We live in a society where it is frowned upon to discipline children, a world where more than half the marriages are guaranteed to turn into divorces and where single parenting is a norm, not an exception. In a generation where children have the upper hand on parents and teachers, creating a feeling of invincibility and entitlement, it should come as no surprise that sports fans feel like it is their right to do whatever they want to their team and /or to the players, under the conceited excuse that they are paying to watch them. But have we ever stopped to think about the effects some of their actions can have on the team that they, as self-proclaimed fans, cheer for?
PENTICTON, BC. — Such situations came to light a couple of times this season in Montreal. After head coach Jacques Martin was shown the door and Canadiens’ management replaced him on an interim basis by Randy Cunneyworth, a small group who call themselves “Habs’ fans” raised a fuss over the fact that he doesn’t speak French. This had the effect that players in the dressing room and around the NHL took note, forcing some of them to speak out on the topic, being careful with their choice of words. But rest assured that the impact has been felt well beyond Montreal and NHL players have taken notes… in a negative way.
“I was thinking that it would be cool to play in Montreal”, a player told me off-record. “But there is no way I’ll even want to sign there now. It’s pure non-sense, and we talked about it on our team.”
Not satisfied with the damage done by those so-called fans, another group (or was it the same one?) launched a campaign to ridicule Scott Gomez by celebrating his “goals-slump anniversary.” Really, it’s like saying that it’s okay to tell someone to F-off as long as you have a smile on your face! Luckily, this last filth campaign saw an overwhelming number of true fans not only refusing to jump on the bandwagon, but ridiculing the smear work by those imbeciles. Fans at the game cheered Gomez instead, trying to help him out of that slump, a situation that reminded yours truly of when fans were booing young star Carey Price a couple of years ago.
But what’s truly hurtful in those events is the fact that the traditional media covering the team has, in both cases, covered those issues instead of letting them die, therefore bringing more exposure to something that doesn’t deserve any. I wonder how Geoff Molson felt when he saw an article on RDS.ca publicizing the Facebook group being formed to “celebrate” Gomez’ anniversary? I’d be curious to ask him “off the record.”
Fans will be fans. They will be critical of the team, they will have their favourite players and they will find some scape goats, players, coaches that they don’t like, and that’s perfectly normal. Go on fan forums and denounce the lack of production of your least favourite players, share your thoughts with friends and foes about what the team should or should not do with them, vent to radio personalities at night if you must. But if you’re a true fan of your team and want them to improve, you owe it to them and to yourself to draw a line which you should never cross. Booing individual players on home ice every time they touch the puck, starting or participating in smear campaigns in a public display against one or a few of them, or to raise political issues when the team has said all along that a move was temporary, all of that plays against your team in the long run. If or when a marquee player signs elsewhere, those so-called fans will be the first ones to complain that management should have matched the offer. Perhaps they did folks, but the player(s) chose to go elsewhere.
In conclusion, it can be summarized in one word: THINK! Look further than your own nose. Take a step back to recognize the forest from the trees.
Bob Gainey said it best in September 2003 when “fans” were booing Patrice Brisebois: “We don’t need those people, we don’t want those people, they’re jealous people, yellow people. I think they’re a bunch of gutless bastards, to be honest. Our message to them is to stay away. We don’t need you.”
En français: Quand les partisans vont trop loin
About the Author (Author Profile)Habsterix is a fictional character created for the sole purpose of the internet. Based on the cartoon Asterix of Gaule, his magic potion is his passion for the Montreal Canadiens. How old is he? His close friends will tell you that he’s so old, his back goes out more than he does! He was born when Béliveau lifted the Cup and remembers the days when seeing the Habs winning was not a wish, it was an expectation. For him, writing is a hobby, not a profession. Having moved to beautiful British Columbia in 1992, he started writing mostly in French to keep up his grammar, until non-bilingual BC friends pushed him into starting his own English Blog. His wife will say that he can be stubborn, but she will be the first to recognise that he has great sense of humour. He is always happy to share with you readers his point of views on different topics, and while it is expected that people won’t always agree, respect of opinions and of others is his mission statement.
Sites That Link to this Post
- NHL Blog Beat – February 10, 2012. | Spectors Hockey | February 10, 2012
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