Win, lose or draw, I’ve got a job to do.
Whether the Vancouver Canucks clobber an opponent or give up an OT goal to the New Jersey Devils to lose 4-3, there are questions to be asked, quotes to be tweeted, videos to be posted and an infographic to be built, every game, home or away.
On the road the intensity is magnified because there’s a bus waiting, airplane waiting and another city waiting. So, you get your quotes and get out of the way. Then all that’s left is getting onto the bus – easier said than done sometimes.
On my very first Canucks road trip many moons ago, not only did I think seating was a free-for-all on Air Canucks and tried to sit in Henrik Sedin’s seat, I also got on the wrong bus post-game. As I was quick to learn, there’s a team bus and a media bus.
Post-game, the talent from Sportsnet Pacific and TSN Radio Vancouver occupies the media bus and Canucks content staff hops on board en route to the airport. This bus is the Fun Bus. It’s called this for many reasons, which I’d like to share with you as the Canucks prepare to face the Devils.
1 – There’s no emotion on the Fun Bus. All the media did their job, hopefully did it well, and the outcome of the Canucks game had nothing to do with it. Everyone wants the Canucks to succeed, but regardless of outcome, everyone is in a good mood. Contrast the giggling of watching a dog vine Dan Murphy was showing everyone post-game Saturday, with the assumed silence on board the team bus.
2 – John Garrett is a legend. Without fail, every single trip on the Fun Bus begins the same way: with Cheech yelling. “Could we get some music please,” he’ll shout to the bus driver, “classic rock, if you’ve got it.” They usually do and if it’s not played loud enough, he lets them know. He’ll also request the heat be turned up or down, depending on his personal temperature, and no one argues. He’s the Fun Bus overlord and he can name almost every classic rock song in existence within 10 seconds of hearing it. Legen – wait for it – dary!
3 – The debates are as intense as they are hilarious. If there’s controversy in the game, you better believe it’s being discussed on the bus, for however long the ride. Rules are shouted, examples stressed, there’s name-calling and the occasional swear sprinkled in. Join in at your own risk because if you’re wrong, you may never live it down. John Shorthouse has a good memory. You’ve been warned.
4 – There’s usually pizza. Do I really need to elaborate on this point? Didn’t think so.
5 – It’s fun! The Canucks are lucky to have some of the best in the business broadcasting their games, including Dave Tomlinson and Jon Abbott, and these guys enjoy every minute of bouncing around North America covering the team. That energy is infectious and a ride on the Fun Bus is good for most things that could be ailing you. Another word to the wise: if the team did suffer a loss, make sure the fun stays on the bus. There’s nothing like having jovial media on a cross-country flight after a rough loss. Shut those guys up!
If one day you’re lucky enough to ride the Fun Bus, your life will never be the same. Likely because your respect for the Canucks media will be gone, but that’s another story for another day.
Cheers from New Jersey!