City Views: To be a hockey fan or a Canucks fan

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I’m feeling a little frazzled at the moment. If you’ve been paying any attention at all to the Stanley Cup Playoffs – and I know you have – you can probably guess why I might have been having heart palpitations.

Having grown up in Victoria BC, home of no winning teams of any sort at all, ever, I’ve generally rooted for distant teams or events. Outside of the 1992-93 Toronto Blue Jays, anything involving Sydney Crosby, the 1993 Habs, and any championship involving the Yankees, who I loathe, I’ve never really rooted for a winning team. I’ve tended to enjoy sports from a distance, with a certain impartiality that has let me really enjoy the beauty and skill of the game being played with little if any emotional attachment or investment whatsoever.

Things are different this year. I was all in. I became totally invested in the Vancouver Canucks. And boy, was this a different experience.

On the radio the other morning, somebody was talking about the upcoming game seven. He commented that the stress must be unbearable for Vancouver fans, but for hockey fans, this series has been quite a ride.

This distinction is far from flippant. Over the past two months, I’ve come to know what it is to in fact cheer for the hometown team, for the winning team and the stress is indeed, at times, unbearable. My stomach hurt. I had trouble sleeping.

I found myself yelling at the screen, crying for blood. And I meant it. It wasn’t about sports anymore. It became a purely emotional experience. It became solely about winning.

And now it’s over. We lost. The city exploded. And I wake up this morning with the bitter taste of defeat and a hollow feeling of loss.

There is, apparently, a vast difference between being a fan of a sport and a fan of a team; and I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I really liked it!

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  • Comment Link Chris Rowinski Thursday, 16 June 2011 15:50 posted by Chris Rowinski

    This is two Stanley Cup heartbreaks for me man. I don't think I can emotionally invest myself like this again... I feel like complete shit this morning, even more so because of the idiots who are giving our city a bad name.

  • Comment Link Coasting Sunday, 19 June 2011 21:37 posted by Coasting

    Good piece, minor quibble: Victoria Cougars, 1925 Stanley Cup champs! Over the Habs no less...

  • Comment Link Tim Wednesday, 22 June 2011 04:55 posted by Tim

    Funny as both a hockey fan and Canucks fan I see two different sides to this.

    For the third time watching the Canucks come second best, this was the hardest SCF loss. In '82 they were underdogs and despite a great first game bowed out in four. In '94 they were serious underdogs and made us believe they could do it, and if fact could have, before losing by a goal. This time they had the talent and were favourites to win, but ran out of gas.

    As a Canucks fan I have to focus on the fact they still have a great team and that they had so many players hurt and/or injured.

    As a hockey fan I'm glad that series is over. I would gladly have lost to Tampa Bay or Detroit or San Jose or Chicago in a series that show cased skill over watching that nonsense. Full credit to Tim Thomas he was great, but that was the worst SCF I can remember watching.

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