Vancouver During the Stanley Cup: Go Canucks Go!

Have you ever been in a city on the verge of winning something really big? I've found myself in this position several times now. The first was almost 20 years ago, when the Toronto Blue Jays won baseball's World Series. The second was last winter, when Canada beat the U.S. in the Gold Medal round of Olympic Hockey. And the third is happening right now, as the Vancouver Canucks vie to win hockey's Stanley Cup
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I don't do technical "game speak" like so many fans. I couldn't tell you exactly what happened to Vancouver's play to help us win Game 5 Friday night, except that it probably had something to do with our goalie not letting in a single goal. But what I do understand is the almost palpable feeling of excitement that has been gripping the city for the past few weeks. Flags are waving, horns are honking, strangers are talking to each other in the street; the hockey game is a cultural touch point that brings people together. Even if you're not a fan, you can't help but be affected by the city's mood.

I imagine it felt like this in Johannesburg last year when the city was cheering on the South African team in the FIFA World Cup. Or in Mumbai, when India faced Pakistan in the semi-finals of World Cup Cricket this spring. And this is what the citizens of Rio de Janeiro have to look forward to five years from now, when they host the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Of course the NHL and large-scale events like the Olympics have their critics too, and with good reason. But at this moment in time, living in a city intoxicated with good cheer (and with the chance of winning the Stanley Cup on my birthday) I'm happy to keep riding the fan wave.