Apparently Canucks are not Canada’s most hated team

Apparently pointing out that some people hate the Canucks is considered news. Last week, the Toronto Star ran a column that quoted Mark Recchi, a Blackhawks fan, and a Calgary sports radio host and concluded that everyone hates the Canucks.   The next day, the Toronto Sun suggested that the only reason to follow the Canucks was that even though they’re terrible human beings, they’re at least not boring.

That same story suggested that Canadian hockey fans should cheer for the Senators instead, because the Sedins have never taken snowmobiles to practice.

Seriously.

Then you have the silliness of the Kings’ official twitter account chirping Canucks fans about the rest of Canada hating the team. When even the teams from California are talking about how much everyone hates the Canucks, it must be true, right? It surely isn’t possible that so many people could be wrong about something like this.

Apparently it is possible. Because an Angus Reid public opinion poll says that the Canucks are a long way from Canada’s most hated team. They’re not even close.

What team is the most hated? Unsurprisingly, it’s the Toronto Maple Leafs. 19% of all responders named the Leafs as the most hated Canadian team, with 15% saying the Montreal Canadiens. As for the Canucks, they’re way behind at 4%. Since it’s Canada, more than half of all responders (51%) claimed that they don’t hate anybody.

As for the claim that all Canadians outside BC hate the Canucks, it’s apparently bogus as well. The bulk of the hate directed towards the Canucks originates from Alberta, with 12% of responders from that province naming the Canucks their most hated team, but the next highest percentage came from British Columbia, with 8% voicing their hatred for the Canucks.

This shouldn’t really come as a surprise. It seems like the main reason so much vitriole is aimed towards Vancouver is because they’re actually successful. I’m sure there would be more vocal hatred for the Leafs if they actually made the playoffs once in a while.

The claim that everyone outside BC hates the Canucks is an odd one when you consider the amount of blue and green seen in the stands during road games. There are Canucks fans in every province and territory, but you don’t hear about them in any of those articles. When we went on the All The King’s Men Podcast, one of their reasons for disliking the Canucks was the sheer number of Vancouver fans that invade their arena every time the Canucks are in town. While some of those fans are making the trip down from BC, others live in Los Angeles and just happen to be Canucks fans.

In fact, 35% of the Canadians polled claim that they will be supporting the Canucks in the playoffs, including 52% from Alberta, 46% from Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and 30% from Ontario. That’s a higher percentage in Ontario than the Ottawa Senators received, who are located, in case you didn’t know, in Ontario. 35% was easily the highest percentage for any team in the poll, with 20% choosing the Senators, and 11% picking the Bruins.

The other part of the poll asked about what qualities people associate with the Canadian NHL teams. While you might expect adjectives like cheap, dirty, overrated, arrogant, and diving to rank the highest for the Canucks, especially after reading a Toronto newspaper, but that wasn’t the case.

The qualities that ranked highest for the Canucks were “clean,” “exciting,” and “strong,” with “admired” following close behind.

We’ve been joking around on Twitter claiming that the Canucks truly are Canada’s Team, opining that it’s easier to just pretend that they are rather than argue about it, but according to the official poll numbers, we may as well stop pretending. It looks like the Canucks really are Canada’s Team, unless you count the Toronto Blue Jays. Everybody loves the Blue Jays.

It looks like it isn’t hockey fans outside BC that hate the Canucks; it’s just the media.

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48 comments

  1. Addy
    April 13, 2012

    Love it! This is definitely going to be shared :)

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    • Nee
      April 13, 2012

      I assume you had already seen it, but I bet I’m not the only one who emailed/tweeted you about this article.

      This is like manna from heaven for the be-seiged Canucks fan. Finally, I have real numbers to back up the feeling I’ve had for awhuile now: that hockey fans for the most part aren’t as harsh and angry as the general media would like us to believe.

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      • Nee
        April 13, 2012

        And by ‘you’ I mean PITB, not Addy above me.

        Though I’m sure she’s a cool person : )

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  2. sarah
    April 13, 2012

    “The qualities that ranked highest for the Canucks were “clean,” “exciting,” and “strong,” with “admired” following close behind.”

    What is happening? I thought it was Friday the 13th. Not Opposite Day.

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    Rating: +27 (from 31 votes)
    • MelT
      April 13, 2012

      These are all qualities I look for in the men in my life, too.

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 13, 2012

        Please send me your spare men.

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        • Brent
          April 13, 2012

          well I’m clean……most days

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        • MelT
          April 13, 2012

          What about Ken Johnson? Did the Wellwoods ever find a date for him? He looked clean & strong, and he had cats too!

