Hope and loyalty
Game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals just ended. The Vancouver Canucks just lost, 4-0, to the Boston Bruins. Vancouver crowds are rioting – like the last time the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup in the mid-1990s.
I happened to be in Vancouver Friday night when the Canucks won game five of the play-offs. There’s was honking and celebrating until late. Now this.
I understand that people are upset. I get that people were hoping for a better outcome. And perhaps it’s premature to say this, but: it’s just a game! Next year, the Canucks will have another shot at winning the cup – they know what it takes, and they’ve got a good team.
A year and a half ago, I knew a number of people who went to Vancouver (about a four-hour drive from Kelowna, or about an hour by plane) for the Winter Olympics. They described the tone of the city as “electric.” During the Olympics, and in the lead-up, there was a campaign to “Own The Podium” where Canada was going to kick in as much cash to make sure there’d be as many Canadian medalists in the different events as possible. And, it was a success in that regard! Canada came out with the most medals of any single country at the 2010 Olympics.
There was some hope that the Canucks’ run at the Stanley Cup would revive some of that excitement (and splurging). And the finals did… until tonight.
I’ve wondered about peoples’ sense of loyalty. I have relatives in Illinois. They’re Chicago Cubs fans. Maybe it’s the difference between Canadian and American, or westerner and mid-westerner, or baseball and hockey – but it seems to me that there’s still excitement about getting together and enjoying the game, regardless of the outcome, in Chicago, and that doesn’t exist in Vancouver.
And again: it’s just a game! Only a few months ago, there were riots in Egypt over the political system people had had to endure for years. They were under a regime that oppressed, and their freedoms were diminished. They risked incarceration and death to see change that would be lasting.
When Canada had it’s federal election in early-May, not only did we have a low voter turn-out (barely over 60%), I knew many people who did not even pay attention to the results of the election. …likely, more people tuned in to tonight’s Vancouver-Boston game! Yet it’s the outcome of the May 2nd election that we’ll all be living with for at least four years (more if policies are put in place that last beyond the four-year mandate).
It seems to me that we could use an adjustment of priorities in our culture. Instead of paying $7000 for a ticket to be right behind the plexiglass at game seven of the Stanley Cup, go help some people in need. Instead of caring little for our democracy and electoral system, look into party platforms and find out what agendas the different groups plan to pursue on our behalf. Instead of scoffing at those who choose to engage in a church/mosque/synagogue community, go attend for a while and learn about culture and life!
I wish the Canucks had won, tonight. But I hoped for more – either way – from my fellow British Columbians.