With the Canucks on the verge of a playoff run, the Green Men mull a revival

Click to play video: 'Vancouver Canucks’ Green Men making a comeback?'
Vancouver Canucks’ Green Men making a comeback?
It's not easy being green, especially after eight years off. But as Aaron McArthur reports, the Vancouver Canucks' most famous fans could be eyeing a comeback – Mar 1, 2024

It’s been more than a decade since the Vancouver Canucks’ last Stanley Cup run, and with the team playing better than it has since that bygone era, their most recognizable superfans may be on the comeback trail themselves.

It has been eight years since the Green Men — a green spandex-clad duo known for clownish antics and taunting opponents in the penalty box — have appeared at Rogers Arena.

On Feb. 24, the pair returned for a high-stakes matchup between the home team and their 2011 Stanley Cup nemesis, the Boston Bruins.

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Canucks unveil logo for former goalie Roberto Luongo’s Ring of Honour induction

Green Men Sully and Force said talks with the club in recent years about a potential return went nowhere, until management reached out in October proposing an appearance at the February game.

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“It was electric, man,” Sully told Global News from Saskatoon where he now lives.m “You never quite know what to expect.”

It’s been a long time since the Green Men did their thing, and a lot has changed since then.

“When we started, Sully and I were single. We were in our early 20s and we were both students at BCIT,” Force said. “We are now both married, Sully has two kids, I have one on the way, and we are both in our mid-to-late 30s. The body is not kind, no matter how much you work out, so there was some hesitations about getting back into the green suit.”

The duo had no need to be nervous. Rogers Arena staff brought them out during the game’s first TV timeout with a pro-wrestling-style introduction, and the crowd went wild.

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle surprise fans at Vancouver Canucks game

The pair said they were overwhelmed by the outpouring of support during and after the game.

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“Everybody got behind it, and I think that people really see it truly for what it is. I mean, we’re just trying to help the entertainment factor, you know, we get in people’s heads and stuff like that, and of course, we’re kind of pulling for one team,” Sully said. “But at the same time, we just want people to have fun, and we want to make sure that, you know, we get as crazy and wild as we can and to hopefully inspire others in the crowd to do the same, so I think people see that and I think people have really responded.”

The appearance came with a storybook ending. The Canucks, down 2-0 for much of the game, mounted a comeback and forced overtime.

When Boston took a penalty in the extra frame, the Canucks scored the game-winning goal — while the Green Men were in the middle of taunting the Bruin in the box with a box of Eggo waffles.

“People lost their minds in there, it was just, it was deafening,” Sully said. “We just felt like we belonged, you know, and it was just such a great warming feeling.”

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The Green Men aren’t the only ones who have changed since their last outing.

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In the ensuing years, an entire generation of new Canucks fans have grown up knowing the spandex pranksters only as legend.

“We had so many dads coming up to us saying, ‘Hey I was in university when you guys last came, and here’s my seven-year-old son who is so excited to meet you guys, I show your clips on YouTube to him,'” Force said. “That was mind-blowing to me, that was the coolest part, there’s now this new wave of Green Man fans who weren’t even around when we last went to a game.”

Given the positive response, it may not be the last that fans have seen of the Green Men.

The duo aren’t ruling out future appearances, particularly if the Canucks make a serious playoff run — a legitimate possibility with the team hovering near the top of the NHL standings.

“Part of the reason I wanted to come back is I wanted to show my family,” Force said. “My wife went to school in Utah for most of 2009 to 2015, so she never really experienced the Green Men … That was also the motivation I wanted to bring her to the game on Saturday, see some handstands and then have her lose all respect for me.”

While the wives may have been horrified, fans were thrilled to see Sully and Force ride again.


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