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    • Hips
      April 13, 2012

      My God what. I’m a canucks fan and I wouldn’t even apply “clean” to the nucks.

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      • sarah
        April 13, 2012

        I hear Max Lapierre loves his Eucalyptus body wash…

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 13, 2012

      You’re a few weeks late- oh wait, this isn’t an April Fool! Awesome!

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  3. Warpstone
    April 13, 2012

    Cue headline: “Canucks hate not being most hated!”

    About the only thing I’m sure about in hockey is that hate is the nicest gesture that someone who’s not rooting for you can do.

    Yoda was right: “”Fear leads to anger… anger leads to hate…” :P

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  4. peanutflower
    April 13, 2012

    Of course it’s just the media. The whole thing is a media fabrication. Perception management that just becomes reality.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 13, 2012

      Completely fabricated. If you asked “who hates team X?” a batch of haters would come out of the woodwork for each of 30 teams.

      But even that silly Toronto Sun article (http://www.torontosun.com/2012/04/09/who-sholld-canadians-pull-for) disproves its own pretence that the Canucks are so hated. Its own audience poll (mostly of Ontario people presumably) of who the readers will support in the playoffs currently says:
      Ottawa Senators 35.73%
      Vancouver Canucks 34.88%
      Neither 16.45%
      Both 12.93%

      That supports the Angus Reid poll results, which came out with a similar number of Canuck supporters – even with an alternative, Ontario-based team to support.

      Also, they misspelt “should” (as sholld) in their link to the article. If they’re going to spread media-fabricated hate instead of reporting the news, I wish they’d spell it right.

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  5. Yuri
    April 13, 2012

    I’m a die-hard Canucks’ fan for life, used to live in Vancouver, but having lived in Calgary since 1997 and I’m disgusted by both Calgary media and people’s loathing of the Canucks. Their Fan 960 station is filled to the brim with venom when they talk about both the team and the city of Vancouver in a hockey sense, which they do a lot, considering how dreadful their Flames are. So, from my personal experience the hatred for the Canucks is alive and well outside of BC. We’ve got to win the Cup, if only to rub it in their faces. Go Canucks Go!!!

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  6. V
    April 13, 2012

    It’s heartening to see numbers on it, but that is what I was assuming, too: it’s the internet that makes it seem like everyone hates us. The Looney-Tunes contingent online is much, much louder than the Everyman.

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  7. Shand
    April 13, 2012

    Now watch the haters try to argue science !

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  8. Rebecca
    April 13, 2012

    I’m from Nova Scotia and I’ve seen a multitude of Canucks fans walking the streets of Halifax. And most people who aren’t Canucks fans are mainly neutral toward them; I’ve been mystified by where this notion of the Canucks being the most hated was coming from. I’ve gotten some hate from Leafs fans, but I just shrug it off because, I mean, they’re Leafs fans.

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    • Aderam
      April 13, 2012

      I agree! Also Yay Maritimes!

      I became a Canucks fan when I was in Halifax for university. And no one was ever rude about it – not even the Flames fans I knew.

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      Rating: +11 (from 11 votes)
  9. Gadsby
    April 13, 2012

    Who could hate the Canucks? After all, we’re God’s Team.
    http://canucksarmy.com/2012/4/12/this-is-totally-a-serious-article

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  10. obituary mambo
    April 13, 2012

    That poll was illuminating. Here’s hoping the talking heads pay it some mind. I won’t hold my breath, though — I’d probably pass out.

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  11. Harrison Mooney
    April 13, 2012

    I’ll be honest, I think this poll is total garbage. On the grand scheme, what it’s saying is true. But most people it asked have no rooting interest whatsoever. They asked anyone, not just hockey fans, and not just hockey fans who knows the rosters. That changes everything.

    But it’s still nice to know that the narrative is partly a media creation. As though that’s a shocker.

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    • Brent
      April 13, 2012

      Well I don’t know if it is complete garbage though. I didn’t go into the metadata, but there are separate rankings for Hockey fans along with the general public, and we trend favourably in both.

      It is garbage in a way in that the talking heads and print media that hate us will continue to spout hate no matter what the facts are.

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    • JustSayin'
      April 13, 2012

      Although I understand what you’re saying, I think this poll is likely more reliable than anything else I’ve seen. Most people who post or respond to online surveys are doing so because they are motivated, by either anger or a complete loyalty to their team. Angus Reid, usually conducts phone polls, so this is going to the pubic rather than expecting them to come to you. The difference is that they will be able to capture the more marginal fans, who let’s face it are likely the majority. They enjoy watching hockey, but aren’t really that bothered about the outcome because their teams may not be participating. In any survey, if the data you get is only from the angry or from the very loyal, you will miss the majority who are usually somewhere in the middle.

