I Suck at Being Canadian: Tales of a Hockey Atheist Living in Vancouver

Before we get to this week’s game I would like to address some things that Nicole brought up at the end of last week’s post:

Yes, I know who Don Cherry is…No, I do not know any of his catchphrases…I have no comment about The Decision…I do not take my comment back about luck because luck impacts every sport…I’m on a first name basis with Dion because it’s easier to type than Phaneuf…I’m skeptical of finding enlightenment by becoming a fan of the Oilers.

Since I started this exercise and everyone whom I’ve talked to, they automatically assume my hockey allegiances are for sale.  Like I stated in our bios I do not watch sports to root for teams, rather players and story lines.  Yes, a Dion and Luongo reality show counts as a story line.  Now we have that straightened out onto this week’s game.

Another week, another hockey game.  This week I kept my promise to watch two good teams play and am watching the Blackhawks and Canucks.  Too my glee Luongo gets the start. Since I have moved to Vancouver in September of 2011 the topic of Luongo has been a real life message board.  He’s either loved or hated with no in between.  From an unbiased (hockey illiterate) observer I think Luongo isn’t as great as people who love him think he is and he’s not as terrible as people who hate him think he is.  Also the man backstopped Team Canada to a gold medal so I think we should cut him a break…fine, fine Canuck fans that’s for Team Canada not the Canucks, you guys stay the tortured fan base you are.

Players whom I know on Chicago are: Kane, Toews, Hossa and Emery.  For Vancouver: The Sedin Androids Twins, Luongo, Kesler, and Bieksa.  Although Emery isn’t starting which is a disappointment.  Also it’s a good thing I hardly ever talk about hockey in real life, I don’t know what’s worse if people thought I was a Flames fan because I’m from Calgary or that I don’t watch hockey ever and when I do it’s to poke fun at it.

Watching the ‘Nucks and ‘Hawks play tonight compared to the Leafs and Habs is like watching colour TV compared to black and white.

The penalty box cam is the best, every player when re-watching the play has the same look on their face as a kid who stole cookies before dinner.  More sports need to adopt the penalty box, it’s the sport’s equivalent of getting sent to your room.  Can you imagine Russell Westbrook getting sent to the penalty box?  Well if you ever have, thank goodness for this video.  In related news I’m using, “If that’s what you say, bruh” to end all my arguments.

I don’t know why but it’s always funny to me when a referee sends someone out of the face off circle, can we have this for all arguments between two people when they’re arguing in circles?  I feel like it would solve a lot of problems.

Every time Kane touches the puck, the fans have booed him.  Good job fans, I love it when fans naturally know what to do without needing to follow the jumbotron.  It really is a lost art.  I assume that every Canadian team knows how to do this.

I asked Nicole why Vancouver has a V emblem on the front of their jersey.  She responded with this, “It’s a flying V.  Everyone knows orcas are badass, right.  Like you don’t mess with killer whales.  They eat people and assorted wildlife.  So, to warn the rest of the animal kingdom, birds fly in a “V” when they see an orca.”  Apparently I missed the memo when the ‘Nucks fought orcas to get in shape.

You can tell a fan base is tortured when the game heads into overtime and you can feel crowd’s guard go up before the puck drops.  Also want a laugh, search #Canucks on Twitter after the end of regulation, it’s like everyone is talking about a movie they’ve seen fifty times.  To the ‘Nuck fans credit, the Hawks are dominating overtime.  Guess it’s easier to say, “I told you so” than get your hopes up and being disappointed.  And on cue Hawks get a 4 on 3 powerplay with a little more than a minute left.  Brace yourself ‘Nuck fans.  Only thing that causes more panic for ‘Nuck fans than overtime is a shootout.  Also how come it took the NHL forever to decide it’d be a good idea to have shootouts to decide regular season games?  I mean has anyone turned a channel when a shootout is happening?  I’m sure the answer is no.  Go Gary, twenty more years.

