Get off the Habs bandwagon

As Montreal is one of two remaining Canadian teams left in the Stanley Cup playoffs, I’ve seen a lot of non-supporters jump on the bandwagon.

I would appreciate it if you jump off.

Don’t get me wrong. If you followed the team, or have Hab players in your hockey pool, cheer them all you want.

But if you don’t like the Habs in the regular season and routinely cheer against them, I don’t want you on the bandwagon.

I didn’t support the Sens in the playoffs last year, and I think if you hated the Habs during the regular season, you should continue to hate them now. I don’t buy the argument you should support Canadian teams more in the playoffs. After all, Anaheim had more Canadian players than Ottawa last year.

Montreal used to be a hated team. They won cups, had playoff success, and were difficult to beat. You either loved them or hated them. That changed after the Patrick Roy trade, but they were still hated.

Then when Saku Koivu beat cancer, people started to show some support, and cheered for them that year to win one for Saku. They weren’t cheering for Montreal, but for the fight Saku put up.

In the years after that, Montreal continued to struggle. All of a sudden, the Sens were the powerhouse team, the Sens-Leafs rivalry was in full swing, and Montreal was being treated with pity support from non Montreal fans. “Oh the poor Habs. They’re so small and cute and cuddly and are pretty hopeless. I hope they are able to can make it to the postseason just to say they can make it, even though they won’t stand a chance once they’re there.”

Give me a break. Now this year, the Habs are the dominant team, the Sens are the one who are choking, the Leafs missed the playoffs and all of a sudden there’s all this support for Montreal.

Cheer for the team because the Habs are your favourites. Cheer for them because you like the team, not because they’re Canadian. Cheer for them because you have always supported the team.

Either cheer for the team all along for the right reasons, or don’t cheer at all. There’s no middle ground.

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6 Comments

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6 responses to “Get off the Habs bandwagon

  1. Cheryl

    And this from the guy who said he was taking applications for the bandwagon a few days ago? Man.

    I’m a constant supporter of Canadian teams, and the Habs are usually number two on my list of favourites … so I will continue to cheer them on to the finals. Deal with it.

  2. I hate the Sens too. When I got back last year, and found out they were in the playoffs, after seeking medical attention, my hatred continued.

    I like the Habs, will cheer the Habs in regular season and not. But I bleed Oiler blue.

  3. Jamie

    You’re 100% right, Tom. I hate the “I only cheer for Canadian teams” argument.

    As a Flames fan, if they go out tonight, I won’t switch to the Canadiens…and there’s no chance in hell I’d ever cheer for the Leafs.

    Find a player you like…cheer for the Capitals because Ovechkin is amazing. Cheer for the Penguins because your cousin taught Sidney in junior high. Cheer for Dallas because you like Brad Richards.

  4. I’m a Habs fan in good times and bad, but I’m also not a face-painter, nor will you hear me screaming much at games, regardless of who’s playing. I cheer who I cheer for and don’t much care what anyone else thinks.

    Since I’ve known you for over ten years, you know I’m not a Jean-Guy-come-lately. I cheered for them when they won the cup in ’86, and ’93 and I cheered for them when they lost to Calgary in ’89 and I still cheered for them in the tough years when Brian Savage was our franchise player.

    But when Calgary took the Lightning to the final I watched every game and cheered for Calgary.
    And when the Oilers nearly did the same with Carolina in ’06 I was hoping for them, too.
    Same for Ottawa last year. Never as excited as I would have been had it been Montreal playing, but I still favoured the Canadian team.

    But when New Jersey beat Anaheim in 2003 I think I watched about half of the games, even though Scott Stevens from Kitchener and JS Giguere from somewhere in Quebec were front and centre.

    So what’s the difference? It’s not that I don’t like Americans, otherwise I’d be cursing Higgins and be just as happy with Tampa winning for the sake of Lacavalier and St. Louis and the rest of their Cdn. contingent.

    And in fact, I think the NHL needs the support of Americans to an extent to keep up the quality of the league and avoid the NHL doing their best impression of the CFL . Yes the CFL has its merits… but how seriously doea anybody really take it?

    Given that Canada has roughly a tenth of the US’s population to support their teams, when things were going better for our American cousins there were some times when the Calgary and Edmonton franchises were skating on thin ice and had to fight hard to avoid the same fate of the Nordiques and Jets. I went to an Oilers-Flames game in Edmonton in ’00 and the rink was half full…and at that point do you think if a group in Memphis made a serious push to take over a team that was struggling financially, the NHL wouldn’t have supported them?

    Where would you rather see the Flames win a cup – in Calgary or Kansas City? I would rather celebrate the accomplishment of a Canadian organization (with some of the world’s best players including Canadians) along with the rest of the city and my country than celebrate a win by an American team with the same amount of Canadians playing for it, along with their fan-base who only bought tickets because they cost $19 and watched because there was no Nascar race on.

    That being said, the one team I think Canada could do without is Vancouver. Fair-weathered fans and they’re kind of like the wierd cousin who you only see on holidays. They come to town once every couple of years, and that’s ok…they don’t really cause any problems nor do they accomplish anything…then they go away and until you’re face to face with them again you don’t really think of them.

    But if they were playing the Coyotes I’d be rooting for them.

    Go habs go!

  5. newfcollins

    I also cheered for Edmonton when they played Carolina, but just because the Hurricanes eliminated the Habs and poked out Saku’s eye that year.

    I also cheered for Calgary over Tampa, but mainly because Tampa had eliminated Montreal in the playoffs as well.

    I didn’t cheer for Ottawa last year.

    So I do cheer for Canadian teams, but not because they’re Canadian. It’s because they are the lesser of two evils.

    I couldn’t imagine Sens fans cheering for the Leafs in the finals or vice-versa. That’s not because they are Canadian, it’s because the fans hate the other team. That’s how it should be, not whether the team is Canadian, but based on your team’s rivalry/history with the other team. If there isn’t one, then vote for the lesser of two evils. But not because they’re Canadian.

  6. I think I would feel weird if the Sens were out, and the Leafs were still there. I’d like to watch, because playoff hockey is intense. But I don’t know what I’d do.

    Actually, maybe I’d just enjoy some good hockey from both sides. I am not a hardcore Leafs hater like many Sens fans. I don’t say I like the Leafs, either.

    Buuuut that’s not the case this year, is it?

    And where the frig are these playoff beard updates?!

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