To Boo or Not to Boo, That is the Question

kesler

(Picture courtesy of @sportsnetirf )

Every once in a while, a question comes along that the statistical side of Canucks Army cannot answer. A question that no matter how deep you dive into the numbers, an answer will not be forthcoming. A situation where Canucks Army has to call upon their emotional leader, yours truly (I like to hand out arbitrary titles to myself), to figure out a solution. 

That question, of course, is should Canucks fans boo Ryan Kesler in his return game to Rogers Arena on Thursday?

In the famous words of my buddy Thomas Drance, read more past the jump!

Boo this man. Boo him.

Seriously. It’s that easy. Boo the hell out of him. Let him hear it every time he touches the puck. Let him hear it every time he taps his stick for a pass. Let him hear it every time he falls down when a stiff breeze knocks him over and he snaps his head back like a well placed sniper took him out.

It’s hockey. Hockey is a sport. Sports are fun and meant to be stupid. Seriously, we are yelling and cheering men for putting a rubber object into a net. Sports should never be confused with a soapbox for moral high grounds. If people want to boo, go for it.

I have seen people debating this topic left and right on twitter, with some people on the pro boo side, some on the anti-boo side, and some on the passive aggressive, “don’t say anything to him” silent treatment side. That last one is a bit weird because it feels like we’re treating Ryan like an ex (Should we leave boxes of his old jerseys scattered on the lawn outside Rogers Arena? Take pictures of him on the Canucks and cut his head out of them?).

That being said, should you want to cheer the man on for all of his years of dedication to the city, for that Nashville series, for the fact you spent $1000 dollars on Ryan Kesler jerseys over the years, then go for that too.

The point is, at least there will be some emotion in the game. At the end of the day, that is what sports should always be about. Fans being invested in the game emotionally. People love a good sub plot to any game, and Kesler playing against his former team is certainly a big one.

And let’s not lie to ourselves. Kesler lives for this shit. He loves it. If he could, he would bathe in it and drink it afterwards. He loves loves LOVES being a focal point of attention in a game like this. If he had a sexual fetish, it would be “thousands of people booing me while I perform.”

This isn’t the SImpsons. He isn’t Darryl Strawberry. He won’t cry if we boo him.

straw

In fact, the only reason I can think of to not boo him is because it might actually fire him up for the game. Kesler, whether you like him or not, can still come up big in important games and if people from his old city start booing him, he will most likely take great pleasure in cramming a win down their throats.

Sometimes people react really strongly to the idea of booing. They get wrapped up in the idea if it is ok to boo a pro athlete. They debate whether it is the “right thing to do”. The thing for me is people will remember “that crazy game where Kesler got booed every time he touched the puck” versus “that game where we silently watched Martin Hanzal murder our team in front of us, one player at a time.”

As long as you aren’t screaming oddly overly aggressive personal things at Kesler (“I HATE YOUR FAMILY”), and just keep it to on ice things (“I HATE YOUR DIVING”), boo away.

Sports are about emotions and creating memories. Cheer on Kesler. Boo Kesler. Do what you like. You might as well have some fun with it.

  • DCR

    I respect what Kesler did for the Canucks, but now he’s playing for the only team I want to see lose to the Oilers every single game. It’s not about him, I really don’t like the Ducks.

  • DCR

    I hope the Canucks have a nice tribute for him at the start of the game. He was a warrior for us. An asset for any team.

    No, I didn’t like his demand to go to the Ducks. Benning had 2 options – deal him to the Ducks or keep him. Benning did well considering the circumstances. Kesler was also given that NTC by an idiot GM so you can’t hate Kes too much for making that demand (although I did).

    So, no, not going to boo him…unless he does some douchey stuff during the game then all bets are OFF!

  • DCR

    Yes! Boo him, insult him, (call him chicken legs) I never liked his ego or his diving or his slapping his stick on the ice screaming me, me. BUT, how true, don’t get him mad. He may pull a Nashville game and really piss me off.

  • DCR

    Kesler signed a below market extension and gave up five UFA years under the pretense that the Canucks were a contender.

    I applaud him for using his get out of jail free card.

    And so should you…

  • I like some of Kesler’s game (2way play, selke-winner, faceoff specialist, that legendary Nashville series).
    I don’t like some of Kesler’s game (diving, head snapping, tumbleweed).
    I respect that Kesler resigned for 2010 with a cap-friendly hit/term that was win-win.
    I don’t respect Kesler (or any player) for not holding up his side of the contract by demanding to be trade because his team isn’t expected to win the Stanley Cup. If a team continues to be bound to the terms of a contract which includes a NTC, how does a player suddenly become eligible to “demand” a team switch? And then limit the demand to 2 teams. This means that Benning was prevented from trading Kesler to over 93% of NHL teams. All this wasn’t classy and I would certainly boo him.

    • DCR

      Kesler is holding up his side of the contract.

      Just as management was upholding their end of the contract when they asked Garrison to waive his NTC.

      Players are well within their rights to request a trade just as management is within their rights to trade players under contract.

      Professional athletes are not cattle…

      • DCR

        Last time I checked, cattle don’t sign million dollar contract agreements.

        Not all “Professional athletes” who wish to win a championship have their agent call the GM daily to force a trade.

        I agree with your statement of “Players are well within their rights to request a trade just as management is within their rights to trade players under contract.” as the key word is “request” and not “demand”.

        Agree to disagree?