It's come to my attention that I may or may not be one of the more senior posters on NM. I thought I would try to paint a picture of how things used to be back in the day, before ads on the boards, corporate boxes and Cassie Campbell.
Going to a Canucks game when I was a kid was all about the food. As you walked through the glass doors, the smell of popcorn filled your nostrils. Good old Parks Board popcorn. There must be a warehouse filled with this stuff, pushed into dumptrucks by front-end loaders, to be dropped off at every concession stand in town. Stuff would survive a nuclear attack. Depending on who I was with, it would be hot dogs and coke(Dad), or coke and those ice cream bars called Revels, or Revellos, maybe? My grandfather had a hell of a sweet tooth. No beer, of course, I can't even remember what year they started beer sales. When they did, you had to go downstairs to drink it. When I became of age, I probably missed more hockey than I watched.
The concourse of the old building was pure simplicity. No this level, that level, you walked in and found your section. Down the stairs for the red seats, up the stairs for the blues and greens. The greens weren't actually green, but a sub-division of the blue seats. Later on, the seatbacks of the first few rows of blues were upholstered, thus becoming red seats. This, along with the installation of skyboxes, welcomed in the age of Finding New Revenue Streams. Damn.
Of course, we had the games themselves. Those early teams rarely gave the fans much to cheer about. We took our joy from the little things, occasionally beating the Habs or the Bruins, or pounding the Seals or the Leafs. Seriously, they were crap back then. So were the Red Wings. Honest. Most people seemed to get their jollies booing players like Dennis Kearns, Ron Sedlbauer, or, for some reason, Tracy Pratt. For a few years in the late '70's, we had a share of seasons tickets. Being in my late teens, I was in nirvana. At least a game or two every week, when the 'Nucks were at home. Don't bother doing the math, Missy's already figured out my age. Cheeky.
So the game is done, it's time to walk back to the car. Again depending on who I was with, it was either run across Renfrew to what ever backyard parking lot my Dad chose, or walk with my grandfather almost back to Cassiar, in the back parking lot past the racetrack. To this day I don't know why he chose to park so far away. Maybe it was becauseby the time we got to the car, nearly everyone was gone. Don't know. I do know that the apple( or nut, your choice) doesn't fall far from the tree, though. I usually park at the London Drugs parking lot down a few blocks(10? 20?) on Hastings. Genetic thriftiness.
Plenty of memories at the Coliseum. Harold Snepsts at the all-star game. Two Memorial Cups. '82 and '94 playoff runs, plus other playoff games. Seeing one of Bobby Orr's last games. The older lady who used to sit beside us take a puck in the face. Bless her heart, she was back the next week. A parade of lesser talents, and some modest talents. Boudrias, Lever, Schmautz, Smyl, Gradin, Tiger, Linden, etc. Even players like Jocelyn Guevremont and Dave Lowry were heroes to me. Of course, as I got older, that feeling faded. Magic doesn't seem to hang around much as we get older, does it? The memory that stands out the most for me, however, is the last game I went with my grandfather. He was a big Igor Larionov fan, so I took him to see the Sharks when Iggy played there. Parked in the lot closest to the building ( and got shit for it). Took my grandfather by the hand to help him on the stairs, like he did for me when I was little. Ran down to the concession between periods to get our ice cream bars, just like he did.Good times.
Well, folks, that's a wrap. Just one fan's recollections of being a Canuck fan as a kid. Time to put the wayback machine under the tarp until the next time...if you'll have me. Ha, course you'll have me. I got seniority, fuckers!