Vancouver Sun

Pass it to Bulis

IN THE BLEACHERS: Who will replace the Green Men on Saturdays?

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It’s hockey season once again, that beautiful time of year when we reverse our metamorpho­sis into social butterflie­s and return to our hockey cocoon, or hockoon. Ah, hockey season. What a time. If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of a sports journalist clacking out the lede “the boys are back in town” on his laptop. It’s true, though. The boys are back in town, save for Jannik Hansen, who never left. I saw him leaving a Safeway parking lot in August. That’s right. Hansen shops at Safeway and it’s a commendabl­e choice. Their storebrand orange juice has just the right amount of pulp.

But it’s not just the players who are returning. The fans, too, are coming back around, albeit not in the droves they have in years past. That’s going to take some time. With a riot, a lockout, two firstround exits and the short- lived John Tortorella era darkening their experience over the last four years, many are, understand­ably, keeping the team at arm’s length for the moment.

This has been the story for much of the off- season, with fans way, way down the season ticket waiting list getting calls and the Canucks admitting they haven’t sold as many packages as they’d like. But let’s not dwell on that. Our concern here today isn’t the status of every fan. We’re thinking of two in particular: The Green Men, Force and Sully.

Are they thinking of retiring the fluorescen­t green zentai suits? The duo won’t be at the home opener and now that they’ve got a shiny new radio program Saturday nights on TSN 1410, one wonders if their shtick is slowly going to be phased out. And if so, who will replace them as Vancouver’s bizarre and notable fans du jour? Here are a handful of suggestion­s:

The Blue Men

It’s the same basic idea, except the suits are the other official Canucks’ colour: Blue! OK, admittedly, you might get a few people accusing you of just copying the original, so here’s a way to truly differenti­ate yourselves: Ditch the spandex for face paint, maybe go from two dudes to three and, I don’t know, what if instead of prop comedy you did innovative percussion breakdowns? The people would love it.

The Green Man

No props. No Abbott and Costello routines. Just one guy living off the land, composting everything, growing his own radishes, hunting ethically, eating paleo — just really getting into the soil from which we sprouted. Maybe he releases a cookbook? I don’t know. Just spitballin’ here.

Van Horsing

Van Horsing is two guys in a Halloween horse costume, draped in a Canucks blanket. Are the Canucks going to lose tonight? Van Horsing says neigh.

The Zebra Print Men

Like the Green Men, but way more haute. In fact, maybe every week they show up in a different high- fashion bodysuit. Leopard. Houndstoot­h. Herringbon­e. Black Watch tartan. But not paisley. Gross, who do you think they are? Dads from the 80s?

Siri

I asked Siri on Thursday morning if the Canucks would win on Saturday and she said, “no one is willing to give me a prediction, but the Canucks have a better record than the Oilers,” which is technicall­y true, since the Canucks were 1- 0- 0 then and the Oilers had yet to play a game. That kind of short- sightednes­s is perfect for Canucks fandom. I can’t wait for Siri’s passionate calls to TSN 1040 about how the Sedins didn’t score tonight, so they should

be traded.

Mulder And Sully

The Green Men were inspired by an It’s Always Sunny in Philadelph­ia episode and in keeping with the “as seen on TV” theme, here’s

an idea. Force walks away and Sully goes to work for the FBI, where he’s assigned to work with a “spooky” recluse in the Bureau basement, investigat­ing paranormal activity the higherups would prefer they not uncover because the entire operation is being carefully managed by a consortium of men who were there on the day when it all began and struck a deal that betrayed humanity.

Jeff And Matt, Two Normal Guys Who Just Really Like Hockey

A couple of normal dudes, just cheering on their local sports team. After the game they’re headed to Library Square to get a couple brewskis before it’s back to the grind on Monday morning. Aren’t Mondays the worst, bro?

A Bunch Of Walruses

They go where the ice is and they’re getting desperate. They spend the whole night banging on the glass and shouting “Ark! Ark! Ark!” Other fans are uncertain if they’re just being obnoxious or if they’re trying to get through so they can forage and mate.

Those Windsock Dudes With The Wavy Arms

If they’re good enough to sell used cars, they’re good enough to cheer for this team. Granted, they’re always doing the wave, which is annoying, but it’s tough to kill their spirit unless you turn off the fan, and the only thing that could turn off the fan is another season of John Tortorella hockey, right?

 ?? ILLUSTRATI­ON: MAGGIE WONG/ VANCOUVER SUN ??
ILLUSTRATI­ON: MAGGIE WONG/ VANCOUVER SUN

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