I was overjoyed to spot a headline on this week's edition of Maclean's magazine: "Why Won't Canada Love the Canucks?"
The four-page feature, titled, "Canucks...Nation? They're our best hope for a Stanley Cup, so why don't Canadians love the Vancouver Canucks?" made for vindication for your Canucks-hating correspondent.
You see, last year, just as the Stanley Cup Finals were about to begin, I wrote a column on why I planned to cheer on the Boston Bruins over the Vancouver Canucks. Predictably, I endured copious quantities of negative feedback from British Columbia, much of the correspondence prominently making use of a certain word that rhymes not-so-nicely with "Canuck."
Even so, just because the Vancouver Canucks are geographically situated in Canada, this doesn't mean the Canucks are -- or ever will be -- "Canada's Team."
Not that certain vested interests aren't doing their best to entice all Canadians aboard the Canucks' bandwagon, mind you.
It's reminiscent of 2007, the previous time a Canadian team advanced to the Cup Final. That was when the Ottawa Senators went up against the Anaheim Ducks and there was a pathetic retailer-driven initiative to get people to support the Sens as "Canada's Team."
As a Leafs fan, I think I'd rather cheer on a team comprised of al-Qaeda insurgents than support the Senators.
In any event, attempts to promote the Vancouver Canucks as last year's edition of "Canada's Team" were also met with failure. For the record, here were my six reasons why it was a bad idea for Canadians to cheer on the Canucks:
1. Time Zone
Residing in the Eastern Time Zone (like most Canadians), I prefer hockey games to start at 7 p.m. sharp and wrap-up by 10 p.m. Sorry, B.C. -- we're already eating lunch in the East just as you guys are rolling out of bed. We just don't have your time.
How can anyone older than seven cheer on a team with a logo that seems to have been plucked from a bad Hanna-Barbera cartoon? And really, what does the nickname "Canucks" have to do with a goofy-looking killer whale breaking through the ice?
Then again, Vancouver seems to have a near monopoly on grotesque NHL uniforms. The team began with green-and-blue jerseys depicting what appeared to be a hockey stick superimposed on a TV set.
Then came that cosmic joke of sports jerseys -- the red/orange/black/yellow jerseys with the big "V" collars. The garish V-logo was eventually replaced by another logo: a stylized hockey skate that spelled the word, "Canucks." Wow! Then came those bleached-out red, white and blue uniforms with good ol' Shamu as the crest.
The current uniform is a staggering hybrid of garishness and insanity. It has the green and blue colours of the original togs, combined with the orca logo of the last uniform. And then, in an exercise of unnecessary overkill, the word "Vancouver" has been embroidered into the jersey -- just in case anyone in the hockey world was wondering which team wears such an ugly uniform.
3. Vancouver Already Had its Turn in the Sun
Team Canada -- that is to say, the real Team Canada -- won the Olympic gold medal in Vancouver in 2010. That was the biggest sporting event to happen on Vancouver soil. The Canucks winning the Stanley Cup would simply be anti-climatic.
4. The Green Goofs
Vancouver has a pair of so-called "Super Fans" who dress head-to-toe in clingy skintight-green spandex. Then they get into various yoga-like positions. That's just way too effeminate and creepy for hockey.
5. Insufficient Canadian Content
What's so "Canadian" about Minneapolis, Minnesota and Tarku, Finland? These are just two of the birthplaces of Canucks players. In fact, last year, there were 15 players on Vancouver's roster that were born in foreign countries. Vancouver isn't "Team Canada" -- it's "Team U.N."
6. Vancouver Hockey Fans are Un-Canadian
The '72 edition of Team Canada squad is perhaps our most beloved national hockey team of all time. Except when it comes to Vancouverites, who lustily booed the team after losing 5-3 to the Soviet Union on September 8, 1972.
That ugly incident led to Phil Esposito's emotional outburst for the ages on national TV: "I'm completely disappointed," Espo said. "I cannot believe it. Every one of us guys -- 35 guys -- we came out because we love our country. Not for any other reason. We came because we love Canada."
Alas, those fair-weather puck-heads packing the Pacific Coliseum that night threw Team Canada under the bus, writing them off like so much flotsam and jetsam and never keeping the faith that a Toronto Maple Leaf, Paul Henderson, would go on to single-handedly win the Summit Series by scoring the winning goals in Games 6, 7 and 8.
Vacuous Vancouverites will never, ever live that sorry spectacle down -- and nor should they be allowed to.
Addendum: Keep in mind my column was written before that hellacious Vancouver riot upon the conclusion of Game 7. Thus, add to the list a seventh reason to hate the Canucks: Too many Vancouver fans are nothing more than violent loogans.
As for the superb Maclean's piece, some of the reasons stated as to why most Canadians don't cheer on the Canucks include: "bland" stars; too many players who are whiners and divers; an arrogant general manager; cry-baby fans; and over-rated players.
Bottom line: a recent Angus Reid poll indicated that only 35 per cent of Canadians said they'd root for the Canucks.
Count me among the 65 per cent of Canadians who have made the right call.Suggest a correction