Joy loves a crowd
Walking around downtown on Saturday screaming and high-fiving approximately 137 strangers is a great way to 1. take in the joy of an entire city over the shared dream of the Stanley Cup and 2. catch a cold. I believe I have successfully done both. And since last night’s game was a soul crushing disaster, I will not mention it further and will instead re-live previous joys (FYI – it was Game 3 of a best of 7 series, we’re still leading).
This city is gripped with the most serious case of Canucks-fever since 1994 – the last time that we were in the Stanley Cup Final. I was a fan then too, though unfortunately… well that didn’t end well. After we lost, the city rioted and caused an end to all public gatherings for the next 16 years. During this time the cops would ask you to move along already if more than two people were within twenty feet of each other. And you better be ready with a good explanation if you laughed out loud.
Not surprisingly, we soon got tagged as the No Fun City.
The drought finally ended with the 2010 Olympics, which frankly I think surprised everyone. For the years leading up to it, you would have thought the Olympics were an international competition for elite kitten torturers by the way
this city a few loud voices spoke about them: expensive, elitist, corporate, disrespectful to the First Nations, pointless, ‘stealing from our children’ and on and on.
The negative voices dominated the discourse for so long that I think everyone was caught by surprise when the Olympics finally arrived and all you could hear anywhere were the exuberant crowds. This normally cool, calm and collected city showed a side of itself that honestly no one knew it had. From morning until night, the streets were filled with flags, wide smiles, and infectious joy.
It was a two-week long street party of such honest-to-goodness happiness that my skeptical self wouldn’t believe it if I hadn’t seen it myself. Each day we would rush home from work, put on our comfiest walking shoes, and just wander the streets all evening to take it in. Eventually, even the complainers couldn’t complain with much conviction anymore; they could see the spirit in the city had become overwhelming and undeniable.
And when we won the gold medal in hockey? Yeah we pretty much collectively lost our shit. It was indescribable.
I want that again. I want it bad. We have been
waiting patiently practically begging for our Stanley Cup for too long now. It’s our time. And I just really want to scream in pure joy with a few hundred thousand people again. Something really powerful about that.