The anticipation is gone. The 17 year wait for a Canucks - Sharks playoff matchup has come to an apex and Game 1 is gone. All the hypothesizing and fantasizing is no longer necessary. The "what-if?" scenarios I drew up with my Sharks fan friends have become "what now" scenarios. My Being in downtown San Jose for game 1 was an amazing experience, despite the fact that I've been downtown for plenty of Sharks games. It was the first time I've been downtown representing and cheering for the opposing team in the playoffs.
Its been 17 years since I swore allegiance to the Canucks. I've waited almost 2 decades for my local team, the San Jose Sharks, to meet my adopted team, the Vancouver Canucks, in the playoffs. In that time span I've moved 4 times, watched close to 750 games involving the Sharks and/or the Canucks, and been disappointed in their postseason performances more than I'd like to remember. Tonight, all of that came to its natural conclusion.
It was a heck of an experience. I lucked into having a Canadian couple sit next to me. Versus bothered to show the anthems, so I took advantage of the situation, stood up, and sang the U.S. National Anthem. In related news, why did Richard Loney blow through the U.S. Anthem like he was getting docked pay for every second it went over 30 seconds? When it came time to do the Canadian National Anthem, I started singing it equally as softly as I did the U.S. anthem. The husband of the Canadian couple quickly joined in and soon enough we were belting it out loud in the middle of the bar. We got mild applause at the end. I cannot recommend the Britannia Arms Downtown San Jose enough.
One more reason for me to love the Britannia Arms... once the Canucks won the game, a pair of Sharks fans walked up to where I was sitting and started talking trash. I didn't reciprocate with the talk, simply kept repeating that it was a good game and that Wednesday would be interesting. Not even 2 minutes later, security was ushering THEM out the door and saying they would take care of me.
If tonight was any indication, this series is going to be incredibly memorable for me. I'm almost disappointed it has to end at some point.