The Everlasting Plight of the Canucks Fan

 

Vancouver Canucks

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Being a Canucks fan is an act of masochism. For 40 years, the Canucks have been the equivalent of psychic cat of nine tails.

 

Yet, I can’t quit the Canucks. Believe me, I’ve tried. The last straw was in 2003 when the Canucks gave up a 3-1 series lead against the Minnesota wild.

After that series, I said, “Never again” — never again to the personification of failure, a team that cannot understand the concept of winning.

So what happened to me?

Metamorphosis

At 28-years-old, I tipped 200lbs for the first time. With a 5’8″ height, I was fat. Something drastic needed to be done. That something was a drastic exercise regiment.

 

Photographer: Frank C. Müller

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I became a boxer. My goal was to remake myself as an assassin with my fists, an archetype of manliness, a whirlwind of not just physicality — but one who can will himself into being.

 

I ran and skipped; I did push-ups, sit-ups and squats; I learned to put the entire weight of my body in my fist and deliver a ricochet of kinetic energy. My body ached. After months of desperation, I finally gained muscle mass and depleted fat.

An Act of Empathy

When you take up sports, it’s easier to understand achievement. Bernard Hopkins‘ championship win over Jean Pascal was significant. It was all the more significant because he was a 46-year-old man who defeated a respectable title holder 18 years his junior.

Similarly, the Canucks season this year is as significant. We now have a team who is the best  — with more wins than anyone else. We have a goal scorer in Daniel Sedin, with his brother Henrik his equal playmaker.  We have the immense physicality in Ryan Kessler, the lock-in defense of Kevin Bieska, and the elite goaltending of Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks are now a legendary team. It’s a team that’s the opposite of heartbreak. It’s a team that has tasted the edge of elimination in Round 1 of the play-offs, and pulled off wins against all odds. Certainly, the Canucks may not appeal to everyone — but if you cannot respect achievement, you cannot respect the metaphysical nature of sports.

A Time for Reckoning

 

Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo du...

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The 2011 Stanley Cup Finals is emotionally tiring. The Canucks won two close initial games, then were destroyed in Games 3 and 4 by scores of 8-1 and 4-0 respectively. Then in Game 5, they managed a 1-0 win.

 

Here in Vancouver, there was hope that they’d do the sane thing and win Game 6. However, the Canucks never do things easy. Within a four minute frame in the first period, the Canucks let in four goals. It seemed like another blowout. Yet, the Canucks continued peppering Boston with 38 shots — managing to scored two goals. The final score of Game 6 was 5-2.

Everything now comes down to Game 7. The hopes and dreams of an entire city rest on their shoulders.

But whoever wins, whatever the results, one can surely appreciate the best Stanley Cups series in recent memory: one in which nothing has come easy, nothing is a foregone conclusion, nothing is ever predictable.

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