Fever pitch

3 06 2011

There’s a fever gripping the Lower Mainland. And it’s not dengue or even ebola.

But everywhere I went on my reprise ride of Le Tour de Cinque Ponts today, the signs of infection were hard to miss. The symptoms are a green and white pallor, an inexplicable compulsion to attach little flapping flags to car windows and hang full-size flags and towels in apartment and office windows. They can also include spontaneous loud whooping, random high-fiving and an annoyingly optimistic demeanor.

Vancouver’s got a bad case of Stanley Cup fever.

In their 40-year existence, the Canucks have never won a championship, although they’ve been to the finals twice before. Then they were unlikely participants; nobody expected them to win. This time they’re the favorites and, as of this posting, they actually are winning, leading the Boston Bruins 1-0 in the best-of-seven series.

The excitement in the city – the whole province – is palpable. It’s all anyone is talking about. Everyone has an extra spring in their step. The streets are alive with happy people. Media are everywhere, prowling for stories. It’s like the 2010 Winter Olympics all over again.

Even the statues in Stanley Park are getting into the spirit. After all, the park is named after the very same British Lord who donated the silver bowl that tops the coveted Stanley Cup trophy everyone is hoping the Canucks will be able to parade through the streets sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Lord Stanley, at the entrance of Stanley Park, is apparently a Canuck

So is the mermaid on the other side of the park.

The Lapierre is pretty keyed up as well. If the Canucks prevail, the Lapierre name will be engraved on the Stanley Cup as one of the players is Maxine Lapierre; you won’t find Trek, Willier, Cannondale, Specialized or even Merckx anywhere on that trophy.

A tale of two Lapierres.

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