BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
When I heard that the Montreal Canadiens fans booed "The Star Spangled Banner" before Game Three of the Eastern Conference Quarter Finals against the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on April 20, I was sick to my stomach.
It made me want to edit the Canadian National Anthem from "Oh Canada" to "No Canada" because they disrespected a neighbor, who would protect them during an international conflict.
Montreal was a city that had another franchise back in the 1930's named the Maroons. On April 20, the fans in the Bell Centre were named the Montreal Morons.
After the incident, Canadiens Coach & General Manager Bob Gainey showed class by telling his fans their behavior was uncalled for. For years, I've always had a ton of respect for the Canadiens and their fans as being an excellent hockey town. This original six city has the same passion as Green Bay Packers fans do where everything revolves around the team on and off the field of play. Being the only game in town with a large city is what these towns live for.
But I lost all of my respect for Montreal due to this classless incident due to the lack of common sense. I'm not buying the Us Vs Them excuse with the USA facing Canada because there are many match-ups in North America which feature these two countries. The Boston Bruins and Canadiens have indeed had many contested battles since they're both original six teams however, to boo the other countries national anthem is crossing the line between politics and sports.
There is no question that the Canadiens success in their 100 year tradition is unmatched. They've won 24 Stanley Cups more than any other team and as a franchise this amounts to 26 percent.
On Dec 29, 2008, Montreal defeated the Florida Panthers 5-2 to become the first team in NHL history to reach 3,000 victories.
But in recent years, the Canadiens have fallen onto hard times. Montreal's last Stanley Cup occurred in 1992-93 when former Detroit Red Wings Coach Jacques Demers guided them to a title led by Hall of Fame Goaltender Patrick Roy.
Don't expect anymore championships in the immediate future as a modern day player would rather play for a USA based team where the dollar has a much higher value.
Does anybody in the USA care or know anything about Hockey Night In Canada?
With the exception of the NHL Finals and a marquee match-up in the playoffs, you won't see a Canadian based team on NBC. The Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Washington Capitals, New Jersey Devils, Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalanche have been the primary teams featured on the game of the week.
While Canada's hockey tradition speaks for itself, the Winnipeg Jets and Quebec Nordiques moved south of the border to Phoenix, AZ and Denver because they couldn't survive north of the border. Over the years, the Ottawa Senators and Edmonton Oilers have struggled financially. There are only six Canadian based teams with the Senators, Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference while the Oilers, Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks compete in the Western Conference.
When sports fans around the continent look at Montreal, they view this market as a third world country because of the many failures of its teams. Major League Baseball's Expos are now the Washington Nationals while Montreal has struggled to support two Canadian Football League teams. The Montreal Alouettes and Concordes have folded and revived over the years.
My advice to Canadiens fans is don't embarrass yourself anymore because North American fans don't view your city as a legitimate sports town.
Very few people in Dallas, Phoenix, Denver, Tampa Bay, Southern Florida, North Carolina, Columbus, Ohio, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta know anything about Guy LaFleur, Jean Beliveau, Henri Richard, Maurice Richard, Larry Robinson, Yvan Cournoyer, Steve Shutt, Bernie Geoffrion, Ken Dryden and Jacques Plante.
But they do know that you booed "The Star Spangled Banner." It's hard to believe that your championship drought has now reached 16 years.
I predict that the Detroit Lions will reach the Super Bowl before your team will hoist another Stanley Cup Trophy because teams in the NFL have been know to change their fortunes quickly if they make the right moves in the drafts, via trades and on the waiver market. The Miami Dolphins went from 1-15 to 11-5 in one calendar year.
The perception of Montreal by todays players is that your area is viewed as Hockey's version of Siberia and they know the national television exposure and mega endorsement deals in Montreal are lacking.
Today's players will take the same approach as the Montreal Expos did by using your organizations as stepping stones toward free agency and seeking greener pastures. Your 100 year tradition will carry less weight in contract negations.
Then again, USA fans won't care about you and they'll continue to say "No Canada."
Scott Morganroth can be reached at Scottsports33@aol.com.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
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Your writing skills are weak, your hockey knowledge is limited and very few actually booed.
You've been in the business for 30 years? Please post links to any work you've had published in credible newspapers or magazines...
you're a total HACK, you grammar is GARBAGE, you need to get a life. You write to get attention, not for actual journalism. You should be ashamed of yourself, and do some research before you write a totally ignorant piece of drivel that you call an article.
Your a waste of space, and I feel ashamed that i'm even giving you hits on your dirty blog. It feels so isolated and lonely on this blog I find myself thinking of SIBERIA....Idiot
You removed the copy of this BS blog from http://www.scottsports33.com Why not admit you were wrong and retract it from here also?
Worst blog ever!
What about the time, during the 2002 Olympics, where the US women hockey team stepped on the Canadian Flag? Coming from a hockey team representing a country like the US, this is far more "moronic" than having a couple hundreds fans in the bleachers at the Bell Center booing the national anthem. And what about that time (in early 2000's playoffs) where Bruins fans did the same thing?
And, FYI, players from Canadian team are payed in US dollars, so your argument about the value of US $ versus CAN $ is not valid, just like the rest of your moronic blog.....
Another thing... With the NHL Revenue-sharing formula, Canadian teams are the reason why many US teams are able to survive. Just in the past year, the Habs gave 18 millions dollars to US teams! You're lucky that Bettman is still leading this league.... The NHL needs more canadian teams, where the arenas are filled almost every night with true hockey fans!
And for your info, the Montreal Alouettes are back and stronger than ever. There is also a very good soccer team which is on the verge of joining the MLS.
Montreal may not be a real sport city to your moronic eyes, but I couldn't care less. Montreal is a hockey city (a title that at least half of the US-based NHL teams can't claim....) and we have one of the most passionated fan base. Having such passionated fans can unfortunately lead to some disgraceful displays, but these morons only represent a very little minority...
A couple of "fans" that boo the national anthem does not mean that the entire fan base in Montreal disrespects the US. Most of the fans here are classy and look down upon the few fans that do things like that.
Also, most of the places that you mention not knowing Guy Lafleur, Maurice Richard etc etc aren't even hockey cities!! No kidding they won't know who they are!! Do you expect people in Brazil to know who Tony Romo is!?
Canada may have only 6 teams but those teams generate the most revenues (with the exception of the Rangers) and due to revenue sharing are the reason many of the Us hockey teams are able to survive financially.
And who gives a shit what NBC shows or doesn't show!? What does that have to do with anything?? Does that mean the Canadian teams aren't important??
Last point I'd like to make is the following: I hope you die a slow and painful death. You are a complete idiot! You're no better than those couple of idiot "fans" in the Bell Center every night who boo the US national anthem and who boo Carey Price etc etc.
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