Hardcore Fans: The Beard Bet

Hardcore Fans is an ongoing series where we spotlight the interesting and often crazy actions taken by otherwise normal and sane people in support of the Vancouver Canucks. We firmly believe that the Canucks have some of the best fans in the NHL and we want to point the metaphorical laser pointer at a few of them rather than in Miikka Kiprusoff’s eyes.

Blake Rupert (right) with his friend Felipe, sporting playoff beards.

Blake Rupert is a diehard fan who believes in the Canucks’ chances to win the Stanley Cup every single season. It’s an irrational faith, certainly, but praiseworthy as well. But in this most recent pre-season, Blake was more certain than ever that the Canucks would win the Cup. While in other years he had his doubts, the team’s off-season acquisitions had him at his most confident.

“I was convinced,” recollects Blake, ”I was cocky. I was so stupid confident that those sceptical buddies of mine who heard me asserting that this was the team’s year smelt blood and moved in for the kill.”

His friends — also Canucks fans, but not as committed or, perhaps, foolhardy – casually asked him if he wanted to make a wager. It was his friend Felipe who made the radical suggestion: they should put their beards on the line. You see, every year the two friends grow playoff beards to support their team. It was decided that this year, if the Canucks failed to win the Cup, Blake would have to dye his playoff beard pink and keep it for a week.

Yes, Blake put that manliest of facial accoutrements at risk for his love of the Vancouver Canucks. Keep in mind, this bet was made in the pre-season. Not a single game of the regular season had been played and no one had any idea how good the Canucks would actually be. But that didn’t bother the over-confident 19 year old. This was the Canucks’ year. He was sure of it.

As for Felipe, he too was at risk of dying his beard pink, but only if the Canucks won the Stanley Cup. His odds of being embarrassed were significantly lower. Imagine his growing dismay, then, as the Canucks dominated all season long, cruising to the Presidents’ Trophy. Then beat Chicago in the first round. Then battled past Nashville in the second. And steamrolled San Jose in the Conference Final. Then came just one game short against Boston.

The loss was crushing, but Blake was unbowed. As much as he was disappointed, he wasn’t about to renege on his bet. For one week, he was going to show his hardcore Canucks fandom by dying his beard pink.

“It happened,” sighed Blake. “In fluorescent and fabulous fashion it happened.”

Blake Rupert with a pink beard, the price of his dedication.

Well done, good sir. We at Pass it to Bulis salute you. You are a hardcore fan.

Are you or do you know a hardcore fan? Do you have an interesting/offbeat/uplifting story to tell? E-mail me at danielwagner@passittobulis.com and you could be a featured Hardcore Fan.

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1 Comment

  1. Craig D
    August 18, 2011

    He could’ve raised a ton of money with that thing through the NHLPA Beard-a-thon! Awesome that he followed through on the bet though, he would’ve been a hit on beardathon.ca!!!

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