Friday, March 24, 2006

A Tale of Two Fans

In our fine bandwagon city, there are two kinds of Canucks fans - those that jump off the bandwagon after a few losses and those that defend the team and the players to their deaths. A couple of articles that appeared in two different local papers this week illustrate this point.

In the Georgia Straight, CKNW Sportstalk host Jeff Patterson doesn't think much of the Canucks' postseason chances:

No matter how tough the plight of the Vancouver Canucks is these days, there remains a group of supporters out there with an unshakable belief: as long as the club wins a playoff spot, it is bound for glory.

These are the same people who were certain that Todd Bertuzzi would return with a vengeance, and when that didn’t happen they were absolutely sure he’d come back from the Olympics a changed hockey player. Now they insist that the playoffs will bring out the best in No. 44, that the big winger has been saving himself all year for the game’s greatest stage.

As supporting evidence for their case, these same fans point to the Calgary Flames of two years ago as a perfect example of what a team can do so long as it nails down a playoff spot. The Flames, they say, barely squeaked into the playoffs and then dispatched the Canucks, among others, on their remarkable run to the seventh game of the Stanley Cup final.

This, unfortunately for those poor souls, is where the fantasy ends, as reality is about to hit them right between the eyes, smashing their rose-coloured glasses in the process.


This year’s Canucks, on the other hand, came flying out of the gate, winning eight of their first 10 games and picking up a single point in another. But even in those early games, there were warning signs about the team’s unity, its chemistry, and its ability to compete for a full 60 minutes.

And now with the playoffs just around the corner and the Canucks’ invitation to the postseason party very much hanging in the balance, the numbers suggest that even if the Canucks get their act together and win one of the final playoff berths, any kind of lengthy run is highly unlikely.
On the other hand, in the Vancouver Courier, Mark Hasiuk talks about a group of people that are a bit more optimistic:

As the Canucks skate perilously close to missing the playoffs, President Caron and his Booster Club are hoping to rally a skeptical city for the final stretch.

He's also frustrated by the city's bandwagon attitude, and his official status as the team's number one supporter makes him a lightning rod for criticism.

"When I come into work in the morning, if the Canucks are doing well, they're 'our' Canucks," says Caron. "But when they're doing poorly, they're 'my' Canucks."

Caron refuses to allow the team's performance to interfere with his support. "We are sticking with this team no matter how they're playing."
Two fans, two outlooks on the same team. If you read this blog regularly, you've probably figured out I'm more of the latter. What kind of Canucks fan are you?

To read the full articles, click here and here.

Postscript: I should note that Patterson wrote his piece prior to the Canucks' two wins against Edmonton. I'll be expecting a more positive one from him next week. :)

Comments/Questions: Feel free to post in the comments section or email me at gocanucksgo10 (at) hotmail (dot) com.

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posted by J.J. Guerrero, 6:46 AM


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