And Vancouver wins, too bad they couldn’t win in regulation. Just kidding, that was me channeling my inner tortured sports fan.  Stay classy Vancouver.  Also, “Too bad they couldn’t win in regulation” is such a hockey comment.  Can’t you just enjoy the win?  Maybe hockey fans are just closest humblebraggers.

Also going to 4 on 4 for overtime is really unfair for less skilled players.  Could you imagine if the NBA did this?  Lebron James playing 4 on 4, if you gave me a week I couldn’t list all the reasons why that is unfair.  Nicole pointed out to me that only the skilled players play in overtime, still doesn’t seem fair if the other team has the best player.

I enjoy having Luongo around just because of the whirlwind of emotion he causes his tortured fan base.  If I had any doubts that Vancouver was a tortured fan base, it was confirmed last Saturday when Nicole and our friend Brittany visited me and we went out for drinks.  Hockey highlights came on and a shot of Marc Crawford came on the screen and Canuck fans started hooting, hollering, and I think some bowing was involved towards the televisions.  My initial thought was, “Why are they doing this? The last time they won a Cup was never.”  Back to Luongo, he’s like the Kobe of the NHL, in that he is the most polarizing figure in the league.  Although, I feel like most people are starting to agree he needs a change of scenery, well so much for that story line.  It seems to me the only way Luongo could stay is if he started scoring goals too.  Wait, what am I saying?  Trade him to Toronto, we need a Dion/Luongo reality show.

It’s Like I Have ESPN or Something – Nicole

First off, am I allowed to assign hockey homework? Is this the gestation phase of a new column? If I can, your task is to watch as many Don Cherry youtube videos as possible. And follow him on Twitter. Maybe watch Don Cherry 1-12 on DVD. If you can tell me what team he used to coach, you get a C. If you can tell me who Blue is, it’s B+ material. If he retweets you, it’s an A+.

Can we define ‘good team’ more clearly please? I am really unsure if/how the Canucks qualify as a ‘good team’. Contentious issue. Clarify.

Irving discusses ‘arguing in circles’ like this is a common thing. Please, where else does this happen? Is arguing within a cylindrical ground-marking a thing? Do lawyers pace in an oval fashion while delivering smack downs? Did Obama and Romney generate centripetal force while debating? Unclear.

All Canadian hockey teams have hockey-player-hate. Watch next time Chris Pronger comes back to Edmonton (if ever). Or Todd Bertuzzi in Colorado. It’s aggressive.

The whole V on the jersey Orca-aggression thing was completely fictional. I had no idea what Irving was talking about, but I pride myself on having semi-legit sounding answers for everything. No one ever questions you if you sound like a BBC nature documentary. I think the V is for vintage?

Hockey fans are not of the humblebragging persuasion. Ruthless Orca-style competitors would be far more accurate. We really hate giving that free point to the losing team – especially when all games are inter-conference games this season. That point has come back to bite teams in the butt extensively. It’s nasty.

I cannot explain Canuck fan Crawford love to you. I can’t. Love is irrational.

Irving Chong (@Irving_Chong) and Nicole (@_nicoliooo) are co-creators of This is Why we Can’t Have Nice Things even though it doesn’t make sense why they’re friends.

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2 thoughts on “I Suck at Being Canadian: Tales of a Hockey Atheist Living in Vancouver

  1. Why do ‘Nucks where the V … it’s to celebrate the Vancouver Millionaires – They were the first professional hockey team on the West Coast, playing in the Pacific Coast Hockey Association from 1912 through 1922. The Millionaires won the Stanley Cup in 1915 against the Ottawa Senators of the National Hockey Association, which later became the NHL. But we obviously don’t need to address that at this time.

    If you want some good comic relief in your life, follow Luongo on twitter. @strombone1

  2. We Aren’t Any Closer to Having Nice Things: 50 – This is Why we Can't Have Nice Things

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