I wear a few bracelets almost every single day. A few were my dads, one is from the ‘Stop Bullying’ campaign, a few from my travels around the world, and one that says ‘Go Canucks Go’. Yes, I am a Canuck fan. I have been for many years. Long before the Stanley Cup run a few years ago. Now it’s no secret that the team hasn’t been doing well lately. I’m not going to argue and say ‘they’re just not scoring’. No, they’re doing pretty badly and I’m hoping for some jolt of motivation to hit them soon. Every once in awhile, someone notices my bracelet. I wear it whether we win or lose, or if it’s game day or not. Upon noticing it, some people say to me things like…
“Are you still a fan after last night?”
“I bet you want to cut that off your wrist.”
“Doesn’t wearing that remind you how bad the team is?”
“You should pick a new team. They’re never going to win.”
Listen everyone. I’m going to say this as simply as I possible can. I am a fan. I’m not a sometimes fan. I’m not a blind idiot fan. I’m not a fair weather fan. I’m not a fan because Kesler is cute or Burrows has an adorable accent. I’m not a fan because we almost won a Stanley Cup. I. am. a. fan. Done. Simple. Over.
Think about something, or someone, who’s been a huge part of your life for years and years. Something you feel for, that inspired you when you needed inspiration, and that you put your heart into and now it’s stuck with you. Maybe it got you through a horrific time in your life, or was a comfort when you wanted to ignore the world. Now imagine that something or someone was not quite so inspiring recently. In fact, they’ve been a little… no present. Does that mean you totally ditch it and pretend you were never emotionally attached? Come on, seriously.
The issue is not that I want to argue and say we’re really good when we’re not. The issue is that I know, without a doubt in my mind, that once we start winning again, those same people are going to look at my bracelet and smile, and say ‘we have the best team! and I’ve always been a fan! Let’s be fans together!’ (facepalm)
I do not mind fair weather fans. Those fans come out when the emotions need to be high. Their money goes into the franchise, making sure the teams continues to build. They buy jerseys and tickets, and sometimes even involve a new, soon to be ‘real’ fan into the mix. But accept the fact that you’re a fair weather fan and don’t give crap to the fans that will stick with the team through anything. Because it’s not only about winning. Its about being part of something. It’s about the journey. If you’ve ever seriously played a team sport for more than a season or two, you’ll understand. You’ll understand that ebbs and flows of sports, luck and work. Sometimes you work your ass off and nothing happens, other times you barely come out to play and you win everything. And sometimes the team struggles, and you put your heart and soul into struggling with them, trying to bring them back up.
So yes, I am still a fan even if they played badly. I am still a fan if a scandal happens. I am still a fan if we never win a Stanley Cup (knock on wood). I’d love to talk to you about the team, even if you’re a fan of another team (except the Bruins, no way). I’d love to talk about hockey overall, and how amazing it is. I’d love to go to a game wearing separate jerseys, and enjoy every minute of being enemies for the night. But no, I will not answer a stupid question about still being a fan if we lose. I will give you a ‘really?’ kind of annoyed look, and casually make you feel like an idiot. Because I know you have no idea what it means to have loyalty. And I know you probably couldn’t logically tell me why a player is traded. Or why the coach is changing things up or playing one player more than the other. Or why trading the best playing on the team who is currently under performing won’t solve anything. I know you’ll give me an opinion like ‘they should have traded Weise for Ovechkin’, and you won’t realize what an idiot you sound like.
So the next time you see me, or something like me, wearing a piece of Canucks ‘flare’ on a post game day when we lost horribly. Just keep your mouth shut and move on. Because the answer is yes, we’re still fans and we’re always going to be fans, no matter what.