Saturday, March 26, 2011

Some Canuck Fans Are Awful Human Beings

Canuck fans, upon hearing negative opinions regarding their team.

In the past few weeks, Kyle Wellwood, Mike Babcock, and Theo Fleury have all come under fire for some pretty offensive comments. Yes, unforgivable utterances, these. The things they said were so vile that it apparently became acceptable to forgo proper human decency and, instead, return their brutal statements with the worst slander, bigotry, and hatespeech Canucks fans could muster.

Just what did they say? Well, brace yourself. You see, each of them expressed skepticism that the Canucks' regular season dominance would extend into the playoffs.

Wellwood suggested the Canucks were too immature to handle playoff adversity. Babcock suggested Luongo might not have what it takes to lead the team to a Cup. Fleury suggested that, after coasting through the regular season, the Canucks were ripe for a first-round playoff upset. In truth, it was pretty harmless stuff, but the response from many Canuck fans was much less so.

As kneejerk vitriol goes, Kyle Wellwood and Mike Babcock got off easy. Granted, Canuck fans flipped the pool, and peppered both men with cheap, personal attacks, but most of it was pretty silly stuff. Welly's a soft target (so to speak), so bitter fan response didn't extend much further than jabs at his weight or the fact that he's a little weird. Mike Babcock, too, escaped relatively unscathed, because he's pretty hard to criticize. He's one of the NHL's finest coaches and a Cup finalist in three of his seven seasons behind the bench. The best Canuck fans could do on such short notice was embarrass themselves by calling him overrated, or a choke artist because he's only won one Stanley Cup (and World Championship, and Olympic gold medal).

Theo Fleury, on the other hand, had some pretty awful stuff floated his way. He's suffered some terrible trauma, and he's wrestled some demons. This is a guy who was sexually abused, and who has struggled with drug abuse for much of his adult life, and many Canuck fans, to the chagrin of the ones who still have souls, immediately went there. I won't repeat any of it, but you can just go ahead and imagine the worst, vilest things a person could spew at somebody who's been through what Fleury has, and it's probable someone said it.

And why? Because he had the nerve to suggest the Canucks weren't going to win the Stanley Cup. It was appalling. Regrettably, being an awful human being doesn't preclude one from being a Canucks fan. It was embarrassing to have anything in common with these dirtbags.

PITB apologizes on behalf of any Canucks fan who realizes that saying crap like this is not okay. Presumably, we're speaking for the majority here.

The bitter reactions are especially embarrassing because none of these statements called for anything other than a dismissive shrug. Wellwood, Babcock, and Fleury's statements couldn't possibly have been more ignorable. What's a few "no confidence" votes? The Stanley Cup isn't decided that way.

In truth, all we had here were a few extremely biased opinions. Lest we forget: Wellwood plays for the Sharks; Babcock coaches the Red Wings; and Fleury is a lifelong Flame. These guys have allegiances to Western Conference teams that will have to go through the Canucks to win the Stanley Cup, so when they predict the Canucks will fall, it's little more than optimistic fan chatter. Their opinion is no more objective than Fred from Minneapolis who thinks the Wild are close.

In future, the best response to anyone's lack of belief in Vancouver, especially the fans of other teams, is the one Roberto Luongo gave yesterday when presented with Fleury's prediction: "Who cares?"

Unfortunately, many Canuck fans simply couldn't muster such brevity.


  1. Perisoreus Canadensis

    Some folks belittle our Canucks
    And give to them not half a chance
    The major theme is that they'll choke
    And past round one will not advance

    It seems to me they cannot see
    And envious they also are
    That we've four lines that each can score
    A solid “D” and goalie star

    They've found so many ways to win
    There's not a chance that they will choke
    The 'Nucks will triumph all the way
    And joy down Robson Street provoke

    Then let the pundits eat their words
    While egged on by my clan of birds *

    Cousin Whisky Jack

    *As quickly as his Hawks are done
    My uncle will no longer doubt
    That wise were wife and eldest son
    To choose this team to write about

  2. Aw, now there are four of you? FFS

  3. Saw some of the dung flung at Theo...these are not true Canuck fans or fans of humanity, for that manner. I had to walk away from my ploptap for a while. Harrison, you are succinct & correct.

  4. matter, godammit

  5. "FFS"? That's probably not nice! And to say such a thing after such a wonderful blog. But, "Who cares?" Well, I for one.

    Gretchen Grouse

  6. Guys, don't apologise for those people, they don't deserve to have anyone apologising for them. Call them out as the scum that they are.

    Every team has a certain proportion o their fanbase that are total jerkbags. Sadly, we seem to have our fill.

  7. As soon as I saw Fleurys tweet in the morning that said "Will the Canucks make it out of the first round of the playoffs?" I knew nothing good was going to come out of the situation. It was worse then I expected though with some peoples comments to him.

  8. Don't worry, Gretchen. FFS stands for Four Fowls Strong, because you all have bird names.

  9. You're like the five millionth canuck blogger or twitterer to write an apology for stupid people. I don't see why any of this is necessary. It's called the internet, it's mystical place full of anonymous douchebags. And now combine that with sports fandom: another place with more than its share of douchebags. It has nothing to do with the canucks. It could be the habs or the leafs or the red sox or the hotspurs... any combination of sports and internet anonymity = people say awful shit. The incessisant need for the regular canuck fan folk to apologize for that just gives fuel to the "canucks fans are awful" canard.

  10. I'm glad you wrote this. The fan response bothered me, and it reflected poorly on us all. Can we storm the castle yet?

