June 15, 2011

We Are All Canucks

With Vancouver in the Stanley Cup Final, the whole city has been in high spirits since my return. Fans, old and new alike, have donned Canucks jerseys as they gather in public spaces to watch the games on large screens. The streets of downtown Vancouver near the main branch of the public library have four sets of screens in one square block, which are closed off to vehicular trafic several hours in advance. Most of the revelers gather here, with faces painted and flags in hand. They are ready to burst into raucous celebrations immediately following a Vancouver victory.

For those who want a more relaxed environment, comfortable seats, and unobstructed views, Rogers Arena telecasts games taking place in Boston on its giant screens. 20,000 fans wave Canucks towels and stand for the national anthem in unison. During the intermissions the ice girls skate out with Fin, the mascot, and launch prizes into the stands. A team of toddlers plays an action packed game of exhibition hockey during intermissions. It almost feels like being at the actual game.

The best celebrations happen in the most unexpected of places. In the Indo-Canadian suburb of Surrey, cars start honking their horns as soon as the final whistle blows after a Canuck win. Whole families, from preschoolers to grannies, come out to celebrate on the streets. Scantilly clad girls dance in the middle of a boulevard, vehicles tooting their horns in appreciation from both sides of the street as they pass by. The icing on the cake are the pickup trucks carrying dhols, large Indian drums, which are beat as rhytmically as the Canucks' opponents. Win or lose, the way that this city comes together in times like this is truly amazing.


"Even when you've played the game of your life, it's the feeling of teamwork that you'll remember. You'll forget the plays, the shots, and the scores, but you'll never forget your teammates." ~ Deborah Miller Palmore