#EmbraceTheHate ; "Attaboy Mike Gillis" Edition

To tell the truth, I was going to let this series rest for a while. Let the subject age a little in its fine oaken casket of supposed hatred for the Canucks. Try to turn the metaphorical cheek as the Leafs come to town.

Some of us Canuck fans did duly note the various "Why the Canucks Are Not Canada's Team" articles from some of the Eastern puck media in the rounds leading up to the Finals last year. Most of us noted that, and then went back to reading the Botchfords and McIntyres ( x2) from our local media.

Those guys might have felt a bit put upon in the press box for all the barbs and missives that followed, from the way Burrows Nibble was blown up to Shakespearean level, to a seemingly "not that bad" comment from Roberto Luongo having a life span far longer than anything else.

But there is no way that we can not do an #EmbraceTheHate when the man at the top, the Big Canuck Kahuna himself, @GMMikeGillis just flat out takes out the hockey glove and slaps that same media across the metaphorical face. Read the Cam Cole article, nod knowingly or gasp at those "whiners" just going off again, and we'll see you on the other side.

It goes without saying that the idiocy of these perpetrators is unquestioned. I would add that there are idiots everywhere, lots of large urban areas have had riots both for winning and losing championships in any one of the Big Four sports.

It is probably more a reflection on our society and our problems. Add in the difference in how some children experience growing up, with two parents working. A generational difference in discipline, the dubiousness of the "how to raise your children" books that abound,from everyone from Dr Spock to Sarah Palin to "help" but really don't. The TV as babysitter. Latchkey kids. Its not a simple question, nor does it have simple answers.

Certainly it is not something that should be attached to all Canuck fans, the team, or even the city, any more than it should in any city. This is not anything that is shockingly new, or anything. But it will most certainly be thought of in terms more in line with Milan Lucic 's girlfriend on the matter. She should know that those are not fans, and that we all agree with her on the broad strokes. That most of us totally agree with everything but the shots at the team, of course!

But this is more about Big Daddy Canuck and his quotes today from the newspaper article in today's Sun. That he espoused what some of us around here had said back in June was surprising, welcomed, and even a little shocking. Mike Gillis is nothing but a thoughtful man. Make no mistake, Mr Gillis measured his words for the greatest effect, you don't say this...

"Our biggest issue last year with team perception occurred when Canadian media from other cities showed up here for the playoffs and wanted to accuse us of all sorts of nefarious things because their own [crap] teams weren’t in the playoffs," he said.

"They created a huge storm of negativity around our team ... [that] started by saying we could never be Canada’s Team because the exalted Toronto Maple Leafs owned that perch. It got to the point where I was getting calls about it from radio shows in the U.S."

...on the weekend all those same people you are talking about if you do not want the point to get maximum effect. ( pretty sure the {crap} emphasis is Cam's own. )

Now, of course that will also play into that same narrative that annoyed us last summer. The Damien Cox's of the world are pretty predictable in how they might digest the above nuggets. Hell, Mark Spector has surprised us a bit from time to time, and I am almost certain he will say something on Twitter at least. They just can't help themselves.

We can though. The same story speaks of schoolchildren already cleaning up. From the response on Twitter yesterday, I have no doubt they had plenty of help. Mike Gillis was right on there too, talking of the fact "some stupid people did some stupid stuff. Its embarrassing as a citizen of Vancouver." That is more the people that cheer this team, not these idiots.

It is embarrassing. It speaks nothing of a team that does things like Roberto Luongo and that young goaltender with the brain surgery. You watch the video, and he is not playing for the cameras. They honestly enjoy that stuff. It is who they are. The Twins and their fantastic generosity, Canucks Place, a fundraising charity arm and community work ethos that is sincere and very appreciated by Canuck fans. Those are the people we cheer for, as much as the variety of multicoloured jerseys throughout the years.

The ones that are Canuck fans? The folks that clean up after riots, or got beaten up that night in mid June. I woke up at 10 that morning, and by the time I got down there an hour later it was almost all done. An overflow of people came out. As the sentencing meanders along as these folks get through the justice system, there will be plenty of time to hear about the types of people that did what they did.

The former are the folks that get to say "We Are All Canucks" and mean it. Not some punk kid or spoilt brat teen that thinks he is being "cool". But to treat it as anything more than the embarrassment it was is not positive or helpful. Connecting this to the team and players that do so much, and bring so much entertainment just seems wrong to me. But there is Canuck Hate, so what do you do?

Just enjoy it. When that Leaf fan in the next seat in the Sittler jersey tells you how horrible Alex Burrows is, because he "saw it on HNIC, and Ron MacLean said so. He BIT someone!" , just remind him of the rest of the story. How the guy was a 23 year old in Greensville playing for the Growlll, thinking about going back to school and being a teacher to earn more than the $425.00 a week, got a break as a tryout with the Manitoba Moose.

How he answered the challenge of his coach after his first year by coming back as a Terror Twin, and then the best linemate the Sedin Twins have ever had. He did all of that by sheer force of will and hard work. When people that know were telling him that being a World Ball Hockey Champ in 2003 and 2005 would be "it" for him.

Listen to this interview today, and tell me you don't find yourself agreeing with B'Mac on how "there's a book in there", or how real and sincere is his love of the game and desire to perform in the best league in the world. The guy puts up numbers and a level of play that is easily as good as some we saw at the All Star Game this year, and the perception of him ( perhaps rightly...agitation is just part of his game, and a by product of going so hard all the time ) is this horribly dirty player ( though he has never been suspended, and only came close once with the JP Dumont hit that still draws him boos in Nashville ) player that is somehow suspect.

Don't kid yourself. The various media articles and such from a variety of markets not servicing Vancouver have rightly or wrongly painted him as something that he is not. Or dealt with what he is in an overwrought fashion. Sometimes that shit is hard to shake.

I know I sometimes feel that some media folks take some liberties with the team I care about. In the end though, that is their opinion. If Canadian fans that know and love hockey still want to hate the Canucks and their fans after watching that run, and that hate is sincere, so be it. It was entertaining as hell out here on the Left Coast, the end result aside.

I'd like to think the team and the way they play garnered a few more fans along the way. Hell, the Air Canada Centre was half Blue and Green the last time the Canucks visited. You see a growing number of them around the league when the team is on the road. They must be doing something right.

Mike Gillis just said what a lot of Canuck fans were thinking, or have thought at some point. It will be interesting to see the response ( or lack of it...this could be their only Canadian team in the playoffs again! ) on the panel with luminaries like Mike Milbury and Glenn Healy address the comments.

Maybe that was what Mike was going for. Make them really own it or just back off. Either can work. Us against the world!


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