It's time for the fans to take charge and not just the invisible rabid ones.
I’ve been a Canuck fan my entire life. Really. There’s a picture of me as a baby, eyes glued to Curt Ridley on the TV. I started playing hockey because I wanted to be like Richard Brodeur. And to this day, I pick only Canucks in my playoff pool. So, I’m a great fan, a terrible gambler, but a great fan.
When I was a kid, we cheered on the Canucks. Now, we wait for something to happen. When did it change? Is it because the Canucks were so horrible before, that we had to entertain ourselves, or were we better fans back then? Has the true fan been priced out of the arena? I don’t know, I have no answers. But, I’m told this column has to be at least 600 words. So, here’s some more of ‘em.
I’ve never liked the negative cheers. Yelling “You Suck!” should, in my opinion, only be thrown at a ref, an opposing player, or Leaf fans. Never a player on our own team. The “Go Canucks Go!” cheer should be released in times of need, not just when things are going well. It never comes out when the Canucks are going through a rough patch. Instead a flurry of boos fill the air like grandpa farts on Christmas eve.
I’ve heard that we’re smart fans, that we know when to cheer, and when not to cheer. But, isn’t it our job as fans to pump up the Canucks. Do all in our power to get the other team off their game? Give the Canucks a boost when the tanks running low? That’s what happens at other levels of hockey. Why is it different for the NHL? At every other level the fans make a difference. The fans get the team going, not the other way around. We seem to wait to cheer. Wait for them to earn it.
I think the most important time to cheer is when the Canucks need us the most. When they’re playing their worst. It would make for a more euphoric feeling when there’s a goal, or a big hit. We would have had a part in that occurrence. We would in essence be a member of the team. An extra attacker, not on the ice, but hovering just over the playing surface. Like that invisible army of the dead from Lord of the Rings. The Canucks would be unstoppable! (Evil Laugh!) I don’t care how much these guys make, they’re still hockey players. And what hockey player isn’t pumped up by an arena filled with invisible rabid fans, hovering inches over their heads, cheering them on.
Maybe we could look to other sports for help. When a visiting QB is getting ready for the snap, the fans make it impossible for the line to hear the count. And more times than not, a player will jump offside. The fans did that, and not just the invisible rabid ones.
How could that work in hockey? Maybe when a time out is called, instead of making a text to our stock broker guy, we could make so much noise, that the players can’t hear the coach’s play, and the center draws the puck back when he was supposed to go forward. Or, when the Canucks are killing a penalty, we steal from basketball and get that “De-Fense” clap cheer combo thing going. Or, MAYBE, we could sing those songs like they do at soccer games! ... You know what, forget that last thing.
Okay, now, as I’m sitting here preaching, I’m watching the Canucks lose to the Blues, and I’m screaming some pretty horrible things at the TV. Things I’m pretty sure would get me arrested in Singapore. Yes, directed at the Canucks. It’s clear this won’t be an easy task. But, I’m going to give it a go. I’m going to go a little Oprah here and start using the power of the universe for the Canucks greater good. It’s a dangerous road, I know, we’re talking about the universe here. It’s worth the risk. The Canucks need it. We, as fans, need it, and I’m pretty sure Oprah needs it. (My buddy Marco tells me she’s a huge Canuck Fan.) I want to see the Canucks hoist the cup, before I’m so old that I throw my back out celebrating as Kyle Wellwood pops in the overtime winner in the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final. Yeah, Kyle Wellwood ... Why not?
As Canuck fans we should see ourselves as part of the team, and not just spectators, or critics. Lets leave that position for the Tony Gallaghers of the world.
Go Canucks Go!