I have been stalked by the Vancouver Canucks this week.
Lest you think I am an afficiando and about to launch into a discussion of stats or performance or trades or something else REAL about the Vancouver Canucks, let me disavow you of that idea right from the get-go, in order to set some context. I dreaded hockey as a child, with a Pavlovian response of horror to the Hockey Night in Canada theme whenever I heard it, since it meant that Dad would be glued to the TV for hours, with no hope of our changing the channel to Disney or something else interesting. Having then held general disdain for the sport for years therafter (since it usurped my own high school graduation when the Oilers won their first Stanley Cup), and then having only lost my hockey cherry in ’06 when I attended my first ever game in Edmonton, my dear reader will undertand how peculiar today’s topic is for me.
But as I have flipped from Calgary, to Vancouver, to Toronto, the Canucks’ exploits have been in my face, either second hand or live. In Calgary, I had to interrupt a discussion (argument) between the Palliser doormen about Flames versus Canucks in order to get them to hail a cab for me. They were really going at it, too. Something about pussies and wusses… I didn’t get the details. In Vancouver, the live game was playing – LOUDLY, on about 23 big screens – in the next door lounge as I tried to have a peaceful meal on Thursday night. This, and the cheers and jeers, on top of the retro ’60s music blaring through the restaurant side of the establishment. If it weren’t for the very large glass of scrummy Chilean Chard in front of me (since when did these 9 oz pours become the rage? I’m going to start to say “I’ll have a double” from now on), I would have ended up with a massive headache. Finally, heading out for dinner last night here in TO, I was accosted on the streets by rowdy fans wearing blue and white, making their way to the game. This time I HAD to sit in the lounge to eat my dinner, and lo and behold it was my hometown Canuck boys on the screen in front of me, challenging the Maple Leafs. Enough!
But I’ll be honest: towards the end of my meal, I almost even got into it. A large glass of limpid white Meritage kinda got me into a fighting mood, and I started cheering for Vancouver just to tick off the folks around me. After all, perhaps it’s time to change my poor attitude, since I have actually invested $20 this year in the NHL behemoth. In participating in the annual MBA hockey pool, I undertook a cunning strategy, in which I picked only players with either Russian or Italian names… letting my linguistic libido do the talking as opposed to undertaking any actual research. And as of last week, apparently my taste was excellent, since I was in third place in the pool. Woohoo. I figure Luongo is probably my best shoe-in… so Go Canucks Go! I forgive you for stalking me.