First off, let me just say that I'd love to be cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Stanley Cup finals this year.
But I can't.
OK, that's out of the way.
So, let me explain why I'm cheering for Vancouver, while so many others in Canada apparently aren't for whatever reasons.
First there's the simple logic: there are two teams left. One is based in the U.S. and the other is based in Canada. I am supporting the Canadian team. Call me crazy and patriotic.
Now let's rewind a year and a bit to the 2010 Winter Games. Remember how the country united while watching athletes from all over Canada kick butt. Remember how we all cheered for every save Roberto Luongo made toward our gold win in hockey (how soon we forget).
OK, so this was a national team in the Olympics, you say. True enough. But the players on Vancouver are also from all over the country, including some from the GTA: Raffi Torres is from Toronto and Manny Malhotra (who made an amazing comeback from an eye injury to play in the finals) is from Mississauga. There are others from the GTA on Vancouver's roster.
Also let me say that by cheering for Vancouver, it doesn't mean I'm not 'loyal' to Toronto. I have said it before and I will say it again, if Toronto gives me a reason to cheer for them (i.e. make the playoffs), I will jump back on that bandwagon so hard the wheels will fall off.
By cheering for Vancouver (as the Canadian team), it doesn't mean I don't like American teams. I loved Dallas in their prime (Mike Modano was awesome) and I was very happy for Chicago last year. I also really enjoyed the Ray Bourque years of Boston; I was thrilled when Bourque finally hoisted a cup after being traded to Colorado.
Oh, and let's not forget how torn I was when the Gretzky-led Kings defeated a very strong Leafs squad in 1993.
So anyways, I will probably take some flack for this, but I'm really not sure why. Liking a team doesn't mean I dislike you or your team of choice. I just like mine better.
Go Vancouver. Go CANADA.