June 16, 2011

Never Easy Being A Canucks Fan

I told everyone I know (and everybody in British Columbia listening on CBC radio) that I would cry at some point during game 7.

I was hoping it would be tears of joy for after clinching a Vancouver Stanley Cup championship, but it was not to be. But I was also surprisingly calm at the end of the game and through the Boston Bruins celebrations. Maybe it was because the outcome was evident in the second period, but the devastation I expected to feel did not immediately come, either.

But I did cry. I unsuccessfully fought the tears back as long as I could as the Canucks players first entered the game to their customary U2 entrance music. I guess I just knew how the story was going to end. That was probably why I was such a nervous wreck all day long. Blinded by the passionate fan inside of me, I put on my bravest face forward (and bravest voice on the radio) and said that the Canucks would prevail. I really, really wanted to believe. But deep down, I guess I just knew. It always ends this way.

This is what it is like to be a Canucks fan. When you watch as much as hockey, and as much Canucks as I do, you've seen the story before. You never fully believe. There are so many more downs than ups. And the few ups that there have been over the years, turn into disappointment by the end. It is not easy to be a Canucks fan. We've seen the story time and time again. You come to just expect it. 41 years now. And I'm not quite sure why we keep coming back.

Everyone says the sting of this defeat will give way eventually. I'm not so sure. The implications of this loss are immense and potentially fascinating.

For all the greatness this team and these players have shown in the past couple of years, their legacy in Vancouver was very probably set with this loss. The heroes, rightly or wrongly, will be vilified. Unlike in years past, disappointment will linger. In 1982 and 1994 we could take pride in their underdog efforts. But the  2011 team, burdened by the highest of expectations, will be remembered for failing, even though they came oh so close.


Dustin said...

I'll admit, I wasn't rooting for your team, but from following your blog I know how much the Canucks mean to you; I literally sent a text to my buddy tonight during the second period, saying Joe Pelletier is probably crying right now. I assure you I was not gloating - you were probably the very last Canucks fan I wanted to see upset. Hang in there during the off season, and remember - Boston rebounded from the second worst choke job in NHL history (after 1942) to win the Cup the following season. There's light at the end of the tunnel. Sincerely, a Sharks fan.

Rick said...

Sir, this may come as little/no consolation, but as a longtime Red Wings fan, I and many others like me know exactly what you're going through. We came close a couple times before they finally broke through in '97 for the first time in 42 years, and there were many who said their opportunity had come and gone. I see no sign of vanished opportunity in Vancouver. The Canucks will be back, stronger and wiser.

Predsboy18 said...

I also wasn't cheering for the Canucks, but as mentioned before, your passion for the team was nothing short of amazing. There is nothing better than seeing a team's fans give that team a standing ovation even in defeat. It's truly sad that things unfolded the way they did that night, and it's sad that those few idiots have tarnished the reputation of not just a fanbase, but an entire city. I know those people don't represent Canucks hockey, because I was fortunate to have met several Canucks fans from Vancouver during the Preds series, and they were all class acts. Congratulations on beating my beloved Preds in what was an amazing series, and winning the West.