We all know the Green Men in Vancouver. They’re notorious for somehow getting great seats to all the Canucks home games, not watching the game, and attempting to use sophomoric antics to goad the penalized opposing players unlucky enough to find themselves situated next to these clowns. And that’s a pretty thin piece of plexiglass that separates your face from that polyester covered wang.
As it turns out, their bag of tricks is a bit deeper than just acting like jackasses on national TV. Turns out they’re also adept at somehow swaying the democratic process, as they have managed to convince a sufficient enough sampling of sheepish idiots to vote for them in ESPN’s Hall of Fans contest, surely an illustrious honour that skyrockets these two dapper emerald gentlemen into the upper echelons of society’s finest.
Now I’ll give them credit, they’ve claimed to have raised $15,000 for various local charities, and that IS admirable. But let’s be honest, if you’ve managed to discover your fifteen minutes of fame, you sure as shit better start giving something back once you hit that thirteenth minute.
Outside of that, I have huge issues with this. I know that it sounds like I’m a sour grapes Flames fan who is decrying the capers of some green clad Canucks fans, or that as a representative of Flames fans, a group known for being particularly passive and docile, but I don’t think this is the case. And I really shouldn’t care, as this is some fluff feature designed by some bored interns at ESPN, and it means nothing, but the Green Men really bother me, so yeah, I care. My hang up here is the implication that this is what a sports fan should be. I don’t subscribe to this. I think you can be an impassioned and tuned in fan without relying on shallow gimmicks that clearly only serve to get yourself on camera. Even with masks on, it couldn’t be more self serving. I think we should recognize these guys as what they really are: a distraction.
How many rinks can you think of where fans sitting near the opposing team’s bench or penalty box could intentionally try to chirp a nearby player and actually get away with it? In most barns, rational security teams would have you escorted out of the building faster than it takes the Canucks faithful to turn on Roberto Luongo. Because it’s not too outlandish to think that the Green Men are dangerously close to being as out of line as that drunk shithead that fell into the penalty box with Tie Domi that one time, and had his lunch served to him. Or the guy that had some choice words for Rick Rypien as he was retreating to the dressing room after being ejected for the game. That guy had a face full of Ripper’s glove for that, and he deserved it.
Remember Sasha Lakovic? Not that far off. I know players are supposed to be professionals and shake off any fan interaction, even pretend it’s not there, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to try and instigate it into the first place. Hockey players are human too, and some of them are easier to entice. The only difference I can see here is that these guys have funny costumes and bring props, so it must be showbiz, which somehow sanctions it. I think that sets a bad precedent. Who knows what the inevitable copy cats are going to try, and how far they’ll go? Maybe the Green Men themselves haven’t gone so far as to come into physical contact with a player (yet), but who’s to say some misguided opportunist supporting another arena won’t get too overzealous and end up having Dan Carcillo’s meaty paws reconstructing the contours of his face?
I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop on these donkeys. Something doesn’t add up. The amount of money they’ve spent being “superfans” (their words, by the way), have the best seats to every game, including the playoffs, and including playoff games in other cities has to be in the thousands at this point. Each. I’m not saying these guys don’t have the means to purchase these tickets on their own, but they definitely come off more like drunk frat brothers than captains of finance. I just can’t shake the feeling that these jags are part of some sort of shitty comedy troupe, or this is some crazy Canucks PR stint that’s designed to go viral. I just seriously have my doubts that these frauds are the doting fans they’re trying to make themselves out to be, and that there’s not some sort of greater individual gain for them here. I can’t blame them, really. Writing an amateur blog and trying to spread it throughout a team’s community, which I attempt to do here, tries to reap those same benefits, albeit in a much less extreme sense, but you don’t see me going around telling everyone how great I am and why I’m awesome at Calgary Flamesmanship. This whole thing just rings so false, and If I had the patience or work ethic, I’d get to the bottom of it. (Although probably not). Quite honestly one of the few perks I can see coming from this impending lockout is a bit of a longer respite from having to suffer these fools.
I think it’s the arrogance that gets me the most. Check out their own quote from their contest bio page:
“We feel we are “HallOfFan” worthy because of our impact on fans in sports. Since our inception, fans from around the world have donned the suits”
Yeah, fans everywhere are taking YOUR lead for your truly original idea, right boys? It’s not like you stole the idea from a cult cable television comedy with a rising star like Charlie Day who really started it first, right?
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