The Image of a Fan, Through the Eyes of One

Nucks IceMan@nucksiceman@twitter.comCorrespondent INovember 28, 2009

VANCOUVER, CANADA - JANUARY 5:  Vancouver Canucks fans show their support during the NHL game against the Edmonton Oilers on January 5, 2007 at General Motors Place in Vancouver, Canada. Vancouver defeated Edmonton 3-2.  (Photo by: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images)
Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images

Written by: Larry “The Nucks IceMan” Johnson

So what is it about a fan that brings him or her together, on a united front, with a common purpose?

What does it really look like and how does it feel?

There seems to be no age qualifier, as you will see from infants to great grandparents, which transcends generations.

They seem to speak in a tongue that is recognized by all in attendance, one that is known as “sports”.

They’re all knowledgeable, with some like an encyclopedia, with facts and figures that fly out of their mouths as fast as a computer.

They like to dress up the same and don garments that are similar, with their favourite jerseys and hats or better yet, paint their faces with a number of scenes and colours.

How come when they get together with complete strangers, they converse with them, like they’ve know them for years?

Before the end of the game they’re high-fiving and clinking glasses together like they’ve just found their lost members of their family or they’ve just won the lotto. By the way, what was that guy’s name again in case I run into him next time?

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How does all that energy in your favourite drinking establishment or home arena get so charged? Is it like lighting crackling on a still, dry summer night?

The teams have expressed it as a “buzz” in the crowd and for some unknown reason; it becomes a “special night”, one that you can refer to in a New York minute.

Even the team feels it and it’s been called “the extra player”, depending on which sport you’re watching.

This energy, that is so enormous, seems to be able to be transferred from the arena, from your home, in a pub, gathered together in a huge wave within the province or state and transferred down a line, as an electric bolt, that charges the team, too greater heights.

It can happen at any time. At the beginning, middle, or end of the season and most definitely all through the playoffs.

The roar from the conversations going on is about a constant 100 decibel reading and when the home team scores, it’s like you’re standing beside a jet at the airport waiting to take off, it’s that deafening.

There’s people jumping up and down, back slapping, hugging, pounding the bar, clapping and oh yes, “how about another round”!

The bigger the game, the more intense it gets.

The nervousness is very evident and in full bloom. There are people chewing on their swizzle stick, walking back and forth like they’re in the maternity ward, eyes fixated on the action, while some are covering their eyes. “I can’t watch” they say. Hey, isn’t that why we came?

For that short time you’re commonality is one. It’s like you’ve joined this march and everyone is in sync.  You sense, that with all this positive thought in one place, how can we lose?

Ah ha, but the other side can be downright dark. The collective feeling when the home team loses is like the air being sucked out of the whole place. There’s the cursing and wringing of hands, blank looks, some tears actually shed. The silence is eerie.

You’d swear you’re at a wake, and the world has come to an end.

Going home is a silent ride and the replay of the game in your mind never seems to turn off, but the reality is that game has come to an end.

So we deal with it and know that the sun is going to rise the next day and that you’ll be back, because when you put it into perspective, who didn’t enjoy themselves!

But the most important part...is that it felt so good to be a part of it all, and one big raucos family.

Until we meet again,

The fan.



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