I’m a man of the people, Canucks people specifically.
I cover the team, day and night, home and away, win and lose, and have been doing so on Canucks.com, Fort Nucks, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat so long that five of those six platforms weren’t even around when I started.
My job, as I tell people at parties, is to make fans cheer for the person, not the player. Unless you lace up skates and patrol the blueline, get in on the forecheck or stand in blue paint, which I do not, you have no control on the outcome of games. Coaches do, to a certain extent, but the player’s play. They win and they lose. The results are in their hands alone.
Right now, the Canucks are losing. They lost in Chicago 4-0 to begin this trip and they lost Tuesday night in Minnesota 6-2. Whether they win or lose, I track how all our road content performs and read fan comments, which ranges from simple criticism to extreme passion defying logic, to get a feel for what fans want more or less of.
Everyone is entitled to his or her opinion and a recent fan comment got me thinking – should the outcome of games dictate how the team is covered?
The fan in question uses the handle bryanpachal on Instagram and after a photo was posted on the Canucks Instagram promoting a Fort Nucks blog about Jake Virtanen as Big Country, he wrote the following:
For the most part I file this under H for hilarious. Accepting this logic means that when times are tough, attitudes needs to change and it should be business all the time. That undoubtedly leads to tightened grips on sticks, added pressure and an atmosphere so tense, a train of masseurs couldn’t work out the kinks.
Pre-game warm-up is hereby cancelled because kicking a soccer ball around to loosen up is having fun and fun is illegal when losing. That’s contrary to some sound advice the Canucks recently received from three ex-Canucks, namely Markus Naslund, Todd Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison, who just last week told the guys living in the moment and enjoying the journey is the most important part of the process. Careers end in a heartbeat and looking back thinking you didn’t give it everything and/or you didn’t have fun along the way can be crippling.
I asked Alex Burrows to weigh in on this after the Canucks skated Wednesday in Minnesota. He said when the team is losing, the mood shifts, guys spend less time together, there’s more room service ordered, and in general, things are glum.
“You have to fight through it,” he explained. “If you don’t, it’s just a spiral down and down and it can get bad. You wallow in the negative and it makes it more negative, it makes everything worse.
“Playing soccer and the things we do to warm-up are what helps us get ready for the game and we have fun with it. We can’t just be focused all the time. Things get very serious in the room before the game and if we’re going through a bad spell, it’s quiet. Guys know what’s on the line.”
I hear you loud and clear, bryanpachal, and I agree, no one wants to see the Canucks having the time of their lives after losing. But guess what? They aren’t having the time of their lives when they’re losing. And yet, life goes on. They read, they watch movies, they draw and play cards, they talk, they laugh, they bond. They prepare for the next game the only way they know how: by living and learning.
Next time you have a tough day at work, focus on everything that went wrong for the rest of the night and don’t do anything to take your mind off it. Then post some photos of it and see what the comments read.
If anyone posts a negative comment, let me know.
Onward and upward!