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article imageOp-Ed: One year later and Vancouver Canuck fans still hold heads high

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 15, 2012 in Sports
Vancouver - It's one year since the Stanley Cup riots and though slagged in Vancouver we rebounded, cleaned up the streets and cheered the Canucks to another great season. The following is a reprise of a piece I wrote at the time, a rebuttal to attacks against us.
Vancouver Canuck players, the organization and fans, and the city itself, have been taking hits since the 4-0 loss to the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver riots. On Sunday June 19, 2011 there were yet more media bleatings, trashing a city that recently hosted one of the greatest Olympics the modern world has known.
Michael Enright on the Toronto-centric CBC ignored facts and displayed a penchant for hyperbole in a rant worthy of Charlie Sheen. And Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun began a bleat on a false premise: "And now, Vancouver, do you understand why the nation never endorsed or embraced the Canucks as Canada's Team?" he asked. "Canadians didn't like the team, didn't like the organization and they especially didn't like the fans."
Jones, simply put, is wrong and here are facts to prove it: CBC TV polled Canadians during the final and found they were overwhelmingly supportive of the Canucks. In Toronto 80 percent said they wanted the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup. More often Toronto doesn't like anything that isn't Toronto, which makes those numbers all the more impressive.
Canadians and the Vancouver Canucks
The last time the Oilers were in the Cup final they were arguably less liked by Canadians than the Canucks. Why? For hockey reasons - they were a dull team that got by on defense. The Canucks play with flair and are offensively gifted. Shut down by Tim Thomas in the final? Yeah, they were, but they had a record number of shots. After a mediocre series against Tampa, Thomas didn't win the Conn Smythe Trophy without reason.
Jones says Canadians don't like the Canucks "organization." How does he know? What could Mike Gillis have done to incur their dislike? Sign great players and treat them, his employees and fans with dignity? Support programs like Canuck Place for Kids that make the team one of the greatest contributors to their community in all of professional sport?
And hey, other cities don't like Canuck fans? It's par for the course for fans of one city to trash fans of another. And any idiot with Mom's charge card can get a team jersey and smash windows. Does that make him a fan? Henrik Sedin was right when he said true fans are the thousands who showed up the following morning to clean up. Truth is that it's likely the same percentage of jerks cheer for one Canadian team as for another and let's not forget that in Edmonton there were riots after the 2006 final, ditto for Montreal in '93.
Vancouver Canucks: Best Losers Ever
The Canucks were one win from the Cup and yet Enright and Jones call them losers. Since the Oilers last playoff game in 2006 the Canucks have played 59, winning 32. Jones further showed his ignorance of hockey by suggesting they'd now fire their coach. One game from the toughest trophy to win in pro sports and they're going to fire the coach? When did that last happen in any sport? Like never?
Jones also takes a shot at the Sedins, something rednecks like to do. They don't show up in the playoffs? Since the last Edmonton Oilers scored a playoff point Henrik has 12 goals and 38 assists for 50 postseason points; Daniel 20 goals, 29 assists for 49 points. And they're durable, taking hits, legal and dirty, and they keep getting back up, often to score another flashy goal. They were 2nd and 4th in playoff scoring despite the targets on their backs. That's showing up.
Media Takes Shot at Canucks, Vancouver
It's not hard to take shots at somebody who's down, like Johnny Boychuk did to Mason Raymond (breaking his back) and that's what Enright and Jones did. But like Raymond we will rise again, we already did at the clean-up. But that scenario didn't fit the negative agenda of Enright and Jones, They declined to note the poignant writings on the boarded up shop windows by outstanding Canuck fans of all ages and races; people, Vancouverites, with heart.
We don't have the support of the toxic Michael Enright and boring Terry Jones, but we'll manage here in Vancouver. And as for all you Canadians who don't like us, the next time you're thinking of visiting another Canadian city, instead of coming out to the West Coast go ahead and visit Terry Jones and Edmonton instead.
Yeah. I didn't think so.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
More about vancouver stanley cup riots, alex burrows, terry jones and edmonton oilers, the sedins, Vancouver canucks
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