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An Open Letter to "That Guy" - SEP.24.07

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Mike Macri

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<table width=90% align=center><tr><td><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/macri_headshot.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4>We’ve all seen him. He’s the guy we talk about on the car ride home from the rink. He takes up residence in every stadium throughout North America, looking vaguely similar whether in Columbus or Calgary. He’s “That Guy,” and I have a few things to say to him:

1. To that guy who always sits behind me and shouts out instructions to the players: please stop. We get it. You have a bit of hockey knowledge. As far as I can tell, you’re at least aware of the term “wheel” and the approximate situation in which to use it. But the players can’t hear you, and it sounds like you’ve managed to wedge a megaphone into my ear, and subsequently lined up seven more behind it.

But maybe you’re right.

Matthias Ohlund’s years of waking up before dawn for practice, traveling thousands of miles and living in the gym in order to become the player he is probably has less to do with his ability to properly play the game than his secret weapon: Wayne, the guy working on his third stadium dog, sitting in row 17 of the upper deck.

<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2407_fan01_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2407_fan01_t.jpg border=0 align=right vspace=1 hspace=4></a>2. To that guy who finds himself on the Jumbotron: you gotta get a new “go-to move.” Pinching the crest of your jersey between your left thumb and index finger while making the international sign for “#1” with your right hand has somewhat lost its symbolic thrust. We’re broadly aware of your affiliations by the jersey you’re wearing - we can probably guess who you think is tops. Just once, I’d like to see some guy find himself on the big screen, pinch his jersey, and throw up four digits. Every team goes through ebbs and flows over the years, it would be nice to see that being represented in the number of fingers on the big screen.

3. To that guy on the cellphone who keeps on standing up in front of me during play and waving to the camera: I’m sure whoever is on the line with you is not nearly as excited as you think they are.

What you think they see: their buddy Steve, in stunning 1080p hi-def, waving to a crowd of millions (and despite the myth that the camera adds ten pounds, rather slender if you do say so yourself).

What they actually see: some generic, lumpy form, which may or may not be a mannequin from the “Husky Boys” section at Sears, waving in a fashion that might best be described as “curiously desperate.”

<a href=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2407_fan02_b.jpg target=_blank><img src=http://cdn.nhl.com/canucks/images/upload/2007/09/sep2407_fan02_t.jpg border=0 align=left vspace=1 hspace=4></a>4. To that guy wearing the Flyers jersey at a Flames-Canucks game: Why? Is it in the effort of conveying a loose appreciation of the sport you’re watching? Why not top off the dynamic ensemble with a pennant emblazoned with the word “Hockey”?

In situations such as these, I’m reminded of that time-tested pearl of wisdom dispensed to every guy who attends a concert wearing the band’s t-shirt: don’t be that guy.

5. To that guy attempting to start a chant, but failing: I appreciate the effort. I really do. There’s a special atmosphere when 18,000+ fans come together in vocal unison. Unlike Wayne’s prompt to “wheel,” a loud, vocal crowd can indeed affect the players on the ice.

But respect the people’s decision not to join in on your “Let’s Go ‘Nucks!” chant. It doesn’t conform to the four-syllable rule (and yes, it is a rule), nor will it do much good at the three-minute mark of the second intermission.

Good rule of thumb: if your chant hasn’t caught on by the 32nd attempt, it probably won’t.</td></tr></table>

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6. To that really thirsty guy sitting in the centre of the row: I know beer is important to you. It's important to all of us. But as much as I appreciate your desire to get liquored up before the lineups form at intermission, I didn't spend 40 bucks so I could miss an important play because I'm looking at your ass while you're trying to push past me en route to the concessions. Sit down and wait for the goddamned whistle.

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Guest Guest_hungcanuck_*

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7. To that guy who likes to bang on the glass every single time a player skates past:

the players aren't paying any attention to you and there's probably a better way to announce

your virginity to the world. If you really want someone to notice you, try banging your head

against the glass next time, preferably till it bleeds.

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Guest Marc Beauchemin

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I don’t think I’m ‘That Guy’. Gee, I’ve only been to my first Canucks game last week. I've watched plenty on TV over the years though. But then again, would I have the chance to go more often, you know, I think I could become ‘That Guy’! Actually, I’d love to see ‘That Guy’ all over GM Place, although with a certain respect to those around you I totally agree.

After all, I’d say that at least half the reason to go to a game is to be part of the crowd experience to put it simply. I’d hate to sit near those that dread ‘That Guy’, and feel like I can’t display my enjoyment of the game on the pretext that I’m not a master of the game, that I can’t get excited being on the Jumbotron displaying what ever I want to display the least of which a dreaded #1 (I’d tend to question the person’s mental stability to use any other ranking, but then again, I support free-speech and it could actually be quite funny), that I need to comply with a specific dress code that forbids me from wearing another team’s jersey because I love the game so much that I go see the other teams play.

