Nothing brings a city and province together than hockey playoffs. OK, maybe complaining about tax hikes and governments and blah, blah, blah. But there was new life in Manitoba when the Jets made the playoffs.
I'm old enough to remember the previous "whiteout" but not old enough to understand the significance of it. Now that I'm older, I get it. And it's one hell of a party!
It didn't matter (to me, anyway) if the Jets beat Anaheim and moved on, it was the pride we have as Manitobans to come together and rally behind our home team that was thrilling (for me, anyway). I should also point out I got flack when I covered the Olympics in Vancouver for saying a gold didn't matter so much as athletes represented the country and felt proud of their effort. You can probably tell I'm not big into sports.
Nevertheless, even though the majority of players on the Jets aren't from Winnipeg, or even Canada for that matter, we still have a sense of ownership that they are our team. True, they spend as much time living in Manitoba as I spend on a hockey rink throughout the year.
We use the terms "we" and "us" to describe the team as though we are on the team. I also notice when the team loses fans are quick to say "they" lost in an attempt to distance themselves from losers. (The odd time I hear "we lost" but it's rare.)
So if I have this right: The team belongs to us, not the players. But when the team wins we seem to take ownership of the players, too.
Either way, I wish I was in Winnipeg when the games were in town. Coincidentally I was in Winnipeg when the Anaheim home games were played and I was back in California when the series came to Winnipeg.
Win or lose the energy and excitement gave us a boost like we have only recently seen during gold-medal Olympic hockey games so it's nice to once again chant, "Go Jets Go"... even if I am the only Canadian watching in a Los Angeles-area sports bar!