Always. Every off-season for about the past five years it's happened - I swear off the Canucks.
It's not immediate. I make it through the playoffs, usually which they've exited long before.
I make it through the draft.
And then I make it through free agent frenzy. All still very interested, with my finger on the pulse of what my Canucks are doing.
But then hockey goes quiet for the summer, and I take time to evaluate.
I evaluate how much mental energy I spend cheering for a team - the same team I've cheered for for 40 years now - and wonder what good it's doing me.
Yes, at times they cause me joy. Great joy. Wizardous Sedinery is like nothing else. But they cause me heartache. Oh man, do they cause me heartache.
So every summer I pretty confidently say to myself "I'm going to try taking this season off. Not follow them so closely. Just step back a little". Every year Jordan laughs at this suggestion. And every year I get defensive, telling him if he were a fan for his entire life, not just the past decade, he would understand.
And I hold onto this stance right up to training camp. I don't follow it. I don't know much about our prospects, and I don't care. And then pre-season starts. And they lose. And they're playing with a bunch of players I don't know about and don't care about. And they lose a few more. And I truly believe I have made the right decision to step back.
And then pre-season winds up and I'm faced with the "real" team. And without realizing, I find myself back on Twitter, following my "Hockey, yo!" list full of players and commentators quite closely. And then I start hitting up Canucks.com pretty regularly. And then, I start talking to Jordan about hockey. All the time.
And that's when I realize it's all over. These off season plans to step back were just a pipe dream. I am a real fan, not one that jumps on and off the bandwagon. Through and through I have followed this team, and will apparently continue to. And like I blame my father before me, one day my kids too will blame their parents for instilling a love of this team in them. Apparently it can't be helped.
So here we are, just hours before puck drop. And apparently we are all quite ready for the season to begin. Hockey is very serious business.
(although maybe Asher didn't get the memo?)
Damn you Canucks. In the iconic words of Michael Corleone: "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in".
Update Oct 8: They won their season opener 5-1. I probably made the right choice.