I'm not really sure what it is. If I knew, I would share. Perhaps it's just a collection of feelings and beliefs I have. But the fact remains, almost as much as I love the Toronto Maple Leafs...I really do enjoy seeing the Vancouver Canucks lose.
I know, that sounds juvenile, even callous but it's the truth.
This week was the first playoff game for the Leafs in nine (9) years and they lost, handily. I quickly remembered what it's like to have your team in the playoffs, the fact that despite all the hope and promise it rarely turns out well. I was slightly depressed after the loss but honestly I cannot expect a Cup win this year. It's a process and this is one step of it. On my way to my spring beer league hockey game an hour later, listening to the Canuck's first game on the radio I found myself giving a fist-pump to San Jose's tying goal. Later during a stoppage in play in my own game, our ref shared the fact that the Canucks had lost 3-1. I merely replied, "Good." Why? Do I dislike the Canucks that much?
I think it may come down to the overall unfounded sense of superiority and entitlement by the organization, media and fan base. It's the ridiculous and repetitive comments. Over the last week I have received countless "jabs" either verbally or digitally welcoming my team back to the post-season. That, or they remind me of the fact Toronto hasn't won a Cup since 1967. In most cases, this is the one and only piece of historical knowledge they have about hockey. In reality, both Vancouver and Toronto have missed the playoffs equally on sixteen occasions since 1970. Sure, Vancouver has been to and lost three finals over the years but honestly, I'd rather not make it there at all than be heartbroken as Vancouver has been the last two times.
Maybe it's that heartbreak and disappointment that make Canuck fans bitter, but why so vehemently toward the Leafs and their fans? Perhaps it's the very plain fact that they haven't won at least one Cup in those three attempts. I personally have multiple friends who are diehard fans of either Montreal, Edmonton and Calgary. Although it may be a small sample, not ONE of these fans shares the outward hatred toward other teams or the superiority complex of a Canuck fan. All of these teams have indeed won a Cup in my lifetime, and it would probably be well within their "fandom rights" to display these qualities, yet they do not.
The Canuck fan is strange sort indeed. To say they are band-wagon jumpers is an understatement of gross proportions. The mere fact that playoff tickets had to be offered at half-price by the team says it all. The rebuttal that fans are complacent about making the playoffs is utter bullshit. This would not happen in any other Canadian city and a lot of American ones too. I feel the Canuck fan is summed up nicely by the most famous pair of them, The Green Guys. These morons are there for one purpose only, to get on TV and "entertain" the crowd. Ask them the score of the game at any point they'd be clueless.
And then there is the radio call-in fan. Yikes. Just this morning a caller to Vancouver sports radio suggested the reason for the Sedin brothers lack of production in the playoffs is because they just don't care. Where does a radio host go with a thought that ridiculous, other than the hang-up button. I'm surprised the caller didn't also suggest the Canucks trade Zack Kassian for Jonathan Toews. I've kind of chalked up the average Vancouver fan's general lack of knowledge is the simple fact that there is no winter here in Vancouver. In their formative years when guys my age were building backyard rinks and skating on rivers, the typical West Coaster was playing soccer on a rainy gravel field or dragon boat racing. I've played rec-hockey in Vancouver for almost twenty years now, with well over 100 different guys. I'd say easily two-thirds of them were born East of the Rockies. Now, being a good hockey fan doesn't necessarily mean you should have actually played the game...but it sure helps.
Anyway, I think I'm ranting now. I'd love to hear feedback form the Canuck side on this, and I'm sure I will. And yes, I've seen the Leaf Blower.