It’s nearing the end of the regular Canucks season, which means that the people of Vancouver are going to start cheering for the Canucks again. Yes, I said the word “again” because Vancouverites are known for jumping on the Canucks bandwagon as soon as the playoff season nears. There’s nothing wrong with the city coming together with a show of support for the team and to display some boisterous team spirit, so if you’re not familiar with the city’s sudden outburst of team pride around the end of April, here are some tips so that you too, can join in.
(Disclaimer: I am neither a Canucks diehard fan, nor a Canucks band wagoner. I’m merely a bemused observer.)
1. Show your true colours
Wearing a Canucks jersey, wearing a Canucks t-shirt under your business attire, and hanging a Canucks flag out your car window is probably the easiest way to show off your team pride without having anyone question your knowledge of the team’s stats or the game of hockey. It doesn’t matter if you wear your fan gear only on game days or if you choose to wear it every single day, you will always get the nod of approval from diehard Canuck fans and from fellow Canuck band wagoners. Everyone loves to feel like they’re a part of the team, so go ahead: rush on over to your nearest Canucks team store and buy as much merch as you can. If you want to go the extra mile, painting your face with your favorite Canucks’ number and dying your hair blue and green shows that you are the consummate fan; what’s more, the camera crew might even select you for a “fan cameo shot” for TV.
2. Believe you are not a bandwagoner
You, yes you, are not a bandwagoner. You have been a Canucks fan for years. So what if you don’t have time to watch there games or cheer them on during the season? You’re here on there side for the playoffs and that’s what counts. Now go tell someone this for personal satisfaction.
3. Pimp out your social media sites, Canucks style
It’s that time of year again; it’s time to change your Facebook cover photo and your Twitter banner to something Canucks related. Whether you choose to change your display picture on your various social networking sites (preferably one of an orca eating the opposing team’s mascot), or decide to post pictures of yourself in the requisite jersey every single Canucks game, in order to be show that you’ve attained true “fandom”, show your team spirit by going viral online. Take pictures at the game (of your seats, the arena, and of you and Fin), and if you don’t have tickets, head downtown before a game starts and take a picture with your fan gear in front of Rogers Arena. You’re bound to find some other band wagoners boisterously jumping around, so grab as many of them as you can for the picture because as you know, the more the merrier. And hey, all of this fan-based pre-game hoopla is our equivalent of NFL tailgate parties; while we don’t have barbecues attached to the back of our vehicles, we have something better: we can put our faces through the cut outs of Johnny Canuck and Fin the Orca!
4. Get yourself to the game (for the first time)
What’s better than watching the Canucks win the game on the big screen TV? Watching the Canucks win the game in person, of course! Having the opportunity to go to a Canucks playoff game is gold in Vancouver and even if you’re someone who has just jumped on the bandwagon, you know the value of the piece of paper that lets you into Rogers Arena on game night. The seats in Rogers Arena are sacred ground for the real fans, so once you’ve grabbed your concession snacks and have taken multiple pictures for your various social media sites (a few of you in your seat, one of your proximity to the ice, a couple of your view of the players, and some of you with the ice as your background), take your fan gear and congregate in the outside concourse to watch the game broadcast from the TVs with the other band wagoners. You would think that since you’ve been granted the opportunity to attend the game in person that you would make the most of it, but it’s been observed that a surprisingly large majority of Canuck game attendees spend the duration of each period congregating by the Canuck fan stores, concession stands, and the washrooms. To be honest, by staying in “the neutral zone” and out of the diehard fans’ way while the action is happening, you’re doing everyone a big favor!
5. Watch the game with a crowd
Hockey is a team sport, so that means that you shouldn’t be watching it alone. The whole reason why you’re jumping on the Canucks bandwagon is because you don’t want to be left out, so make sure that you’re not cheering alone. The Vancouver bar and restaurant scene is abuzz at playoffs, so make use of your Canucks merchandise and join in on the festivities. Being in a crowded bar or restaurant is the perfect environment for a band wagoner to be in because with the distraction of large amounts of people everywhere, food, drinks, and music, the game is a secondary thought and a large portion of the people who are there aren’t even paying attention to the game unless the goal’s replay is being played. It’s the ideal environment for any band wagoner because no one will judge you for paying more attention to your Instagram feed than to the game.
6. Do the necessary homework
It doesn’t matter if you know very little about the team stats or hockey in general; read up all of the Canucks’ stats, listen to Canucks talk shows, and catch up on all the game highlights on the sports channels. Once you’ve been filled in on which Canucks goalie is starting and who on the team is injured, feel free to join in on the yaying or naying the various players and the coach. We’re lucky that Luongo’s name sounds the same when it’s being cheered or booed because it prevents a lot of awkwardness (for those of you who haven’t noticed, “Luuuuuu” and “Boooooo” sound very similar).
7. Turn your Twitter/Facebook into Sports Centre after each loss
The Canucks lost and you know exactly why, so feel free to share with all your followers and friends. If lucky, the advice will catch Mike Gillis’s attention who will then forward it to AV. Pin-point exactly who messed up and how, if possible – recommend if they should be benched next game. People only tune into extreme views so voice your opinion as loud as possible.
8. Party on Scott Road & 72nd after each win
If you live in Surrey or Delta, it is mandatory to show your Canucks pride on the corner of 72nd and Scott Road following each win. The more friends you take with you tends to show how strong your commitment is to the team, so the more the merrier.
So there you have it; here’s your guide to show you how you can be a part of the Canucks bandwagon. In all seriousness, let’s celebrate as a city the fact that the Canucks made it into the playoffs, and that we’re back on the road to winning that elusive Stanley Cup. Go Canucks, go!
Written by: Kels Tham & Sean Bassi