I admit I had absolutely no desire to be in Vancouver for the Olympics this year. I mean, Vancouver in February? And it wasn't really Vancouver, was it? It was Whistler....until THE GAME, that is. By then I was willing to pawn my left nut off just for the chance to stroll around Victory Square with a parade of crackheads. Instead, like a sucker I stayed in Hong Kong where the word "hockey" means chasing a ball around a grassy field with a golf club.
When the game finally started at 4am Sunday morning my time, I was glued to my computer like a neurotic cephalopod. The last time anything like this has happened to Vancouver was back in 1994 when the Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to Mark Messier's New York Rangers. My band - The Diggers - were playing a gig at the Railway Club as the unmistakable sound of a riot drifted through the bar during our set. We finished, rushed up to Robson Street where the crowd was getting uglier by the minute and quickly made our escape. That's what losers do.
Not this time - things change.
I never saw it coming. I thought Canada was a shoe-in until we lost to U.S.C.A.R.Y. I then began to fear the worst and predicted in my gut of guts - that pit where the coldest of calculations are made - that yes, Canada may, in fact, lose. But wait - suddenly in the second period we were up 2-0. Maybe it could happen. Then 2-1, then up, up and away in the third until thirty seconds left and it became a 2-2 tie. Overtime. By this time I had gnawed off my hands as was starting to gum my feet...
In the end, the suspense almost killed me, but my country held on and snagged the gold. My gut, I realized, is more of a pessimist than my heart could ever be.