The Green Men
|Sully and Force|
|First appearance||versus Nashville Predators, December 22, 2009|
|Alias||The Green Men, Vancouver Green Men|
The Green Men, known as Force (Adam Forsyth) and Sully (Ryan Sullivan), are supporters of the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League (NHL). They are known for sitting beside the opposing team's penalty box during Canucks games at Rogers Arena with their green full-body spandex suits. The suits are zentai, from the SuperFan Suit brand. Forsyth wears the neon green suit while Sullivan, the shorter of the two, wears the darker suit. The two were inducted into the ESPN Hall of Fans in 2012. They have also appeared in a Pepsi billboard advertisement, wearing a Canucks jersey.
The idea for the Green Men started when the two friends, Forsyth and Sullivan, decided to attend a National Football League game in Seattle. They ordered a pair of green suits to wear to the game after watching a Season 3 episode of the television program It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia in which character Charlie Kelly wears a similar suit. Sullivan's suit arrived a day after the football game, so the Green Men went to a Canucks game instead. The owner of the roofing company that Sullivan worked for had access to the seats beside the penalty box, which is how they continually got those seats. The owner provided more free tickets after the duo rose to fame, but they have since been forced to pay for themselves. The Green Men entertain fans and annoy the opposition with their antics, which include handstands against the glass and the use of props such as a cutout of Carrie Underwood (when the Canucks play the Nashville Predators) or Vince Vaughn (when they play the Chicago Blackhawks) in a Canucks jersey.
Some of their antics have been:
- Throwing frozen waffles in the air when Toronto Maple Leafs forward Tim Brent took a penalty, referencing an angry Maple Leafs fan throwing waffles on the Air Canada Centre ice a week earlier.
- Showing a cutout of Vince Vaughn in a Canucks jersey in a playoff series against the Chicago Blackhawks in 2011.
- Butt flossing a Blackhawks jersey during a 2010 playoff series against the Blackhawks.
- Holding up a sign saying 'Which Way to the Roxy?' when Nashville Predators defenceman Shane O'Brien was in the penalty box during their 2011 playoff series, a reference to O'Brien frequenting a bar of that name when he played for the Canucks.
Their first appearance was when the Nashville Predators stopped by Rogers Arena, then known as General Motors Place, on December 22, 2009. They attended 13 games during the 2009–10 Vancouver Canucks season. In 2011, Forsyth and Sullivan both finished their journalism program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology and are trying to break into the media business.
Versus the Chicago Blackhawks
The morning of April 28, two Green Men impostors were set up near the north end of the George Massey Tunnel, a highway traffic tunnel in Metro Vancouver, approximately 20 km south of the city centre. Their antics disrupted traffic for hours, leading to Forsyth receiving "about 17 different phone calls from people telling me that I had ruined their morning commute," by the time he woke up—he was in Victoria at the time. CBC investigation tracked it down to a lighting replacement company; they dismissed claims they were responsible for the snarl.
Versus the San Jose Sharks
At Game 7, after the Boston win, the Green Men held a sign reading Their final tweet of the season read: "Dear rioters: You’re a disgrace to our city. Congratulations on the win Boston. We’re not all like this on the west coast."
The Green Men had planned to end their appearances, if the Canucks go all the way. Said Forsyth: "We have said from Day 1 we will hang with them until the Canucks win the [Stanley] Cup. [If t]he Canucks win the Cup this year, I am hanging up the suit. I will encourage it to be hung from the rafters at Rogers Arena. It won't happen, but I encourage it. If the Canucks lose, we will see what happens." Sullivan suggested that "Nothing is official. We haven't made a joint decision just yet. If one guy goes down, then the ship goes down with him."
On December 1, 2011, the Green Men returned for a Canucks home game against the Nashville Predators. In the first period, when Predators defenseman and captain Shea Weber was sent to the penalty box, the Green Men were waiting with a cardboard cutout of Canucks center Ryan Kesler's nude pose from ESPN The Magazine's The Body Issue. They attended two other regular season games.
During the playoffs, the Green Men held a Twitter contest, where winners would receive prizes in person from Sullivan. They endorsed a gel bracelet wristband promotion at Blenz Coffee locations in Greater Vancouver, supporting the BC Cancer Foundation Underwear Affair.
On November 7, 2014, the Green Men announced they would retire at the end of the season.
Since October 2019, the duo is commenting NFL games through their podcast at the World Sports Network site.
NHL relationship with the duo
According to Hockey Night in Canada's Hot Stove Panel, the Green Men received a warning from the NHL that the acts that they were committing needed to be "toned down" at future games. More specifically, they have been asked not to touch the glass of the penalty box or perform handstands against it anymore. There has been no confirmation as to whether or not the NHL contacted Forsyth and Sullivan directly, or whether the Nashville Predators filed a complaint towards the league during the 2011 playoffs. Although the Hockey Night in Canada analysts have different perspectives towards Forsyth and Sullivan, Eric Francis said he believes that the Green Men are paying fans and have a right to be there. "They have done nothing wrong. All they're doing is adding to the ambiance and the atmosphere of a game, which is what makes a game so fun... a stadium so fun." A Facebook group has been set up to save the duo and to ensure that they keep doing what they're doing.
"Behind the Green"
One of the Green Men, Ryan Sullivan, wrote a book titled Behind the Green and has hosted book signings in support of the BC Cancer Foundation.
- Ice Bucket Challenge, which Force took while bungee jumping
- Jory, Derek (January 11, 2010). "Force & Sully". Vancouver Canucks and the National Hockey League. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
- Vivian Luk (September 5, 2012). "Vancouver's Green Men inducted into Hall of Fans". CTV News. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- Morris, Jim (May 16, 2011). "What started as a joke has turned into a phenomenon for Green Men". The Canadian Press. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Hawks will be seeing green". The Canadian Press. April 29, 2010. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- Walker, Ian (May 7, 2011). "Green Men become media darlings". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Pictures". The Green Men. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Complaint filed with NHL against Green Men". News1130. Rogers Communications. May 1, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Green imposters blamed for Massey traffic jam". CBC.ca. Vancouver BC. April 28, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011.
- Hager, Mike (May 22, 2011). "Vancouver company uses Canucks' Green Men fakes to promote his business". Vancouver Sun. Postmedia Network. Retrieved May 25, 2011.
- "Vancouver's Green Men Are Back". Holdout Sports.
- "Riaz Talks With The Green Man", BT Vancouver on Citytv Vancouver, April 13, 2012.
- "#greenfortheplayoffs - How the contest works" – via www.youtube.com.
- Carson, Dan (April 23, 2013). "Green Men Attempt Disappearing Magic Trick During Vancouver Canucks Game". The Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Cahute, Larissa (February 25, 2013). "Vancouver Canucks 'super fans' super-sized thanks to Pepsi billboard campaign". The Province. Vancouver BC. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Cleveland, Amy (November 7, 2014). "Canucks' Green Men retiring at end of the season". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved November 7, 2014.
- Windsor, Alistair (October 24, 2019). "NFL Weekly Podcast with The Green Men". World Sports Network. Retrieved October 24, 2019.
- Adam, Graham (May 2, 2011). "Vancouver Canucks: NHL Censoring he Green Men Shows A Lack of Common Sense". Bleacher Report. Retrieved March 28, 2012.
- "Complaint filed with NHL against Green Men, Some say the Nashville Predators are behind it". News 1130. Rogers Digital Media. May 1, 2011. Retrieved March 28, 2012.