Bear with me here.
I was talking with a friend the other day, and we discussed manly things. Beards, Clint Eastwood movies and of course, sports.
There are currently three major sports franchises in Vancouver right now. The Vancouver Canucks are the unquestioned major draw in the city, with hockey being 'Canada's Game.' Then, the BC Lions of the CFL and the Vancouver Whitecaps are essentially left to do battle for a distant second place.
Our conversation veered towards the subject of Captains in Vancouver, and we decided to try and rank the respective 'C' wearers of each franchise.
Of course, Football teams have several Captains that take the field for the opening coin toss, so we decided to go with the face of the franchise, Quarterback Travis Lulay.
I write a blog about the Vancouver Whitecaps, so I guess it's easy to say that I'm biased. However, when I tried to compare the leadership qualities of Henrik Sedin, Jay Demerit and Travis Lulay, it wasn't even close.
While Sedin and Lulay play for arguably better teams in their leagues, I find it very hard to mount a case against our mulleted hero. Bottom line is that Demerit has connected with the fans of this city in a way not seen since Trevor Linden became Vancouver's favourite son.
When you consider the fact that Demerit has only been the Captain of an MLS franchise for the past two years, he's done an incredible job of integrating himself into the fanbase.
He grew a playoff mullet last season, and it became a sensation among 'Caps supporters, with fans donning mullet wigs at matches, culminating in fan appreciation day featuring a slew of mullet related activities. It became a awesome side story for the fans, and a way for Demerit to connect with them in ways he hadn't before. Sure, he had been admired as a gritty, rough and tough leader on the backline, but mullet-mania really gave fans a chance to see an extended look at his jokey personality. Demerit is a funny, genuinely nice person when you meet him, and I think it's a side of his personality that fans should see more of.
I mean, when he was engaged, it wasn't secretive at all. He announced it over twitter, inviting fans into his personal life, giving them a chance to share in his special moment. That's something that not a lot of players would do, let alone Captains, when you consider that they're under intense scrutiny for most of the year.
I guess that's why, when the Whitecaps rolled out their new advertising campaign, I didn't find it phony at all. For those who haven't seen it, it's essentially a couple of the Whitecaps professing their love and pride for the city of Vancouver. Demerit, is of course, front and center in the campaign, and I truly believe that when he says he loves Vancouver, he's not buttering up the crowd.
I'll cut this post short, before it veers further into a 'fanboy' post, but in my humble opinion, Demerit is easily one of the best Captains this city has seen in a while.