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The Green Men of Vancouver: “We’re kinda like folk heroes.”

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By now, you’ve most likely seen and heard about the Green Men. The unofficial new mascots of Vancouver, they became internet sensations back in December when they were caught on camera taunting Dave Scatchard of the Nashville Predators while he sat in the penalty box at GM Place. They have since made periodic appearances at Canucks home games, mysteriously showing up to random games and becoming something of a phenomenon in Vancouver.

On April 15th, in a home playoff game against the LA Kings, the Green Men rose to the ranks of hockey celebrity they never thought possible. With Jack Johnson in the penalty box, two men dressed in green spandex plastered themselves to the glass in what seemed to be impossible positions; the video was instantly put on YouTube and their ‘antics’ have been viewed over 1 million times in just over a week.

The “Green Man” phenomenon has stemmed from the popular show “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”, spawning green men appearances all over the sports world. The Green Men in Vancouver have been able to take the meme to an extremely popular level, based on some crazy antics and the wonders of YouTube.

PHT was able to talk with Sully and Force, as they prefer to be known, as they prepare for another night at GM Place and another night of motivating an already boisterous crowd. The two college students, preferring their identities kept secret, never thought that this would become as big as it has. They thought it would just be a one-time thing after the initial game against Nashville in December, but after seeing the online response to their appearance YouTube decided that if the people wanted more, they’d give them more.

“We were in demand,” Sully says. “Gotta keep the people happy.”

After a week of radio and television appearances, multiple interviews and countless pictures with strangers, Sully and Force have embraced their newfound celebrity. It’s not something they expected.

“It’s really cool actually. Originally, we just kinda figured that this wouldn’t catch on. It was just a gimmick you know....a couple of guys, a mascot kind of thing.”

Sully says that it’s become much more than just fun as a mascot, however. It’s something...more.

“We’re kinda like folk heroes out here now,” he says. “I don’t want to say we’re superheroes, but we kinda fit that persona: we wear spandex, we do what’s right for the community and everybody kinda follows suit. We affect things when we’re at a game, and that’s kinda cool.

“We can make them cheer at the drop of a dime and that’s a power that very few possess, I think.”

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The crowds have certainly started to respond to the two men in green, as they’ve taken on the job of getting the fans at the game as loud and as boisterous as possible. Taking up their seats next to the visitor’s penalty box, part of that job is to make life miserable for the opposing players. It may not work exactly as planned, but they certainly try.

“They try to ignore us. We’ve gotten some pretty good reaction from them. Drew Doughty was chirping at us a little bit. They try to ignore us, but we try to obstruct their view of the play on the other end, we bang on the glass so they can’t hear the countdown for when they’re supposed to come out of the box.

“We just try to make it a rough atmosphere for those two minutes.”

While Sully and Force were captured just acting odd and banging on the glass against Nashville, they took it to a completely different level against the Kings. Doing a handstand on the seat, pressing yourself against the glass and being as obnoxious as possible is one quick way to get thrown out of the game. Yet Sully says that the officials haven’t been as rough on them as one might expect.

“In the Nashville game the first time we banged on the glass the security was tright there in our face. The next game, as they saw how big it was they let us pretty much do our thing,” says Sully. “After the LA game, when I went up on the chair there and put my junk up on the glass in a headstand, security was right there again. I think once they saw how big it was on YouTube and stuff, they backed down a bit.”

“But they’re always right there in our face, we always have to deal with them.”

With their popularity, which has turned into a nifty website and an incredibly popular Facebook fan page, has come more demand for their presence at home games. They say they have a winning record at Canucks games, and would love to keep doing what must be done to help out the team from the stands. Yet for two college students, tickets on the glass in the playoffs aren’t cheap. So while they go to as many games as possible, they say that " it would definitely help if we got some help from the Canucks or whomever.”

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Despite the financial hardships involved in being local heroes, there is also the added burden of becoming insanely popular. When everyone knows who you are and you’re dressed in bright green spandex, it can make getting around at the game fairly difficult, says Sully.

“You have no idea. After a’s a lot better now that we’re in warmer weather. When we went to games around Christmas, just to get from the building to the parking lot...we get swarmed. We probably take another 50 to 100 pictures with people outside GM Place. Around Christmas time it was freezing cold, so that’s a bit of an issue when you’re wearing tight spandex.”

The Green Men will continue their quest to make life miserable for opposing players, doing what must be done to get the crowd into a game. They also haven’t limited themselves to Canucks games, saying that they might make some appearances Seattle Seahawks games this year as well.

“We go where we’re needed,” says Sully.

“Like a true superhero.”

Photos courtesy of