One of the aspects of being an avid Vancouver Canucks fan is the number of people you get to meet on the bandwagon. Some are diehards like yourself who through thick or thin, good or bad, Keenan years or not, stick with the team. Others buckle in for a season or two of generally good times, but finally decide they have reached their destination, say an early playoff exit or high draft pick and depart. Then there are those that hop on for a ride, see trouble ahead, and open the door while the bandwagon is still running and jump out. Yet, here I sit day-in and day-out. Buckled in nice and tight.
Although I can’t honestly say that I’ve been a big fan forever considering my first Canucks memory is from Trevor Linden’s first season, I do remember my first game, an overtime win over the Washington Capitals at the Pacific Coliseum that my Mom took me to for my birthday. I think the score was something like 5 – 4. I’m sure I had some grandeur vision of Stanley Cup glory based on that experience, but as the NHL stats show, no Stanley Cup yet. Yes there was the run in 1994 where the Canucks finished Calgary in the first round in seven games (as a side note, I nearly lost vision in one of my eyes when Bure scored – I have some violently devoted fans for friends as well) and the few Smythe/Northwest Division titles, but no chalice commissioned by Lord Stanley. And that’s where the whole bandwagon comes into play.
It’s definitely tough being a diehard Canucks fan. I liken it to that person you love so much, that when they hurt you, when they kick you in the junk after knocking you to the ground, you don’t blame them but consider it all your fault. And this experience is not for everyone (you can only take one in the gear so many times y’know). So when the Canucks are doing well, fans come out of the woodwork and hop on for the ride. They tell you how great it is and what a fun ride they are having. However, when the wagon hits a speedbump, runs out of gas, breaks down, those that can’t handle the pain jump ship. Some catch a ride with other bandwagons while some simply walk away telling those that would listen that they shouldn’t have bought this bandwagon in the first place. And then there are those like me.
I don’t drive the bandwagon, nor do I pick the destination. I simply sit in the back seat and let it take me where I must go. I don’t always like the destination and sometimes close my eyes and wish I was somewhere else, but I never get off. Maybe I am a masochist, as this would explain the whole theory of getting kicked you know where. But I don’t think that’s the case. It’s just that I have some level of faith that it will take me where I want to go. Combined with a neverending level of patience, I maintain this faith that the bandwagon will take me to the promised land. I also don’t hold any malfeasance to those that come and go as they please. It’s always good to have a few more on board as it makes the ride much more fun, and also comes in handy as you need a number of people to use the HOV Lane.
Hey, isn’t that the guy who jumped out up ahead?