Tuesday, June 8, 2010
We've probably got too many of these categories to ever be able to post them all, probably because I got just a bit too excited about this project and suggested a "Best Rapper" category. Crazy, I know. In any case, this blog wouldn't be here if we didn't think fans had a voice in hockey. Two categories honoring fans just seemed appropriate.
Famous fans are just as busy with their movies, TV shows, albums, clothing lines or what have you as they are with their passion for hockey. Still, it's always cool to see someone cheering at a game when you're used to seeing them at awards shows.
VINCE VAUGHN was born in Minnesota, so of course he'd grow up to be a hockey fan, but spent his childhood in Chicago. That's why his Blackhawks jersey remained pasted on throughout the playoffs. He's also frequently seen at the Staples Center for LA Kings games, and I'm starting to think that a major part of the Kings' fans just started out as expats from other cities who really needed their hockey fix.
JASON REITMAN, who probably resides in LA for most of the year, is further proof of my LA Kings theory. He's a huge hockey fan and has grown very fond of the Kings, but you can't take him away from his Canucks. Last year he was one of NHL.com's celebrity bloggers, and this year he cheered for the Canucks in LA during the playoffs. (The passion of a guy born in Montreal is all there, but the bleu-blanc-rouge isn't. I don't know why he's not a Habs fan, but I really like his work so I'll let it slide.)
ROBIN SCHERBATSKY is technically not a real person, but she is a minor New York celebrity on How I Met Your Mother. I've already mentioned on this blog that she's an awesome female hockey fan. She started the show's fifth season by agreeing to go on a date with a guy because he had Canucks-Rangers tickets, and wore one of her Vancouver jerseys in a sea of blue shirts. She also needed her best friend to make a Canucks analogy in order to understand why New York women want to date Yankees. Sure, she sounded just a LITTLE bit like a puckbunny, but considering that the girl knows her sport and owns multiple big Canucks jerseys, she can't ever be called one. Plus, there's a message board thread on actress Cobie Smulders' IMDB page discussing hockey. (The best part is the end, where someone mentioned the Habs.)
GEORGE STROMBOULOPOULOS, whose name I hopefully spelled right. is awesome. He's a vocal Habs fan whose feelings about the Leafs range from the "respectfully disagree" to, well, the expected. He came to town for the centennial. He keeps a Habs jersey visible in his office. He LOVES Saku Koivu, as any sane Habs fan should. And he was born, educated, and currently works in Toronto. Earlier this year, he auctioned off a Leafs jersey someone brought to the Hour, with proceeds going to charity, basically asking Leaf fans to get the thing out of his sight. He might just be the greatest of them all.
VIGGO MORTENSEN is probably the most famous of the famous Habs fans. (Starring in an Oscar-winning, globally popular film trilogy will do that to you.) My brother told me I'd never guess that he showed up at the Centennial game, and if I did guess, that he would literally buy me a pony. (A real one!) Viggo was my third guess, after two completely irrational answers befitting his "You'll NEVER guess..." however, I'm still waiting on that pony. But about Viggo: he's told the world he loves the Habs. He came to town in his well-worn Lafleur jersey and spoke French. I'm almost surprised Montrealers haven't started buying shirts with his name on the back.
Honourable mentions to Habs fan Alex Trebek, and onetime LA Kings game attendee, the delightful Jake Gyllenhaal.
As for the rest of us... lots of people call themselves hockey fans. Some of them can't name their hometown goalie, some of them bought a T-shirt a week or two into the playoffs, some of them ARE hockey fans, and some of them take it to the next level and let everyone know how much they love their sport. These are what we like to call "superfans" - the sporting equivalent of those long-haired guys who keep the KISS cover band together well into their fifties.
THE GREEN MEN have a taken a brilliant Always Sunny In Philadelphia joke and run with it like Usain Bolt. Sully and Force have made Vancouver the team to watch - if only for the entertainment. They've become famous for their flexible, sometimes crude antics by the penalty box.
MR. CANADA, whose real name is Dave Ash (according to a Saskatchewan newspaper) goes wherever Team Canada goes. Fans are often called "the seventh man on the ice," and Mr. Canada takes that to a whole new level. He shows up to every game, wearing his uniform, and he brings his own equipment (concise but sassy homemade posters).
ANGRY SAL (the image above is an artist's rendering) might just be the most popular Canadiens fan of the season. Thanks to word of mouth and YouTube, whoever missed his bit on Team 990 (airwaves for the insane!) has had a chance to hear it. We have no idea if this guy survived the postseason. Still, he's the #1 argument people can use in the "Habs fans be crazy" debate, and we love him all the same.