Losing is a painful experience, especially in the Stanley Cup Final, and a bet between friends has ensured it’s even more painful and permanent than ever before.
Five years ago Jamie Meegan and Ryan LeSage were sitting around the lunchroom at NRI Distribution in Kamloops, BC, talking hockey. That conversation turned into spirited discourse, then angry arguing, which morphed into a hectic dispute.
Meegan, a lifelong fan of the Vancouver Canucks, and LeSage, a Boston Bruins diehard, were in the midst of painful off-seasons for their teams, but both had faith their squad would hoist the Stanley Cup before the other.
A money wager seemed too simple and temporary embarrassment wasn’t enough, so when co-worker Will Jordan spawned the idea of the loser having to get a tattoo of the winning team’s logo, the pair shook hands and made if official.
Never in a million years did the counterparts imagine their teams would be going head-to-head for the Holy Grail, meaning they’d be going head-to-head in The Bet.
“To be honest,” said LeSage, a 30-year-old from Ontario, “we wouldn’t be talking to you if only one of the teams was in. It’s pretty phenomenal and amazing that it rolled out like this.”
“Ryan was all over it immediately,” said Meegan, 32, from Kamloops. “I was on the fence for a bit, then it became a reality.”
And now it’s just a matter of time before one of them is forever inked with a logo they’ll despise for the rest of their life.
The official rules of The Bet are as follows:
-Whichever of the Vancouver Canucks (Jamie’s Team) or the Boston Bruins (Ryan’s Team) wins the Stanley Cup next the loser will tattoo the logo of the winning team on their body; basically the loser gets a tattoo of the team they hate the most.
-Tattoo must be at least the size of a regulation NHL hockey puck (three inches in diameter).
-Tattoo can be placed anywhere on the body but must be shown (in any social situation) at the request of the winner.
-Tattoo will be completed within 48 hours of the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final.
-Winner of the bet pays for the loser’s tattoo.
-Tattoo cannot ever be defaced in any way.
After Game 1, a 1-0 Canucks win, it’s advantage Meegan, but there’s a lot of hockey left to be played before needle hits skin.
Meegan, who grew up a Vancouver fan, does not have any tattoos and he’s confident he’ll be able to say the same once the series is over.
LeSage, on the other hand, has two tattoos, an arm piece and one on his leg, both of skulls, death and destruction. Cheering for the Bruins because of a family allegiance has put him in a few pickles in Canucks Land before, but never like this. Still he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I didn’t really have a choice in the matter and I do not regret not having a choice.”
What he hopefully does regret is making this bet with a Canucks fan. And yes, clearly I’m backing Meegan in the competition.
But what do the significant others in each guy’s life think of this juvenile awesomeness?
“My wife is more devastated and worried about the gross beard I have that she has had to deal with the past couple of months than the tattoo,” laughed Meegan.
“She thinks we’re idiots, but is fine with whatever we want to do.”
Ditto for LeSage.
“I’ve got a girlfriend, a new girlfriend, so she’s on board. She doesn’t want to see me lose, that’s it.”
I speak for Canucks fans everywhere in saying: we do.