I still remember the 2003/2004 Stanely Cup run; drawing pictures to put on the school bus windows, getting excited about the flags on the cars, painting my nails with little flames. In other words, that was a damn long time ago. Its about time that the Flames stepped their game up and gave this city something to be excited about. After the win on Wednesday night against the Canucks, you could feel the elation around the city; everyone is happier, everyone wants to chat about it, and everyone is once again proud to be a Flames fan.
The ability for sports to bring together a city in such a strong way is quite amazing, especially in Calgary where we have limited sports teams to cheer for. You might say we are slightly fickle fans since the Saddledome always had (up until Thursday night) empty seats. Cities like Toronto or Winnipeg, also with low standing teams, were always sold out, even though the team sucked, for lack of a better term (sorry Leaf/Jets’ fans). But we can now see in Calgary that the spirit was never gone, just gathering dust; and it is now back in full force.
Downtown on Wednesday was full of jerseys; corporate Calgary showing their pride in the Flames. I heard someone say it is unprofessional to wear your jersey to work; coming from someone who is obviously not a Flames fan and has no city pride. I went to Hudson’s downtown to watch the game, and it was great to look around at all the people gathered together to cheer on the team; it was so loud in the building that you could barely hear the person sitting next to you. The atmosphere was nuts, and if you were watching the game at home, I highly suggest you go to a public place for tonight’s game to really get the full experience.
Whether or not you think the Flames will make it to the next round doesn’t matter, what matters is the city has come together for something other than the Stampede. Even if you aren’t really a hockey fan, there is no reason to not jump on the band wagon and get excited for your team. I am not even that big of a hockey fan (I could name eight players on the team, max) but for me, the team lets me feel connected to the city, and be proud that this is where I am from.
What do the Calgary Flames mean to you?