Disturbing the Peace: Open Letter to the Southsiders

Dear Southsiders:

On Tuesday night, you made your presence known at Rogers Arena. The ‘shrine’ of the Vancouver Canucks. That other Vancouver based team that seems to get a lot of press and attention in this city. That night, you brought your brand of cheer and support that we, the fans at Rogers Arena, are not quite accustomed to seeing and definitely something we are not used to hearing.

Some of my fellow Canucks fans were a little offended with your presence- your open and vocal ways to show some support to our team. In fact, there was enough of a stink, your visit has been written about in a few of the local publications the morning after and also discussed on radio. So what gives? Why did you feel you needed to come and show your brand of support in our building? It’s not soccer. We don’t hold our scarves horizontally and sing vocal parodies to popular songs from the 80’s and 90’s. Who do you guys think you are?

I personally think, you guys brought a breath of fresh (and loud) air to a building that has been far too quiet the last few seasons.  I enjoyed hearing the chants and songs throughout the game. It made me feel I wasn’t part of the handful of fans hooting, hollering and heckling all by our lonesome. I often get asked why it’s so quiet at Rogers Arena and why don’t we vocally support our team like some of the other hockey hot beds around the league. The truth is, there are so a few reasons for the ‘library effect’ at The Rog’. The amount of corporate owned tickets is growing, so the average fan gets shut out of the building. The Canucks have been so good for quite some time now, it’s hard to get up for a regular season game, especially against a team like the Wild on a Tuesday night. All that enthusiasm seems to be saved up for the playoffs. I am sure there are other factors that attribute but I can only speculate.

Did I find you offensive? From where I was sitting, absolutely not. I saw a group of people in the very back of the section stand, sing, cheer and vocalize support for our hockey team. It’s not usual that fans in the arena cheer the whole game and when play is going, but it wasn’t disturbing the guys on the ice. If people were really there to watch hockey, your cheering should not have distracted them, right? To each their own.

I am sorry you felt, as a group, somewhat disrespected by my hockey brethren and some of the representatives of the Vancouver Canucks organization. I think they were just a little taken back by the unfamiliar. The last time Rogers Arena was a loud place during the regular season, was probably during the years of 2003-2007. The Canucks were in a transition period between the West Coast Express era to the present Sedin one. All most of Canucks fans are waiting for now is a Stanley Cup. So until then, it seems most of them will sit on their hands until it is made so.

Southsiders invade Rogers Arena to mixed reviews.

Southsiders invade Rogers Arena to mixed reviews.


Hopefully, the Canucks and some of their fans learned that a presence like the Southsiders could help the atmosphere in Rogers Arena. I’ve had a few fellow tweeters and Canucks fans say just that! A group of great supporters to help bust the quiet zone, library-like monotony that plagues Rogers Arena!  Some teams in the NHL have brought in cheerleaders to help liven up some crowds. Other teams have brought in musicians during the TV time outs to keep the crowd going. The Vancouver Whitecaps have you, The Southsiders. The BC Lions have Tailgate Empire and the Lionbackers.  Maybe as Canucks fans, we could use a group that is a little more vocal and cheerful. At the old Pacific Coliseum, I used to watch the game from the standing room only areas. We were the loudest, most loyal and craziest bunch of Canucks fans in the building. Perhaps we should bring some of that back. So maybe the next time the Southsiders decide to visit us Canucks fans at Rogers arena, instead of us chanting your cheers with you, we’d have some to share of our own.

Justine Galo



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  1. Jay says

    As a Southsider who wasn’t there, I don’t believe any malice was intended by the group that went. I also believe that most of the chants were adapted for the Canucks. Having said all that, they were guests of an unnamed company, specifically offered that block of seats (Rows 12-15) knowing that given the option, we’d rather stand.

    Having been in my buddy’s suite the past number of seasons, I’ve lost touch with security at Rogers Arena, in the sense of how they operate and such. Based on media coverage, radio and some online columns, most were supportive of the Southsiders being there. I’m sure people in the lower bowl rolled their eyes and the likes, but I’m also sure there are others who have been to Whitecaps matches and probably know who the Southsiders are.

    Am I going to apologize for my fellow Southsiders being there? No, nor should I feel any inkling of having to do so. They had the same right to be there as the other 18000 people did. Our President went on 1040 with Sekeres and Price today and gave his side and a quick overview of what we’re all about. He did concede that better communication could’ve altered the end result.

    To be fair, they had Canucks COO Victor deBonis on right after with the team’s side of the story. Not surprisingly, no apology or anything of sort came from him.

    I’m not quite sure how willing the Southsiders will be on going as a group to a Canucks game. When push comes to shove, it’s up to each person to decide. I’ve already made my opinion on hockey this season clear, in your blog, and decided to skip this Friday’s game to show support for my fellow Southsiders, who as far as I’m concerned, got a raw deal.

  2. Sam says

    I was sitting in the lower bowl not far from the Southsiders, and I LOVED having them there! Everyone around me was turning to see where the chanting and singing were coming from, and I jokingly asked, “Who are these guys, the Southsiders?” before seeing their scarves. I didn’t hear a single complaint from the people around me, and we were in a much more “corporate” area. The Bud Zone is typically pretty loud anyway, but this was organized and respectful, and the guys were having fun — to the point that I almost wanted to venture upstairs and see if there was room for me too. *Someone* at the Canucks must have liked them, because one was chosen to win a jersey at the game, no doubt partly because of how loud and cheerful the crew was.

    I’ve yet to make it to a Whitecaps game and this makes me even more excited to go, and I know I’ll be choosing my seats based on where the Southsiders are, because I want to be right in the middle of it.

    That kind of energy and enthusiasm is needed at all our local teams’ games, and I hope to see them again. Hopefully the Canucks staff will be more welcoming next time.

  3. Seathanaich says

    Bravo to the Southsiders. This city needs more of them, and fewer people playing with their cellphones or standing in the concession lines for most of the game.

    If everyone was a “Southsider” at Canucks, Lions, and Whitecaps games, then maybe their management would turn off the annoying fake atmosphere from the loudspeakers at BC Place and Canucks Arena.

  4. Ray says

    Not sure why this issue was framed with ‘you’ vs ‘them’ language. I’m a fan of both, not unlike many others who crossover between both clubs. Some good point made from the posters above.

    • Justine Galo says

      Framed that way because, I believed that night, the Southsiders were treated like outsiders, from what I have been reading, what I saw in the arena and how the Southsiders felt in their interviews. That and I am not that big of a soccer fan, and more of a hockey fan, so it’s a valid point of view.

  5. Andre says

    I have been a passionate Vancouver sports fan for 33 years, both Canucks and Whitecaps. I am also an 11-year Southsider. I cannot tell you HOW PROUD I was of the Southsiders who were in attendance at the Canucks-Minnesota game.

    It’s time for fans to be fans again. One of the biggest problems during Canucks/NHL games over the past 20 years is when there is a stoppage in play, there is loud ear-splitting rock music and constant ads over the PA system. That’s when fans need to really show show their support by standing, dancing, and waving their handmade signs in the air. I’ve read a lot of complaints about the DJ at Roger’s Arena and the kind of music that’s played. I say the hell with the rock music and get back to good-old fashioned organ music. Not the fake recorded kind. Remember the 1982 playoffs? It was a true hockey atmosphere at the Pacific Coliseum. Sorry to say this, but Canucks Sports & Entertainment can learn from the Chicago Blackhawks and their fan relations.


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