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    • Nick
      April 13, 2012

      Saying the poll is “total garbage” is a bit strong HM.

      So far we’ve only heard about how all Canadians apparently feel from a few Toronto-based TSN anchors and some Bruins and Blackhawks.

      It’s not close to definitive but, when it comes to gauging the nation-wide sentiment about our team, I put a lot more stock in the results of an Angus Reid poll than I do in what I hear from Dave Bolland, Mark Recchi, and the talking heads on TSN.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 13, 2012

      Basically, if the Canucks were universally hated outside of BC, those poll results could not have emerged. It’s not precision science, but as a general indicator of public opinion at present, I think it has qualitative value.

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    • Daniel Wagner
      April 13, 2012

      I think you’re completely off-base calling this poll “total garbage.” Who cares if the people polled were dedicated hockey fans? The story is that the rest of Canada hates the Canucks, not that other hockey fans hate the Canucks. It’s not news that fans of the Calgary Flames hate the Canucks. Big deal.

      Also consider that 51% of the people who responded said they don’t hate any NHL team. There are your people who don’t care. There are your people with no rooting interest.

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  12. Kate
    April 13, 2012

    Maybe this is just me but I don’t really ‘hate’ any hockey team…sure I dislike them when the Canucks are playing them and I may secretly love it when the bruins/hawks lose, but mostly I just don’t care what other teams are doing. Any animosity to a team comes from a playoff series rivalry. The other thing that sort of miffs me is how so much of the hate comes from the east, how many regular season games are they really watching? Whatever, just hoping for the best for the Canucks!

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    • peanutflower
      April 13, 2012

      I agree. I’ve been watching hockey for 40 years and I can honestly say I never “hated” any hockey team either. Maybe extremely dislike a player or two depending on what they did to a Canucks player once upon a time. But this vitriolic internet stuff is just way off the charts. Although I know it’s impossible it sure would be interesting to get some kind of numbers on a) the average age of posters in, say, HF Boards and CDC (not PITB because we’re kind of the “alternative” boards, right?) Maybe too the chronic posters on newspaper columns, Sportsnet, TSN, ESPN etc. and see exactly where this crap is coming from. And try and do a demographic sampling that came up with age, occupation, education level (that would probably say a whole lot, right?) location and see what comes up. I know what I think would surface, but still numbers would be interesting.

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  13. Art
    April 13, 2012

    The Kings’ Twitter guy was clearly confused. It’s clearly all of the United States that hates the Canucks.

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  14. Rex
    April 13, 2012

    I think it’s pretty sad that people list the Sedins, Burrows, Kes, Max, Bieksa, etc. etc. as the reason why they hate the Canucks but would absolutely LOVE them if they were on their team. Mix that in with the fact that some Canadian teams aren’t doing so great these days and you have yourself the perfect recipe for hate.

    Personally, I don’t hate any Canadian team. And I don’t care if people hate me (as a Canucks fan) or my team. I’m with the Canucks 1000%, win or lose.

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    • hockeyispretty
      April 13, 2012

      The Burrows thing always flabbergasts me, except when it kerflummoxes me. Such an amazing story of sheer commitment: it’s one of the things that got me cheering for the Canucks. He’s always respectful when he speaks to the media – you couldn’t find anything wrong with what he says unless he were a goalie. I’ve never seen him try to maim anyone. OK, so there’s a little embellishment, but he doesn’t dive to force stoppages of play, so the refs can choose to ignore it – it’s their problem. So he yaps at other players – ditto, hardly a crime. I think he’s an amazing role model.

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 14, 2012

        And his chirping is apparently AWESOME. I had no idea he got so creative. Potato farms, references to Columbian marching powder… they should make a special trophy in his honour, most effective chirping, to be awarded alongside the Art Ross & other player achievement awards each year.

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  15. Britt
    April 13, 2012

    The Canucks success in recent years has apparently led to some jealousy from other Canadians who have had to suffer through cheering for the Leafs, Oilers, Flames etc., which clearly has evolved into hate. It should surprise no one that there’s a straight line between jealousy and hate.

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  16. JustSayin'
    April 13, 2012

    For bitter hockey fans whose teams have not made it to the playoffs and they are frustrated, I would say that we are the most hated. I think for most people, on the scale of importance, it just doesn’t even rate. It shouldn’t be important either, it’s just a game. Let’s face it though in Alberta they hate BC for more than just hockey. Mostly because their winters start in October/November and end in April/May. I lived in Calgary and they would be upset anytime there was a mention of spring in Vancouver and it was still snowing in April. The Canucks are just a new conduit for the venom.

