It’s another instalment of my regular feature of venting and raging on stupid crap happening with the Canucks, their fans and other happenings around the NHL. Two things about this feature… 1) It will appear (hopefully) every week, and 2) It is blatantly ripped off from a stand-up bit from comedian Craig Anton. On either point, I make no apologies. Enjoy. Or don’t.
This week, I’m bored and rant about the extracurriculars of the good ole’ hockey game.
You know what I hate?! The “cooler than cool” late crowd at Canucks games. It’s a bad enough look that Canucks games don’t sell out (and for good reason), but you would hope and think that those fans who have tickets and want to go to games would show up to watch the actual start of the game. I know the team has become largely unwatchable, at least in my mind, but there are still loads of fans who like watching the team, who defend the team, who buy tickets to go to games. If this is you, why can’t you be there for 7:00? It’s not as if the start time is in constant flux. You know when game time is. It says it right on your ticket! This trend has developed over the past few years has been getting worse and worse. Is the Vancouver bar scene so amazing that you just can’t tear yourself away? Let’s be real; it’s not like a pint at Shark Club is much cheaper than it is at Rogers Arena. You aren’t really saving money. Everywhere in downtown is $9 beer night. When I had tickets (my friend and I had an 11-game pack), we made damn sure that we were there on time for the opening puck drop. Because it was an event for us to go. Of course, that was when the team was fun to watch.
You know what I hate?! Anthems at team or club sporting events. Even though I hate when people can’t get their asses in their seats for the start of Canucks game, I still get myself there on time for the anthems. Really, I am getting there for the onset of the game, which just happens to be preceded by national anthems, unfortunately. Anthems before club games serve absolutely no purpose. These are not two countries competing. In any one NHL game, you have approximately ten different nationalities represented in the combined rosters. It is a weird phenomenon of North American live sports to have to play the anthems. This doesn’t happen before European or Asian soccer matches (or South American, that I know of). And even before IIHF games, they don’t play or sing anthems. They only play the anthem of the winning team’s country… because they are representing their country. And let’s face facts here: most anthems singers are terrible. Do you really enjoy listening to someone warble their way through O Canada, or have some half-celebrities demean themselves through some cringeworthy rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner? No, you don’t.
You know what I hate?! An 82-game regular season. Sitting down watching the games last night was so great to experience the excitement and tension in playoff hockey once again. Granted, we know Canucks games have been meaningless since game 5 of this season, but we had to get from October to April before the games really mattered. The NHL season just has too many games. It’s developing fan fatigue. Games aren’t relevant or interesting, as is evidenced by Canucks fans showing up 20 minutes late to every game (if they show up at all!). A random game 68 against the Arizona Coyotes for the third time is just excruciating. I would love it if the NHL went down to 60-65 games. Starting in November, ending in March. I think one of the reasons why the NFL is so successful is that every game really matters, and therefore becomes an event. Why is it that the real, true sellouts at Rogers Arena are when the Leafs and Habs come? Or when Crosby or Ovechkin play? Because it only happens once per season, so it’s special.