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Hijacking of a Hockey Tradition – The Rookie Hockey Fan’s Protest

I was a bit irked watching Saturday’s hockey game.  No, I’m not referring to the Canucks loss to Dallas, although that was frustrating. I’m referring to the waving of white towels by Dallas fans.  “Towel Power” is a show of fan support for the Vancouver Canucks and to see the Dallas crowd waving white flags seemed almost sacrilegious if not unoriginal. 

Fan traditions go down in sports history.  Take for example the throwing of octopi on the ice by Detroit fans or the tossing of rubber rats by Florida Panther’s fans.  You’ll find these accounts not only on the Internet but in print books such as Hockey Stories On and Off the Ice by Dan Diamond and James Duplacey. The tradition becomes associated with the team and the team’s fans.  Towel Power is a Vancouver Cancucks thing and I think this should have been respected.

I mean I, even in my state of non-hockeyness knew of the history of the Towel incident.  It was 1982 and Canucks’ coach, Roger Neilson, waved a white towel on the end of a hockey stick as  signal of surrender after repeated bad calls by the referees in a Western Conference finals game.  At the next Canucks game in Vancouver, thousands of fans waved white towels in support of Neilson’s gesture. 

This year is the 25th Anniversary of the Towel and at home game 3, towels were handed out to Canucks fans at GM Place.  The Canucks’ official web site states:

“To this day the white towel stands a symbol of the Canucks and their unwavering resolve in the face of stiff odds.  It’s a trademark that’s stood the test of time and reminds us why we are all Canucks.”

So come on Dallas, why don’t you find your own tradition? 


The Rookie Hockey Fan

Go Canucks Go in tonight’s Game 7!

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