Cheering for the Sad-Sack Upstarts

The other night I was chatting with a friend of mine who’s been a long-term Canucks fan. He reminded me of how lucky recently-converted Canucks fans are.

If you became a fan of the Canucks in the 21st century, you’ve had an excellent run. The team has made the playoffs 8 out of 10 times (I’m projecting a playoff berth for this season), and been over .500 for every season.

Previous decades, however, haven’t been quite so excellent. The important line is the 0.5 one. When the blue line is above that one, it indicates that the team won more games than they lost (click to embiggen):

I often get grief from fans who want to know why I’m routinely skeptical about the team’s performance. This is why.

As you can see, excepting a brief bright period in the early nineties (culminating in the fabled 1993-94 playoff run), the Canucks have been historically lousy.

In fact, the team’s recent performance makes me a little uncomfortable. I’m accustomed to cheering for a sad-sack bunch of upstarts.

Liverpool and Blackpool

When I moved to Ireland, I rather randomly asked my coworkers which Premier League soccer team I should support. Someone recommended Liverpool, which, at the time, was one of the top performers in English football. I took their advice, but always felt a little uncomfortable cheering for the high-flying Reds.

In fact, lately I’ve been paying more attention to another ‘Pool–Blackpool. They are, in fact, a group of sad-sack upstarts just promoted to the Premier League and they’re playing quite well this season. Plus, their nickname is ‘The Tangerines’. For obvious reasons.

In any case, I do think this Canucks team is the best one we’ve ever watched. I’m optimistic that they’ll go deep into the playoffs. And that’s saying something.


  1. Wow there can’t be many Blackpool AND Canucks fans out there!

    I made the reverse journey from my roots near the Seaside 6 years ago to Vancouver and am a pretty happy Canucks and Pool fan, especially with the way both teams have played in that time 🙂

  2. Having watch the Canucks for quite some time myself, I agree this team happens to be one of the best I’ve seen on the ice, but considering the success previous groups have had in the regular season not equate to post-season success, I’m actually less confident this year.

    But who the heck am I kidding? My having less confidence simply means I’m confused whether the parade will head down Robson or Georgia.

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