“Hey there Mikey, nice flag you’ve got there!” I remarked to Big Logger Mike, our stalwart sentinel on the downtown spar pole.
The white Canucks flag with the older orca logo flapped in the breeze behind the big yellow logger who didn’t look entirely happy.
“Yeah, it’s okay,” he replied with a shrug.
H’mm, something wasn’t quite right with Big Mike which was certainly odd in the middle of a Stanley Cup run. There are few “bigger” Canuck fans than Logger Mike, so I guessed he was still moping following Monday’s 8-1 thrashing at the hands of the Big Bad Bruins.
“Don’t worry, about the ‘Nucks, they’re a great hockey team and they’ll bounce back tonight,” I said hopefully.
“Spare me the locker room pep talk will ya?” he growled back. “You don’t need to tell me about MY team.”
Ouch, a little sensitive, so I asked him why he was being such a mope.
“Well…,” he slowly started to explain, “I was kind of hoping they’d give me one of those new blue jerseys with the stick logo, but all I got was someone’s old, used flag!”
Oh, no, I thought, here comes the whining, so I tried to interject, “But this is about showing your team spirit. It’s like Christmas time when they dress you up in that nice Santa suit…”
My speech trailed off as he gave me the look of a sad dog.
“Still wanted one of those new jerseys. Even the Canuck-shuk on the Big Rock has a nice blue jersey.”
Ah-ha, now we were getting to the root of the problem: Jealously.
“Well, maybe the city can find a few bucks to buy you a new…” I started saying when I was cut off.
“A few bucks! City hall doesn’t have two extra dimes to rub together. They couldn’t even buy me a cup of coffee, never mind a hundred-dollar Canucks jersey,” he ranted.
“Come on Mike what’s the real problem?” I asked, as he let loose.
“It’s this patty-cake style of hockey they’re playing nowadays. Guys skate through centre ice admiring their passes and they go into the boards with their heads down and their backs turned. We were never taught to play the game like that!”
“But…” I tried to say.
“No buts, hockey ain’t the same. Back in the day, the rough-and-tumble was just the same as Friday night at the Quinnie. We could relate to the pokes, the jabs and the fights cause it took our minds off of what we did.
“And what was that?” I asked.
“We worked hard and a lot of guys I knew, good friends, died on the job. Outside their family and friends, no one one cared…but one little hit on the ice and people scream blue murder for these namby-pamby millionaires!”
I nodded politely said the only thing I could think of: “You’re right…Go Canucks go!”