In the absence of a Championship caliber Seattle sports
franchise (save maybe the Sounders) and do to the fact that Seattle
has no NHL team, I’ve turned to root for the Vancouver Canucks. The
Canucks are arguably the best in the NHL this year and beat the
defending champion Chicago Blackhawks in a game seven overtime
thriller on Tuesday night (see winning goal below). After going up
three games to none, the Hawks came back and nearly beat out the
Canucks in game seven, when they sent the game into OT on a last
minute goal (while shorthanded).
Highlight: Alexandre Burrows scores the winning goal against the Blackhawks. The fan reaction reminds me of the Marshawn Lynch Beast Mode TD run against the Saints.
My admiration of them started last year, when I spent a month in B.C. volunteering at the 2010 Winter Olympics. In the weeks leading up to the Games, Canucks matches were still going in Vancouver. I’ll say this about that: if it weren’t for the Olympic Torch in downtown Vancouver, you wouldn’t have even known the Olympics were about to start. All people cared about were the Canucks.
In every bar and on every street, on car bumpers and outside of houses you Canucks memorabilia from jerseys to stickers to flags. I asked a few people about getting tickets to a game, which was met with near astonishment. They kindly let me know that unless I wanted to pay three times face value for a ticket, I wasn’t going to get in.
From there I settled on a local pub to watch a match and arrived just as the game started. I got the last seat and watched by myself. There wasn’t a whole lot of socializing, as everyone was focused on the TV screens. Only during intermissions did people scramble to refill their glasses. Even the waitresses were watching the game. It reminded me of the way Seattle fans watch and react to a playoff game, only this was regular season.
The point: Canucks fans are hardcore. I like that. They show passion and dedication the way I wish Seattle sports fans would.
This is not to say I’m going to drop everything and go all out. I’m saying that the Canucks are the team I’ve chosen to root for from afar. Here are some reasons why:
- Seattle has no NHL team. If something happens where Seattle does get one, I leave the option to reconsider. I’m in the same situation with the Portland TrailBlazers. If the Sonics come back to town, I’m back to my roots.
- Proximity. Though expensive, I could potentially drive to Vancouver and watch a game.
- Promise. As mentioned above, they’ve got talent. If this makes me a bandwagon fan, so be it. Just note than when I get on, I don’t jump off.
- Overall experience. Great fans + a passion to win = great fan/team experience
- Canadians are awesome. Though everyone tends to make fun of them, they’re great people.
- My buddy Sammy T. is a fan. He wouldn’t steer me wrong.
I don’t see there being anything wrong with Washingtonians rooting for the Canucks, as long as they stay on board until Seattle gets a team. It gives you a chance to be part of an amazing sport experience, so come on and join me. The ‘Nucks next series is against the Nashville Predators. They should be a pushover.