Ugh, I read a lot of contained bitterness in this letter. These hockey games must be an absolutely horrendous experience and I feel for you.

Well wake up my friend. This isn’t the Symphony. Expand your boundaries and open up a bit to the lesser of you. It’s OK. Not every one will judge you under this same arrogant light, and then again, for those that would, you’ll know all about it from your vantage point. If you can accomplish this, well chapeau. I would then suggest that you try to go even further:

1- Shout your knowledge to the players a little more. You might find that it actually feels good to let it out a bit during a tense game as opposed to mumbling it, because you do mumble it don't you. And you might impress those around you and even teach them a thing or two.

2- Try to get on the camera for once and put up a good and supportive face for your team. (Most) fans will love it and so will the TV audience. Or be brave and show a nice #4. But do it.

3- Don’t be so blend, try wearing your team’s paraphernalia as it may make you feel a bit more part of the crowd and the team experience and help bring more joy around you. May I suggest boxer shorts for a more subtle start?

4- Lastly, next time ‘That Guy’ attempts to chant again, be a little more assertive and join-in at his first attempt and make it a successful one, instead of letting him try 32 times. If still painful to do, it will certainly be of a much shorter duration.

If you’ll have none of it, then maybe this isn’t your place. The TV/radio may be more appropriate.

If fans shy away from being ‘That Guy’, what an apathetic crowd we’d have. Oh, wait a second, that’s pretty much what we have, sorry. I’m the one who appears to be out of place. Might as well just stay away from this lethargic crowd and watch the game on TV and save a bundle since without a passionate crowd, the game is better with the play-by-play, stats, and all the commentary that brings depth to the game.

But one thing is for certain though; those who dare to be ‘That Guy’ are having a lot more fun than you. I only wish I could afford to be ‘Him’.

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Guest Guest_letsgonucks_*

Posted

I don’t think I’m ‘That Guy’. Gee, I’ve only been to my first Canucks game last week. I've watched plenty on TV over the years though. But then again, would I have the chance to go more often, you know, I think I could become ‘That Guy’! Actually, I’d love to see ‘That Guy’ all over GM Place, although with a certain respect to those around you I totally agree.

After all, I’d say that at least half the reason to go to a game is to be part of the crowd experience to put it simply. I’d hate to sit near those that dread ‘That Guy’, and feel like I can’t display my enjoyment of the game on the pretext that I’m not a master of the game, that I can’t get excited being on the Jumbotron displaying what ever I want to display the least of which a dreaded #1 (I’d tend to question the person’s mental stability to use any other ranking, but then again, I support free-speech and it could actually be quite funny), that I need to comply with a specific dress code that forbids me from wearing another team’s jersey because I love the game so much that I go see the other teams play.

Ugh, I read a lot of contained bitterness in this letter. These hockey games must be an absolutely horrendous experience and I feel for you.

Well wake up my friend. This isn’t the Symphony. Expand your boundaries and open up a bit to the lesser of you. It’s OK. Not every one will judge you under this same arrogant light, and then again, for those that would, you’ll know all about it from your vantage point. If you can accomplish this, well chapeau. I would then suggest that you try to go even further:

1- Shout your knowledge to the players a little more. You might find that it actually feels good to let it out a bit during a tense game as opposed to mumbling it, because you do mumble it don't you. And you might impress those around you and even teach them a thing or two.

2- Try to get on the camera for once and put up a good and supportive face for your team. (Most) fans will love it and so will the TV audience. Or be brave and show a nice #4. But do it.

3- Don’t be so blend, try wearing your team’s paraphernalia as it may make you feel a bit more part of the crowd and the team experience and help bring more joy around you. May I suggest boxer shorts for a more subtle start?

4- Lastly, next time ‘That Guy’ attempts to chant again, be a little more assertive and join-in at his first attempt and make it a successful one, instead of letting him try 32 times. If still painful to do, it will certainly be of a much shorter duration.

If you’ll have none of it, then maybe this isn’t your place. The TV/radio may be more appropriate.

If fans shy away from being ‘That Guy’, what an apathetic crowd we’d have. Oh, wait a second, that’s pretty much what we have, sorry. I’m the one who appears to be out of place. Might as well just stay away from this lethargic crowd and watch the game on TV and save a bundle since without a passionate crowd, the game is better with the play-by-play, stats, and all the commentary that brings depth to the game.

But one thing is for certain though; those who dare to be ‘That Guy’ are having a lot more fun than you. I only wish I could afford to be ‘Him’.

You're definitely that guy. Or, at least one who takes a humour piece a little too seriously.

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