    Have to laugh though, Mark Recchi really is trying very hard to be public enemy number 1 in his home province. Just say his name and many BC fans don’t have anything nice to say about him. I think if he hadn’t said anything no one would think negatively, but he’s doing his best to stay relevant and thinks the best way to do so is to lead the Canuck Hater’s bandwagon. Way to stay classy Mark….

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  17. cathylu
    April 13, 2012

    When my husband and I were in Boston last year for the Finals we were chatting with some East Coast Canadians while we were waiting to be let in to the arena. We said “So you’re rooting for the Canucks?” They said “No, the Bruins.” I was so shocked, just assuming all of Canada would be behind us. Shows how naive I was. I’ve learned a lot since then.

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    • Brent
      April 13, 2012

      Actually there are very strong ties between parts of the maritimes, especially Nova Scotia, and Boston. Part of this stems from the maritime tradition they both share with boat building, and a strong trade in goods and people going back and forth, intermarrying etc. But it is mainly because of the Halifax explosion. Before atomic bombs, this was the largest man made explosion and completely devastated Halifax. Boston stepped up and sent lots of help very quickly, much quicker than the federal government. Every year Halifax sends a huge christmas tree to Boston. People are quite proud if a tree on their property is picked.

      Kind of long winded, but I guess I am not that surprised that some Maritimers have a soft spot for the Bruins, no matter how misguided it is..

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      • hockeyispretty
        April 13, 2012

        That’s true – thanks for pointing it out. I didn’t really mind when other Canadians supported the Bruins, but it got under my skin when some people bought in to the media’s slanted coverage & started hating on the Canucks.

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        • Brent
          April 13, 2012

          Oh I hear you!

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      • Cathylu
        April 13, 2012

        Now that you mention it I do remember reading about that explosion. Since I’m American I’m not so up on my Canadian history. Thanks for the lesson.

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  18. cp3322
    April 13, 2012

    I am a huge Canucks fan, moved to Ottawa a year ago, and people were all quite nice to me whenever I had my jersey on.
    During the cup run last year, I had people come up to me and wish me good luck. Sure there were some harmless jeering, but the majority of people were nice.
    Most people don’t hate the Canucks here (aside from some Leafs fans), the narratives are mostly media generated.

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    • the real bob
      April 13, 2012

      Leafs fans aren’t all that bad, we’ve even converted a few…but it’s really those american teams who just try and capitalize on the “hate” to try and make a weak point

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  19. Zach Morris
    April 13, 2012

    I hear the Canucks have fans all over the world.
    In Berlin: “lass uns gehen Canucks!”
    In Finland: “Mennään Canucks!”
    In Hawai’i: “COCONUTS GO!”

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  20. akidd
    April 13, 2012

    nice to see that media ‘manufacturing’ exposed for what it is. the good old intraweb is a great place for wannabe influential types to pretend to be influential too.

    as for harrison’s rebuttal that those polled don’t really know the rosters well most of the online venom spitters don’t seem to know a whole lot either. it’s always the same old digs at lou and the sisters. burrows the biter. they never really make any sailent points. if they were to say for example, ” the canucks suck. they can’t even fight through the kings’ forecheck,” then i might pay attention.

    so you’ve got the ‘sour grapes’ cotu media leading the charge. and disgruntled, jealous and apparently ‘tetched’ posters with not a lot else going on blabbing tired old lines and holding up the rear.

    but otherwise it’s spring and most canadians have other things to think about.

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  21. Rachael
    April 13, 2012

    “Since it’s Canada, more than half of all responders (51%) claimed that they don’t hate anybody.”

    Seriously lol’d here.

    And you are wrong about one thing, Daniel. Not everyone loves the Blue Jays. You should know this by now, having been married to a Mariners fan for 4+ years. ;)

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  22. Forsy
    April 13, 2012

    “it’s just the media.”

    That’s all you need to really know. What a waste of time most of the media is.

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  23. Neil B
    April 15, 2012

    Still waiting for the first Eastern Canada coverage of this poll. Don’t know why, but it’s prolly from the 33% of self-proclaimed hockey fans who hate the Leafs.

    For those who want to read the original: http://www.angus-reid.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/2012.04.13_Hockey_CAN.pdf

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  24. amy
    April 18, 2012

    Reason we aren’t the most hated team. We haven’t won any cups. We want to be the most hated team, we want to win. So Vancouver, stop being politically correct and fricking score.

    LOL Ontario rather cut off its own ball than support Sens. True story.

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