Fans of the Vancouver Canucks might have noticed an interesting phenomenon at home games recently. For those completely unfamiliar with hockey, when a player gets a penalty for rough play, he is sent to the penalty box for between two and five minutes. In the last few months, the visiting team's penalty box has two unusual characters sitting right beside it. A couple green spandex-clad guys who apparently have some pretty decent season tickets, as they are beginning to become a staple at GM Place.
When a player on the away team gets a penalty and is sent to the box, the two 'green men' come to life and start dancing, shaking and banging on the penalty box glass, anything to rile up the player. Here is a visual, courtesy of youtube and Sportsnet.
I've been thinking about these guys a lot in relation to the course, and how they might factor into the concept of performance in Vancouver. Who are they performing for? The opposing players seem to be their main targets, but at the same time they only do so while the jumbotron (the giant TV suspended from the ceiling) is showing them. So in another way, they really are performing for the TV and arena audience. They don't attempt to annoy them while they aren't being shown. Obviously they want to watch the game like everyone else, but it still seems worth noting that they only act out when on camera.
And they are on camera quite frequently. In fact, they have become celebrities in their own right. I was at the game versus Buffalo last night, and watched as they were waylaid with fans asking for autographs when they tried to leave their seats for popcorn or to use the washroom. Despite that, they happily took pictures and signed for anyone who approached them, and have clearly stepped into their roles with enthusiasm. They perform their antics not only for the players (and as seen on the video, obviously gets to them), but for everyone at the arena and watching at home. Speaking of performances, anyone see Henrik Sedin's breakaway goal? Mint!