3 Reasons why GucciCowgirl is an irrevocably committed Vancouver Canucks fan.

(Disclaimer: I know with absolute certainty, that due to the nature of this club and it's fans, some of these reasons will already have been covered by other posters. Just in case you're wondering, I do know that. That being said, I do, however, hope to bring something new to the table. Let me know if I #fail. I may not be a Leafs fan, but I still know how to handle rejection.)

1) Solidarity among Vancouverites

The city that never quits - Vancouver. Day and night, this town is loud, opinionated, and passionate. There is no better place to have such a strong organization as the Vancouver Canucks'; the mountains, the ocean, the rain and the drizzle make as perfect a backdrop as a hockey city could ever want. I have lived in low-market cities (Phoenix, AZ) where tickets were $18 a seat and the stands were never more than 1/3 full. Even if you were to pick up the entire Organization and relocate it into the heart of Phoenix, there would never be the passion and hype that is felt here in Vancouver. This city is such a mosaic of ethnicities, cultures, religions, political affiliations, and social classes that to have found one common thread to bind us all together is incredible. On any given day

if you walk around a mall or even just a few blocks of sidewalk in any town or municipality from Victoria to Fort Nelson, and from White Rock to Cranbrook, you can always spot at least several people sporting Canucks' hats, jerseys, bumper stickers or car flags. It's become the one common bond of British Columbians; the lowest common denominator that bridges the cultural divide present between the nearly 4.5 million people in the province.

Have you ever been in a situation where you're about to get angry or frustrated at a person for accidentally cutting you off in traffic, bumping into you on the sidewalk, (or anything else capable of sending you into a fit,)when you notice they have a Canucks' hat or sweater on, and all your frustrations disappear? It happens to me often (I am a bit of a road rager) and I just can't help but recognize the offending person as an ally, instead of just an inconsiderate moron intent on ruining my day. The mere presence of a Canucks' logo has an instant impact on my perception of any situation. It's not often that a mere logo can have such a profound effect on a person's psyche.

2) The Trevor Linden Effect

What's to be said about a man who has been Vancouver's most beloved hockey player for nearly two decades? If a person were to describe the ideal NHL captain, Trevor Linden would be him. His humility, heart, passion, and drive are the qualities that elevated him to rockstar-status in this city. Linden is the most influential player in Canucks' history, and will always be revered by the fans who were fortunate enough to have watched him play his heart out for this city. If Roberto Luongo is the most polarizing player we have ever had, then Linden is the exact opposite. His effect on fans across the province is undeniable; you would be very hard pressed to find a Canucks' fan who considers him any less than Canucks' royalty. Truly classy players are few and far between, but Linden is one of them. He has managed to capture the heart and soul of the city in a way no other Canuck ever has, all the while remaining humble but clearly honoured by the status bestowed upon him.

3) The Fans

Vancouver fans are known around the League as big pains in the ass. We are obnoxious, belligerent, overconfident, and often ridiculed for planning Stanley Cup parade routes months before the post-season begins. Granted, that can be considered foolish and definately doesn't help our image, but we are a tough bunch. What we have been through over the past 40 years has hardened us. We aren't very forgiving to the players we consider elite. We aren't easy on men like Luongo, the Sedins, Naslund, Ohlund, and others. We expect them to perfom to their highest potential every single night, and even if it were physically possible, it isn't always fair. We are hard on our team because we know what they can do.

On the flip side of this situation is our genuine compassion and concern for the members of the Canucks' family. When things happen that are out of the players' control, like injuries or illnesses, we are quick to show support and offer help. No one will ever forget the pre-game tribute to the late Luc Bourdon, his image projected onto the ice while Tom Cochrane crooned the heartwrenching lyrics of "Big League" to the nearly 20,000 people in attendance. Luc's unexpected death, though tragic, brought the fans and the team closer together. Every few months a new tribute video appears on YouTube, proving that fans are not quick to forget those players who have left impressions in their minds and souls. Linden's jersey retirement night showed the same kind of passion -there was not a single dry eye left in the house during both of these ceremonies. When Taylor Pyatt's fiancee was killed, similiar support was shown. You can tell how much these players mean to eachother, and how much in turn those players mean to their fans. It's something that is hard to find, and harder to create. Developing good chemistry between professional athletes and their fans is crucial - but trying to find a common bond between them can be difficult. In Vancouver fans pick their heroes, pick their battles, and can always be counted on to provide a strong opinion to any situation.

So there you have it. I don't have 5 reasons that I love the Canucks - I only need 3. To me, these 3 reasons encompass everything that interests me about this team, and these are the only 3 reasons that I pick this team over any other in the League. Every team has their history, their great players and their unique attributes. Every team has positive and negative aspects, incliding the Canucks. The reasons explained above are what set the Canucks apart from the other 29 teams, and are why I can barely stand to think about the possibility of a successful Cup run. If the day ever comes that we can watch our guys hoist the Cup over their heads, you can bet that once again, there won't be a dry eye in the house....

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