* = Lingo alert
Cheering and keeping up with your favorite sports team(s) while away on vacation is a neat experience. Last April, Pie Pie Lo* & I made a sojourn – with Little Drumstick* & family – toDisneylandduring the first round playoff series between the Canucks and the L.A. Kings. We couldn’t fit a game at theStaplesCenterinto our schedule but was quite happy the Canucks prevailed before we headed home. Interestingly, the decision was made to travel once again – this time toHong Kong– before the start of this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs. With a +15-hour time difference, watching Canuck games live was not an option as there were things to do in the morning.
Thank goodness for technology – iPhone and Twitter in particular – as Pie Pie Lo and I kept up with all the joy back home after Vancouver took a 3-0 series lead against Chicago. It also became a topic of conversation when I met up with friends – who used to live inVancouver- as they were all excited about the prospects of a post season break thru. I wore my Kesler tee inHong Kongwith pride whenever the team played thus I didn’t feel as out of touch as I first thought. Like many, I honestly expected the series to be over long before the end of our vacation.
Of course, we now know what happened in games 4 and 5. While waiting to board our flight home, I could only think of two things: 1, It’s going to be hard switching back into work mode after a wonderful vacation, and 2, I actually get to watch game 6 upon my return. The flight touched down shortly after12pmand by the time Pie Pie Lo and I got out of YVR, our taxi had the Canucks “pre pre-game show” on the radio. It was fascinating to hear how ecstasy has turned into angst in the span of six days.
Game 6 was a very good game to watch but I found it hard to stay awake as jet lag was setting in. Funny enough, the Canucks scored every time I doused off. How I wished I had slept during overtime after the Blackhawks potted the winning goal to force a game 7. At that point, the frustration, negativity and self loathing Canuck fans have come to expect all surfaced: Our boys are on the verge of blowing a 3-0 series lead – after the greatest regular season (EVER) in team history, no less – against their playoff nemesis.
Inconceivable at first.
Yet a distinct possibility.
An unbearable thought, for sure.
My first day back at work was the day of game 7 and the tension in the city was palpable. You can hear it from the callers of sports-talk radio and you can see it on the faces of pedestrians – a lot of them in Canuck attire – walking the streets. Expectations of my work colleagues all varied but one thing was certain: No one has any idea how the game will turn out. It’s a massive contest that will either electrify or ripe the heart out of this town.
As much as I tried to relax and simply enjoy the thrills of a game 7, it was easier said than done. It’s foolish, I know, to think certain “gestures” have an effect on the outcome yet I found myself sitting a certain way and laying out the remote controls towards a certain direction, like I always do when my favorite teams play important games. As the night went on – with the Canucks clinging onto their slim 1-0 lead – I was practically frozen on my couch, fearing that any sudden movement would trigger something negative.
Despite the jet lag I was glued to the telly* as this game was eerily similar to the Olympic gold medal final in terms of intensity and drama. So when Alex Burrows scored the winner, I was finally able to exhale with a loud “YEAH” and a fist pump/wave. It felt great knowing: 1, The Canucks exorcised their playoff demons; 2, It was a much needed wake up call for the team; 3, The quest for 16 wins is alive & well and 4, No riot on Robson street.
But the best part?
I was so exhausted emotionally and physically that I slept through the night.
Isn’t that what we live for? A good night sleep after a Canuck victory?
Item du jour
During my recent trip to Hong Kong I found this street in Wan Chai. Sadly there’s no 14 Burrows Street. After that OT winner, maybe the city should name a street after him.