Vancouver Canucks fans now have to be considered the bravest.
There is an army of green and blue in Bean Town and Monday afternoon prior to Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, it took to the streets of downtown Boston thanks to Riaz Meghji, host of Breakfast Television in Vancouver.
Meghji booked a trolley from Old Town Trolley Tours, ‘The Official Trolley Tour of the Boston Red Sox', and Canucks fans piled in to see the sights/spread Canucks fever.
Starting at the Bobby Orr statue outside TD Garden, more than 40 fanatics piled into trolley 144; some from Boston, some from Vancouver, others from elsewhere, all united by a passion for the Canucks.
Billy Ketch was the driver lucky/unlucky enough to host the tour and before the engine fired up to start the trek, Ketch was on the microphone letting everyone know where his allegiance stood.
“I’ve got one question for you,” Ketch said, “how many Cups have the Canucks won?”
Luke Verkuylen and John Castell, who made the trip for Game 3 from Vancouver, helped spark a GO CANUCKS GO chant in response and away we went.
First things first, a few rules of the road in Boston, as explained by Ketch: “Horns are more important than steering wheels” and “red lights and stop signs are just suggestions.”
As the tour began Ketch attempted to enlighten the Canucks fans on some rich Boston history, namely how Sam Adams was one of the founding fathers of the United States and not a beer maker, but rowdiness took over inside and outside the trolley.
With eight fans draped out the windowless ride on both sides, all in jerseys, some with faces painted and flags waving, the streets were lit up with GO CANUCKS GO and O CANADA. That, naturally, was met with hostility.
“F&*% you” yelled one grizzled Bostonian, who then gave the trolley a thumbs up wit his middle finger before adding “go back to Canada.”
That seems to be how people in Boston welcome Vancouverites as middle fingers were flying left and right; a ticket to Game 3 would have been affordable with a nickel collected for each bird that flew our way.
As the hourlong tour continued we learned about the Boston tea pahty, met a 30-year-old, 16-pound lobster caught in the hahbah and found out that Ketch and his fellow Bahstonians are proud of their Bahston accents.
Then we came to a stop sign and a round gentleman in a salmon coloured shirt smiled at the trolley and inquired as to the whereabouts of the Green Men. He then snarled and barked “they bettah watch themselves.”
Speak of the devil, next thing we knew Force and Sully were climbing aboard the trolley to really get the party started. Their timing couldn’t have been any better with a stop at the Bull & Finch Pub, the original inspiration for the setting of the TV show Cheers, next up.
Where everybody knows your name, and they're always glad you came indeed, the excitement on the trolley amped up to another level with the Green Men aboard. With the locals familiar with their green antics, booing and yelling at the trolley tripled in popularity.
“I’d jump on and join you crazy nuts, but I’m afraid of getting bit,” shouted a Milan Lucic fan in a black Bruins jersey.
Burrows accusations notwithstanding, he was probably right.
It was rowdy, it was loud and it was proud and Canucks fans ended the tour the best way possible – by invading the Public Garden and surrounding the George Washington statue, which currently has the first president of the United States in a Bruins jersey, and chanting GO CANUCKS GO.
Although the Canucks dropped Game 3, they still lead the Stanley Cup Final 2-1 and are two wins away from proving they’re the best team in the NHL.
Monday’s adventures proved Canucks fans already are the best – and bravest.