Shooting From the Hip with @aroc88: Prince George’s “Canucks Guy”
[Every week, Clayton Imoo sits down and talks hockey with a CHB follower and fellow fan. If you're interested in being featured in "Shooting from the Hip", send us a tweet at @canuckshockey or @CanuckClay.]
In his own words:
Arnold (@aroc88) was born at Burnaby Hospital but lived in Vancouver for most of his life. He went to school in Vancouver at Windermere Secondary, graduating in 1996. He worked for a few years then went to post-secondary at BCIT taking the Broadcast, Media and Communications – Television program and now works in Prince George working at CKPG-TV as a Technical Director. He is the main director for the live noon, 5pm and 6:30pm newscasts. Arnold has been a Canucks fan his whole life and the Canucks are his biggest passion.
1. Where did the Twitter handle @aroc88 come from?
My Twitter handle comes from a nickname a good friend of mine gave me a long time ago because he said I was like “a rock” and me being a pretty big Jay-Z fan we dropped the ‘K’ and A-ROC was born. I use 88 because I used to wear 8 when I played soccer as a kid. Then when I played hockey in a beer league when I was older, 8 was taken so I just doubled it to 88. Nothing too special, but it makes sense.
2. The Canucks have struggled recently winning only two of their last seven games, including losses to lesser-lights Montreal and Buffalo? Why do you think are the Canucks? And more importantly, how concerned are you?
Sure the Canucks have lost to some lesser-lights the past two Saturdays but I’m not worried. I believe it stems from the Canucks being so far ahead in their division and really having nothing to play for. The Canucks are pretty much guaranteed the #1 or #2 seed. I can see why there might be a little bit of a ‘ho-hum’ attitude for some games. They have played a lot of hockey recently and maybe they are burnt out. Obviously the twins will have to start scoring again if the Canucks expect to win in the playoffs. When they start scoring again (and they will) the Canucks will be fine.
3. From your Twitter bio, you are a self-proclaimed “Canucksaholic”. Talk about how it is to follow the Canucks from Prince George. Would you say you’re among the biggest Canucks fans there? Is there a known hang-out where all the Canucks faithful gather?
When I moved to Prince George in September 2010 I wasn’t sure how was going to survive being away from my team that I love so much. I worked at GM Place/Rogers Arena for 13 years and had been to probably 95% of the home games during that time. I miss being at all the home games so much but I have adjusted to watching the games here on my TV. I only watch games in HD because I’m an HD snob. I’ve been invited to people’s houses to watch and if they don’t have HD I don’t go. I like to watch the games at home by myself because I don’t like being distracted at a bar by loud people etc.
During the playoffs last season people did gather at some of the sports bars to watch together, but not me. I was at home yelling at my TV and flooding my Twitter feed with comments. Being away from my family and friends while games are on has been made easier because of technology. I can tweet or BBM with my best friend @hollyjeanyip in Vancouver and my sister @neeshhhy who is in Vietnam while the Canucks are playing and it’s almost like being there with them.
Of course I’m going to say I’m one of the biggest fans in this city as there aren’t many Canucks fans as you would think there are. There are tons of Oilers (yuck) and Bruins (double YUCK) fans here. It’s quite unfortunate. At my local grocery store, I’m known as “The Canucks Guy” because I’m usually wearing some sort of Canucks gear every time I go there. I’m a total Canucks nerd and I know way too much about the team for my own good. I still fly back for a couple games per season.
4. Ultimately, what place do you see the Canucks finishing in and who will their first round opponent be? Do you think this year’s team is stronger than last year’s?
The Canucks will finish in 2nd place and they will end up playing either Phoenix, Calgary or Dallas. I know that isn’t much of a prediction but the bottom half of the west is a log jam with a bunch of average teams. The one thing I do wish for is that the Canucks don’t end up playing the Blackhawks again in the first round. My heart could not take another series against them. Let’s hope they don’t fall into 7th place. If they do, we’ll need someone to watch over me every game just in case I have a panic attack.
If you asked me last month I would have said the Canucks are stronger than they were last season. After the trade deadline I now believe we are different team now and not as strong offensively as we were with Coho in the lineup. I won’t get into that as it’s been over reported on, so enough already. I do think the Canucks are the strongest team in the Western Conference and we will make to at least the third round. If they don’t I will not be a very pleasant person to be around.
5. Why should people follow you on Twitter? What can new followers expect?
If you follow me, you can expect a lot of tweets during Canucks games. Being someone who watches the games alone, tweeting gives me “someone” to talk to. I’ve been told by some of my followers that I make the game sound very exciting through my tweets. Others have used my tweets to know what is going on in the game when they aren’t able to watch or listen to it. I try to mix in a bit of humor in my own silly sarcastic way. Obviously not everyone will agree or laugh at what I tweet and that’s totally fine. When I’m not tweeting about the Canucks I tweet a lot about TV shows because I’m addicted to my PVR. Let’s hope for another big run in the playoffs and happy tweeting! Go Canucks Go!