I thought I knew how a city could get when its home team was fighting its way toward a championship. I lived in Boston during that remarkable 2004 World Series victory that ‘reversed the curse’, etc. There is still a section in the Boston.com web site that may end up immortalizing the event for the next 86 years — which was the length of time between the two World Series trophies — if they have to. For all I know, there are probably folk songs about the Sox of ’04 and hundreds of new baby boys christened ‘Johnny’, ‘Jason’ and ‘Manny’.
But for Canadians, Hockey seems to be more than just a sport. It’s a glue for country, including the new citizens (and landed immigrants), maybe because we all agree that Canada invented the sport, and deserves to be the world champions in it, even if things haven’t always worked out that way.
Add to that, a trophy drought of similar length to the Sox. Vancouver, who have not won the Stanley Cup since the ‘Millionaires’ won it back in 1917–1918, is noticeably hockey crazy, even for Canada. You see the cars everywhere, with the flags all over them. Today at the market I couldn’t help noticing more than a few guys wearing Canucks Jerseys. The CBC is running a photo contest of the craziest Canuck fan (you know, the ones who do the whole face-paint thing). If the team does win the cup, they are estimating a $2.1 million cost in Police protection to keep all of the celebrators from running amuck. Speaking of costs, tickets for tonights game were going for $320 for a pair from scalpers.
Some of my fellow Vancouver bloggers are also podcasters. One of them was highlighted for their increasingly popular podcast, Crazy Canucks. Check out the spot on the local TV station at John’s other blog: John Bollwitt blog or his wife and co-podcaster, Miss604. I think they’ve tapped into a real vein of Hockey Madness.
I write this after the home team lost in overtime. It seems that every time I watch they lose. So I’m not sure I’m going to watch the next again on Saturday, when they are away in Dallas.
As for the sports bar owners. I’m sure that although they do want the Canucks to win as much as everybody else, they’d much rather stretch this initial set of playoff games with the Dallas Flames to the full seven. Nothing crazy about that.