<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>