My first experience with Canadians was in 1995 -- a family of Torontonians moved across the street from my childhood home. They were lovely -- humble, agreeable and educated. They even liked good music. It seemed every Canadian stereotype existed all of 300 feet northwest of my American existence. This included their love of hockey -- in their case, the Maple Leafs.
I was a pretty big hockey fan growing up, attending many Blackhawks games, -- the most memorable being the last at the old Chicago Stadium, coincidently against Toronto (I will always remember J.R. throwing his stick into the stands) -- but after the Hawks moved to the new United Center, it just didn't seem as important for some reason.
Plus, now, I had a gaggle of Leafs fans across a small moat of narrow pavement to remind me of my team's failures. It just seemed better I stay out of it. I watched from afar as my Canadian neighbors would be affected by the Leafs successes and failures. It seemed -- at least to an American bystander, unfamiliar what hockey truly meant to Canadians -- that they took each win or loss with existential consequence. Moods would clearly be affected. Questioning of values soon followed.
Yet, their Canadian charm and homely persona wouldn't let them take it -- at least publicly -- to a place of rage. It was beautiful to watch. All the self-loathing and passion of American fans, without the healthy release of anger. It was a wonderful show.
I haven't been around many Canadians in a sports setting since they moved. Yesterday, however, I was reminded of the Canadian way, as around 100,000 Canucks fans took to the streets of Vancouver to celebrate their Game 5 victory over the Boston Bruins -- pushing the series to 3-2 in Vancouver's favor.
Look at 'em. Even in celebrations, so respectful. A father and daughter enjoying the win with the townspeople. A celebration of harmony across multiple cultural and racial divides. A unity amongst Canadian comrades.
It's also kind of lame.
They took to the streets like they had won *something*. My Roberto Luongo and Canucks hate aside; -- OK, not aside at all -- Vancouverites, you still need another "W". You look somewhat pathetic, to be honest. If you had, say, a netminder that, say, didn't blow a 3-0 lead against, say, my Blackhawks, forcing what should have been an unnecessary Game 7, OR, say, a goaltender -- the same one, in fact -- that, say, hadn't given up 12 goals in the two previous games, then maybe, *maybe* this is allowable.
But, Vancouver, you don't. So, lets put it on hold until you do something resembling this: