True To His Hometown

True To His Hometown

You can take the boy out of Cowtown, but you can’t take the Cowtown out of the boy. It has been seventeen years since I last called Calgary my home, but I will always be a Calgarian and with that I am proud to say that I have the honour of being a fan of the Calgary Flames!  For those you who do not have the privilege of being a Flames fan I would like to extend a little bit of club history.  The Flames came to Calgary from Atlanta in 1980 and in that first year made it to the Stanley Cup semis falling to the North Stars in six. In 1983 they moved into their current home the Saddledome. In 1986, ’89, and ’04 the Flames reached the Cup finals, only once in ’89 hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup in victory.  Over the last twenty-seven years they have reached the playoffs 20 times and conference finals 4 times.

SeaofRedHistory aside my true passion as a fan comes from the men who have worn the flaming C on their sweater.  One man stands above the rest, Hall of Famer Lanny McDonald.  He defined what it means to be a Flame.  He wore red, he bled red, and he had the greatest red stash I’ve ever seen!  When I was five or six, I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. McDonald.  While eating dinner with my family at a restaurant I wandered off from our table.  When found I had befriended Lanny and was sitting on his lap, eating his French fries.  A very proud moment for my mother!

Being in the US it is difficult to watch and cheer as much as I would like but in the early spring of 2004, my life as a student stopped and I became a full time Flames fan.  Through three epic rounds of the playoffs, the Flames pushed my emotional limits beating the Canucks in seven, the Red Wings in six, and the Sharks in six.  They were the first Canadian team to reach the finals in a decade and faced the Tampa Bay Lighting.  Seriously! A team from Florida in the finals?!?!  They don’t even have snow, they have ice in their drinks not in every city park, FLORIDA?!?! ARGGGGG!  As you can probably tell it did not end well.  After six back and forth, heart pounding and gut retching games, the Flames….fell….to the….Lightning.  I would like to take a moment of silence.  We were so close.  Just one more goal, one less penalty, one more save, ONE MORE WIN!!!  How could this happen.  A team from Canada loses THE CUP to Florida, or you kidding me.  Despite the disappointment a few great things happened.  It brought not only a city or province (their like states!) together, it unified an entire country.  They were Canada’s team and the Sea of Red blanketed and entire nation.    When I was able to work through the denial, anger, bargaining, and depression, I eventually reached acceptance.  It was then that I realized that it is better to have loved and lost then to never have loved at all.   The Flames may only be one team, but they are my team and my heart will forever burn with the passion of the flaming C.

8 Responses to “True To His Hometown”

  1. Awesome article Gibbons! I almost want to be a Canucks fan. Although, I thought that Berge had the best red stash around? Maybe a YouTube comparison is in order.

  2. Nick Gibbons says:

    I am going to pretend that you meant Flames instead of Canucks, our friendship may depend on it!! GO FLAMES!!

  3. Scott Meyer says:

    Indeed. I meant Flames. The big C threw me off…I’m still new at this hockey stuff too.

    Hi Ho Calgary!

  4. Erin says:

    go flames!

  5. Scott says:

    You know why I vote for the Calgary Flames? Because just like the man mentioned in this article, I BLEED RED!

    Go Flames.

  6. trogdor says:

    Best team ever! Great celebrations also. The Red Mile was legen-(wait for it)-dary.

  7. Chris Ralph says:

    Kiprusoff’s save of the decade!

    Any questions?!?

    Go Flames Go!

  8. Madison says:

    This article describes perfectly how every Flames fan feels. Through the ups and downs we are their for our team and although we may criticize our team more than any other fans in the league we love them anyways. I myself have only been through one cup run but it was the most exciting few months of hockey that I have ever witnessed. After every game there were people driving around waving flags cheering for them win or lose. Kids standing on corners waving flags and signs getting people to honk. It was a wonderful sight and that is what it truly means to be a flames fan. Also just to slide this in there we don’t rely on our past performance to keep us going **cough** oilers **cough**. There is more then just how many cups you have won to a true hockey game. With that said GO FLAMES GO!!

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