tells me) and up until the days of the West Coast Express we were barely on the radar. Back then TSN and CBC could care less about us and nowadays because their beloved Leafs have been relegated to a borderline NHL franchise they want to take a shot at one of the top tier teams in the league. Bring it.
Here is a snippet from News 1130 reporting on the Angus Reid survey:
“It has something to do with the way the Canucks play. It [also] has something to do with how Canadians feel about Vancouver, and it has something to do with the way, you know, the story that media is telling in Boston and Chicago and Toronto. It’s getting a lot of play,” explains Maclean’s Associate Editor Nancy MacDonald.
The anti-Vancouver sentiment runs high in many places and in some interesting ways.
“We found a jersey store in Calgary and the sales associate there said they’ve never actually carried LA Kings jerseys. But in the last week, she said people have been coming in right and left asking for LA Kings gear,” explains MacDonald.
“She went on to say that basically, people in Calgary have this ‘anyone but Canucks’ movement brewing and they want to see, in her words, ‘the Canucks choke,'” she notes.
Yet, when an eighth-seed Montreal Canadiens squad made it to the semi-finals in 2010, 70 per cent of the country’s hockey fans were on the bandwagon.
We’ve been wasting our breath reacting to the news. Vancouver fans: soak in the hate just like how we take in the sunshine when it rarely blesses our city. Hockey hates us because we are winning and we shove that down the throats of other “more” Canadian cities. Don’t be mislead by Toronto media.
At least when we “force feed” our team they’re successful. You can’t say that about the Leafs, a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004. Understandably Alberta has every right to hate our Canucks—we are division rivals. People in the maritimes can call us less Canadian if they like. We don’t plan on clubbing seals anytime soon to get our Canadiana patch.
The hatred is well known in NHL circles. Mark Recchi’s own opinions and the classless (but still humourous) @LAKings tweet show it time and again. I say embrace it and move on.
Closing Thoughts: We’re Not Crazy
Reach outside of the sport of hockey and you will see that Vancouver fans are only keener, not crazy. Let’s rewind to the 1990s, when the LA Lakers and Oakland Raiders were in their prime and recessions hadn’t yet graced North America.
When the LA Lakers won, the fans rioted. When the LA Lakers lost, the fans rioted. It didn’t matter the occasion, they loved to wreak havoc for whatever reason that I’m not at liberty to interpret. The older LA Kings fans will remember this if they’re legit.
Now did any of you ever go to an Oakland Raiders game? Imagine the energy of Canucks fans combined with a city that didn’t have cost of living issues. If you went to a Raiders game to pick a fight, you got stabbed. No exception. Knife in torso.
So fast-forward to 2012 and compare: Vancouver is doing well compared to how other Canadian teams could be playing. Our sports market is thriving and the sports market in California has temporarily recessed. And who’s being called crazy now? We are. So be careful how crazy you keep calling us, because eventually we’ll adopt the personality you give us.