Pressure was redefined for the 49-year-old when he opened his suitcase before venturing to Rogers Arena to watch the Vancouver Canucks battle the Boston Bruins, and not because he was afraid of over or under dressing for the occasion.
Fox was torn on what to wear because he’s torn on which team he’s cheering for.
How could this be, you ask? How could a Canadian, one recently inducted into the Order of Canada nonetheless, with deep roots in British Columbia going back to his days at Burnaby Central Secondary School, not be an orca jersey wearing, Kesler praising, Sedin confusing, Luuuu chanting Canucks fan?
Two words: peer pressure.
Everyone’s favourite time-traveling teenager from the Back to the Future trilogy runs in some pro-Bruins circles and a good friend of his had some choice words to say about him supporting the Canucks.
“He read me the riot act this morning,” Fox laughed, speaking of his pal Denis Leary, a die-hard Boston fan with whom he recently starred alongside in FX’s Rescue Me.
“He said ‘if I see you wearing blue and green, I’m gonna kill ya,’ and I told him I wasn’t going to wear blue and green, but I wasn’t going to wear yellow and black either.”
No, Fox was conservative in a dark green shirt, black jacket and jeans watching from the Avaya Champions Club at Rogers Arena; when shown on the jumbotron, much to the delight of the sellout crowd, it was impossible to tell who he was cheering for.
Making matters worse for the should-be Canucks fan is his friendship with Cam Neely, current president of the Bruins.
Could it be? Is Fox a Bruins fan masquerading as a Canucks fan to make his time in Vancouver more enjoyable?
No way, no how.
“I have Vancouver roots and I love the Vancouver Canucks, I’ve been cheering for them all year long,” said Fox.
“It’s just one of those things where a team you cheer for all year long comes into contact with the other team you’ve cheered for all year long.”
That sounds like sweet talk Fox, give it to us straight. We can handle it. Vancouver or Boston? Canucks or Bruins? Good or evil?
“I grew up here, this is my home, and I’d love to see the Canucks do well, I’ve been following them since 1970 when I was 11-years-old. Cam Neely happens to be one of my best friends though and I’d love to see him have a ring, but I don’t know if I want to see him have a ring at the price of Vancouver not winning the Cup.
“It’s like Sophie’s Choice…”
Fox’s allegiance is clear as mud, I know.
The true test will come next Monday for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final, which Fox is planning to attend in Boston. He’ll surely be shown on the big screen there as well, but will be dressed as incognito as he was in Vancouver or will black and yellow be all the rage?
Either way, Fox, who was forced to withdraw from the Principal Charity Classic pro-am golf event in West Des Moines this week due to back spasms, loves his hockey.
The Edmonton, Alberta, native grew up dreaming of playing for the Stanley Cup, not watching teams compete for it, but he was a “five-foot-nothing kid with no hockey sense who couldn’t skate,” so it’s maybe a good thing he chose a different path.
Still, no matter what has been on Fox’s plate over the years, and there have been many things both personally and professionally, he’s always stayed current in the latest and greatest from on the ice.
“Hockey is religion,” he said. “I remember going to Orland Kurtenbach’s hockey school. That’s what an old timer I am. I’ve been a fan of the sport a long time and a fan of the Canucks a long time. Go Canucks Go.”
It’s official: Michael J. Fox is backing the Vancouver Canucks – right?