No bandwagon for meApril 15, 2009
I live in Vancouver. I have been here for four years. I will never be a Canucks fan.
First and foremost, I’m an Edmonton Oilers fan. I put up with a lot of crap because of it. But it makes me only hold onto my hometown team even harder. Three years ago, my team slipped into the playoffs, arguably underachieving during the season. While I never expected the team to make it out of the first round, I was much more hopeful than in years past.
The team had a strong defensive corps lead by Chris Pronger, a hot goalie in Dwayne Roloson, and a group of rag-tag forwards getting timely contributions from guys like Fernando Pisani, Michael Peca and Ales Hemsky. This was not one of the Oilers teams of the 80s, it was almost better. The underdog victory is so sweet.
As the 8th place team in the Western Conference they took down top seeds to a dream-like appearance in the Stanley Cup finals. My mom, never expecting this result, had promised me during the first round a trip back to Edmonton if they went that far. I never thought I would score tickets for any finals games, let alone two (games 3 and 4). Go figure, ticketmaster still sells singles. We made it to game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals - So close but so far. The team was dismantled the summer afterwards and we went back to square one.
Only 6 players remain on the Oilers now from that cup run team just 3 years ago.
The team the Vancouver Canucks have put together this year remind me a little of 2006. Lots of heart, work ethic and contributions from unlikely sources. They also have this Roberto Luongo guy. My hatred for the Canucks does not prevent me from realizing they have a great chance this season. They could go somewhere with this team. It pains me to say it.
Meeting St. Louis in the first round, a team that made a surprising late season rush past 6 other teams into the number 6 spot, doesn’t scare me. I think the Canucks just have more firepower – just a better team.
I feel dread.
Not only do I want the Canucks to fail for personal reasons – I’m already sick of the comment, “Who do the Oilers play in the first round?”
Answer, “Your mom.”
I want them to fail for professional reasons.
I work as a reporter. My shifts are generally in the evening (though I’m getting ready for one right now) and that means a lot of time spent reporting live from __bar__ talking with __dude__ who is exponentially drunk in relation to how long I’ve been reporting from there. I hate it. You’d think 7 years of school would have me doing something more worthwhile, but the Canucks bandwagon is only show in town.
I would love to be the kind of person who can just get wrapped into all the hype. Playoffs are an exciting time when the hometown team is in the mix. But I can’t. I love the Oilers too much, and I hate all the Canucks fans who have spat on me, who incessantly bug me about free agents not wanting to join my team or comments about the standings from guys who barely could tell me what place Vancouver is in. If I wasn’t mocked all year long for the last 4 years (save for that 2006 cup stretch when the peanut gallery finally shut the hell up), maybe I’d hop on. But the bandwagon is just too crowded for an Oilers fan.
Bruins in 5
Caps in 6
Devils in 6
Penguins in 7
Sharks in 5
Wings in 6
Canucks in 6
Hawks in 6