I have a shameful confession to share (yes, again).
After my disparaging (and clearly hypocritical) rant about the Faux Nerd, I have been found out as a Fake Fan. Yes, I am a Playoff Poser, a Hockey Hypocrite, a Bandwagon Bounder if you will.
It’s true. I only care about NHL Hockey during the playoffs. It’s very un-Canadian of me.
I was found out today by my diehard Oilers fan of a co-worker. We were discussing the Canucks throwing away their winning streak against the Blackhawks (I am, by sheer luck of being born and raised in BC, a Canucks fan). I expressed my opinion that this season was “Our last great shot at the Stanley Cup”.
(Despite my hockey ignorance, I know enough to know that the Canucks had a dream season, and, with the increasing age of their star players, are unlikely to repeat it.)
Well, my use of the word “Our” must have set her off, because my co-worker, rather than nodding and ceding the point like most people I talk to, started ranting. Arms flailing and with a manic glint in her eye she name dropped players, cited statistics and used hockey lingo that I had never heard of. I was stunned into silence.
And then the worst thing imaginable happened.
She asked my opinion.
My opinion? We both knew I didn’t have one.
I’m not embarrassed of the fear I felt. Flop sweat across my brow and under my arms appeared instantly. I gripped the side of the desk, my eyes frantically scanning the office, looking for a way out. Any way out. My mind searched for a solution. “How much damage would it really do if I jumped out the window at this exact moment? Three stories isn’t that high …” and “Would she noticed if I Googled? How fast can I type?”
Her eyes narrowed, a cruel smile stretching her lips. I heard her foot tap as she waited and I swallowed before stuttering out my reply: “I like hockey, cause, well, like … umm … Canucks are going to … uh … what I mean to say is … Would you like some trail mix?”
My co-workers response to my smooth deflection? “Oh, you’re one of those.”´
Her words dripped with scorn and I was instantly ashamed. See, I am one of those.