    I regard Fleury as a pretty heroic individual, but i was also really disapointed in the way he conducted himself here . He could have easily garnered that kind of reaction from nearly any Canadian fanbase, but he chose to keep trolling and then held it up as an example as how Vancouver fans are the worse of them. Oh twitters. :(

  11. He could have easily garnered that kind of reaction from nearly any Canadian fanbase, but he chose to keep trolling and then held it up as an example as how Vancouver fans are the worse of them.

    This saddens me so much. There were so many Canuck fans defending him and tweeting him with support and he completely ignored them and chose to make the few idiots the voice of all Canuck fans.

  12. ^ Exactly.. Now Theo didn't deserve the response he got, nor was it called for. Did he go looking for it? More than likely yes! Did he perpetuate it? Most certainly!

    I feel the idiots who responded with such ill repute were merely acting their age. Does that excuse it? NO
    For what it's worth I felt Theo pulled himself to their level by entertaining it.

    The fans of the 2011 Canucks should take leaf out of their book. Water off ducks back

  13. A lot of Canuck fans missed something that Theo said
    Vancouver will fall in the 1st round after winning the Presidents trophy.
    *Calgary will sneak in..
    1st plays 8th
    So it's Calgary that will eject the Canucks? That is laughable & clearly blind homerism. should be taken for what it's worth

  14. Agreed! It was absolutely appalling that people associated with being a Canucks fan personally attacked Theo Fleury on twitter. It's one man's opinion and he is entitled to it. What fans are not entitled to, is spewing hateful comments about the horrendous atrocities that someone had to endure in their childhood. It's plain unacceptable. And frankly, I was a little ashamed as well to be associated in any manner with those who attacked Fleury on twitter.

  15. Those people that attacked Fleury may call themselves Canucks 'fans', but I refuse to believe it. Sad, pathetic human beings.
    And to Beantown, I think the Fleury issue deserved a response from the sane fans because Fleury didn't deserve personal attacks for his opinion. Certainly, I don't think 99% of fans were okay with what happened, but I think it's important to take a stand against the kind of vitriol that took place, and to set an example of a better kind of fandom.

  16. These fans were awful, and their behaviour was deplorable. However, look at the Manny Malhotra injury and the outpouring of well wishes and support for him.....vast majority of fans put aside their concerns for the team and were instead just focused on just wanting him to recover. Classy, I thought. It's nice to be reminded that the Fleury haters are in the very small minority of the fan base.

  17. 'Four Fowls Strong' [running with a hashtag like a kid stealing a pop shoppe pop from under Eddie Shack's mustache]

  18. I confess to taking a few jabs at the man, which I kind of regretted. But then again I doubt that his feelings were actually hurt - he's kind of tough doncha know. Nor do I expect he was disappointed or surprised since it was likely just what he was hoping for - more publicity.

    Making us Canuck fans look like asses was probably just an added bonus for him!!

  19. I say much the same thing Harrison.

    Just, strongly, disagree with the assertion of "many".

    Twitter things get some more attention than they should, but that was an extremely small segment.

    Everyone I know, and most everyone I talked to today, saw it for what it me.

    A former Flame ( big surprise!) talking smack. Perhaps to sell some books. Big Whoop.

    And every one of them I talked to today was equally disgusted in that very small minority of Twitards and what they were mocking him for as you and I are.

    But lets have some rational thought here. Saying "many" assumes just that. Its pretty obvious today that the opposite is true.

    Let's say "some" or "minority", or whatever. Great article then...


  20. When a group of people claiming an association with you uses that association to be cruel and destructive, it's absolutely necessary to stand up and point out that it's wrong, and that you don't consider them a part of your group.

    You don't have to flip out or stage a protest or anything, but FFS (as Harrison says). There's nothing wrong with having the courage to call jerks out for being what they are.

    "People are jerks on the internet, therefore we shouldn't say anything about it." <-- That doesn't really make any sense. Seriously, that's some pretty neurotic thinking to assume you shouldn't speak out against cruelty and selfishness unless you're going to stop it right then and there.

    Why shouldn't good people had the balls to calmly speak up and state, "I think this is wrong, and I want nothing to do with these people who act like that"? It goes a lot farther towards making the world an inconvenient place for tantrumming manchildren to spew their hate than just shrugging and doing nothing.

    If a dog poops on your rug, you don't just say, "Welp, dogs poop, whatcha gonna do? I can't explain it to him in one setting so I guess I'll just go make a sandwich and let Spot turn my living room into his toilet."

    To that end: to the people who actually made jabs related to the sexual abuse a man had to endure as a child instead of the poorly thought out things he said in a completely separate situation, then in my opinion you're THAT GUY and you're a tool, no matter how hard you try to rationalize your behavior by deciding how the victim ought to feel about it.

    And if you think it's no big deal because he's a big man and he can take it, then let's see if you're man enough to also consider the following: because of what YOU said publicly, I guarantee that at least one (if not more) abuse survivors will now never come forward to get help, or to get their abusers convicted and put away. You had a choice about how you responded to Fleury's words, and you actively chose to show abuse victims that if they can ever manage to summon up the courage to speak about what happened to them -- to get their assailant arrested and put away so he won't hurt anyone else, to help other victims know they're not alone -- these victims now also have to consider that even if the trial goes well and "justice" is served, they can still look forward to a life of people like you gleefully jumping in to remind them of their trauma every time they say something that makes you feel uncomfortable.

    That's what you, and people like you, did for the world. So be man enough to face up to that, or keep trying to make excuses for your right to throw a tantrum because someone hurt your widdle feewings, whatever you want. If you choose the second, I hope you'll enjoy you're increasingly crappy life as fewer and fewer people decide they want to be around you. It's your choice. Theo Fleury is wrong about the Canucks, and probably wrong about a lot of other things as well, being a human and all. But at least he chose to have courage when it mattered, and not everyone could have done what he did. Conversely, almost -anyone- could do what you did. Hmm.


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