MONTREAL, QUEBEC – All twenty-three years of my life I thought no sports fan could be more ignorantly proud than a Boston sports fanâ€¦ And then I spent last weekend in Montreal.
We all know hockey is Canada or Canada is hockey… Which? Iâ€™m not sure. But Iâ€™m certain Canadian Bacon isnâ€™t winning gold medals and Stanley Cups, so it must be the sport. The reason I know this with such confidence is because my Dad plays hockey – has all his life – and is now in one of those fantastic Old Boy leagues. Iâ€™ve seen him score, hit, get hit, start and finish fights, and most of all – love the sport enough to play through heinous knee injures and that damn old age issue. Point is, I thought I knew what a sports fanatic looked like, especially for hockey, and then I went North.
Les Habs oust the Penquins hier soir!
This weekend was part of the Canadiens vs. Penguins series. And let me tell you, there was more red, white, and blue in the city than at an Old Navy during July. Every other car in Montreal had a flag on it, every other person had a jersey on, and every other baby was wearing a CH logo-ed jumper. I saw men with giant CH tattoos on hairy calf muscles, I saw elderly folks in red, blue, and white flat brim baseball caps from 1986, I saw and the most feminine of women (toting Louis Vuitton purses and French tip manicures); all screaming together at a television rooting for the same cause: Canadian Hockey Glory.
I heard curse words simultaneously in two different languages when the Penguins scored. The city was silent for the two plus hours of the game and I did my best to mind my manners and not say anything rude about hockey being less important than the refill of my beverage (Molson, obviously). Iâ€™ve never seen such investment from fans, not even during the France vs. Italy World Cup game I watched among a sea of guidos. Not the cast of the Jersey Shore, actual Italian people, although there was a situation when Zidane got sassy with his head butt. Yet, I digress.
The point being, I think we all forget what we take away from being such sports fans. Itâ€™s an outlet for sure, a hobby, a pastime. And I think the people of the Matts Nation can probably agree, a serious passion. Sports bring us together, make us mad for no reason, make us smile when weâ€™re not participating in the moment, make us act like a jackass just because we territorially can. Sports act as the fundamental common denominator across most social barriers.
You could even say sports and team rivalries give us the ultimate excuse to be an absolute jerk for no reason at all. And with that, I proclaim proudly with my thickest Southie accent: Yankeeâ€™s suck.
Cookie’s Corner, tomorrow.
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