• Sports teams are just sports teams and nothing more!

    I’m watching CBC News Montreal right now. There was a report about two young women that supported the Ottawa Senators last night at Bell Center that got assaulted by several male Habs fans. They threw beer bottles at them, hit them with towels, called them whores and so on. 

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ottawa-senators-fan-katie-kerrick-harassed-at-habs-game-1.3039078


    This is exactly what is bothering me about this franchise. Most of their fans are extremely fanatic and disrespectful. Even when some of these so-called fans come to bars or arenas in towns of other teams, they mock about local teams and their supporters, think they are allowed to do anything they want and have absolutely no class. I have also seen examples of high school students in Quebec that supported other teams than the Canadiens and which got bullied by their classmates. If you are going go to a pharmacy or supermarket anywhere in Quebec, even in cities more than twelve hours away from Montreal, you can buy an elevated number of stupid articles from the team: bubble gum machines, lipsticks, sunglasses, towels, water bottles and so on. If you watch a sports channel from Quebec, they are talking about the Canadiens at least 90% of the time (even after they got eliminated) and another 5% about the Quebec Nordiques, a team which doesn’t exist anymore since 1995 and which won’t come back anytime soon even though a megalomaniac and self-centered mayor and a capitalist millionaire who wants to become a Prime Minister to manage a country that will never exist as if it was a business are forcing governmental institutions and citizens to spend several hundred million dollars on a new arena which will probably become a big white elephant.

    Many people in Quebec are blindly supporting the Canadiens as if it was a national team and some people even add a political statement to that which is incredibly stupid. Since the decrease of Catholicism in the province, most people have found a new religion in the Montreal Canadiens. I firmly believe sports and politics or religion should always be regarded separately. That goes without saying that everybody in this team is obviously communicating in English and that there isn’t even ONE single player in their roster that actually comes from Montreal and there are only three players from the province of Quebec. Most fans identify with the past but don’t seem to understand what the Montreal Canadiens are all about in the present: a great multi-cultural team from a great multi-cultural town. 

    If you look at the Ottawa Senators, it’s much easier to identify with them. Four players come directly from Ottawa (including Kanata and Gatineau) and many more from the province of Ontario. Everything around the team and the city is bilingual and respects both cultures and languages in an open-minded way. Their fans are enthusiastic without being aggressive to others and without adding a patriotic note to sports. They see their players as great sportsmen but not as national heroes. I’m getting sick of the Canadiens’ worship of Jean Beliveau. He was a great player and from what I know probably a great human being but the whole “We have to win a cup for him!” and adding the number 4 on all jerseys and even on the ice not only for a few weeks after his death but for an entire season, is not honorable but simply exaggerating. It’s the same thing for Maurice Richard, without a doubt one of the best hockey players of all times, that gets idolized as a revolutionary rebel who stood up for the rights of poor French Canadians against evil Anglophones which simply isn’t true. 

    I have come to the conclusion that this whole patriotic fan culture is disgusting and going way too far for me and that’s why I have taken some serious distance from the team. Don’t get me wrong: I still like the Canadiens, I’m still going to the Bell Center from time to time and I wish them all the best for a Stanley Cup win but I have become a lot less enthusiastic about them than when I was a teenager due to their image and fans.

    Please enjoy the Stanley Cup playoffs and stay classy, open-minded and respectful.

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