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Delusion in Vancouver

Posted by Eric Wilbur, Boston.com Staff  June 13, 2011 08:54 AM

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Oh. It's a narrative.

Here are Vancouver Canucks public relations staff members Province sports staff writers Tony Gallagher and Jason Botchford talking absolute nonsense about the Bruins-Canucks Stanley Cup Final, which they equate to a soap opera written by Boston backers. At one point, Gallagher actually references the "mind-reading exhibition by some of these people claiming dives." Oh, it's gold.

It's one thing to have an alternate point of view. It's a whole other matter to be this delusional.

Botchford pens a piece today in the Province with the headline, "Most hated team? Who cares, so long as Canucks win Cup." Pom-poms for all. 

Unfortunately, the side show has enveloped the series. Instead of their moribund power play, the Canucks were, again, pressed to the wall Sunday for reaction to being "hated." 
"I know when I watch other sports, the No. 1 team, you never like them," Burrows said. "Because people like underdogs. That's just way it is. I'm the same way. That may be a reason people don't really like us." 
He may be on to something there.
With what, exactly, do they spike the British Columbia water?

It's not just Boston that has suddenly found a new team to hate as much as the Canucks' flopping sisters in the City of Saints. Most of Canada outside of Gastown is hoping for the Canucks to fail. And mind you, this is a hockey-crazed country that hasn't seen a Stanley Cup since 1993. Or had you not heard?

The bite. The dives. Aaron Rome's unapologetic stance on Nathan Horton. Roberto Luongo's dig (And it was a dig. Voice inflection tells you everything.) at Tim Thomas. If Botchford wants us to all focus on the Bruins' power play ineptitude instead of the "narrative," why exactly don't he and Gallagher break that down instead of spending the first three minutes above whining about the fact that we all think their team is a bunch of fraudulent brutes? Oh, I'm sorry, they deserve the Cup?

To steal a line from Charlie Pierce, "You are not the cosmos." 

Bostonians have been portrayed as knuckle-dragging criminals in Vancouver, and while many of the stories we're hearing about fan behavior may be true, I'm willing to bet a good number of them are not. Case in point: Until Burrows, Mason Raymond and Jannik Hansen tell us the name of the Boston restaurant they were apparently denied service prior to Game 4, as TSN's Darren Dreger reported - and nobody else seemingly has - then it didn't happen.

The Canucks hope to hoist the first Stanley Cup in franchise history after Game 6 tonight at the Garden before a crowd of rabid Neanderthals. The Bruins hope to force a Game 7 Wednesday night in Vancouver in front a civilized, deserving fan base. Maybe the hungry Vancouver fans deserve a Stanley Cup. But they don't deserve this team. Nobody does. Even the rest of Canada understands that. 

The Canucks created this "narrative." It is why Bostonians hate a team they had no history with a fortnight ago. This isn't a rivalry, for in the end, more often than not you end up respecting your rivals to a certain degree. But there's nothing to respect with these Vancouver Canucks. 

The Dallas Mavericks saved America last night. It's up to the Bruins to save a pair of nations beginning tonight.  

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About the Author

Eric Wilbur is a Boston.com sports columnist who is still in awe of what Dana Kiecker pulled off that one time in Toronto. He lives in the Boston area with his wife and three children. Comments and suggestions for the best Buffalo wing spots are encouraged.

Contact Eric Wilbur by e-mail or follow him on Twitter.

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