Monday, May 4, 2009

Habs Inside/Out....

BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
Over the past few days, I've spent several hours reading hundreds of e-mails from passionate Montrealers that voiced their opinion to my blog titled "Montreal Morons" about my objection to booing "The Star Spangled Banner" prior to a playoff game at the Bell Centre against the Boston Bruins.
The only thing which bothered me about these e-mails is that the Habs sponsored website "Habs Inside/Out" powered by The Gazette used a gang mentality to flood me with e-mails and personal threats because of my patriotic position towards being proud of my country.
These were the same sad fans that sent several hundreds of letters to CBC demanding they show more Canadiens games or they would seek another provider.
The only reason I removed the blog is it was becoming too time consuming reading these militant individuals who made such absurd remarks that aren't worth repeating. There were some nice people who did show some decency and I had no problem responding back.
So now it's my turn to point my finger at the "Culprits" of this e-mail barrage and specify the "Real Montreal Morons" in this national anthem saga and that's "Habs Inside/Out."
First of all "Habs Inside/Out, if you can't handle criticism from what some of your fans are calling me a "Scrub Writer" then you folks are "Scum Bags."
I dare you to attack FOX, ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN and CNN about their criticism about booing the national anthem as you came at me.
These people are smart enough and would delete or spam your comments.
Your fans that called me a "Scrub Writer" probably don't know what deadline pressure is at a major newspaper.
They probably haven't had to compile their own statistics at a high school football game and write a story within 15-30 minutes from conclusion with breaking down the quotes, stats totaled and included. This assignment would give the best of us big headaches.
Have any of these responders to my blog had a tape recorder break in the middle of a major assignment and had to think fast enough to meet their deadline?
I'd like to see how well they would respond if they attempted to send two stories and couldn't get them to the newspaper because the stadium was new thus making it impossible to transmit them on time to make Sunday's paper. I had to deal with this dilemma when I was covering the Florida State League All-Star Game in Kissimmee, Florida., home of the Houston Astros, in 1985, and thankfully my Editor Rick Nelson of the Tampa Tribune managed to get a 20 minute extension and I had to dictate both stories over the phone which I sent five times apiece.
I doubt you people could handle these problems!
My advice to you folks at Habs Inside/Out is to analyze what's wrong with your team. Find out what they need to do to break their 16-year championship drought.
I found it amazing that one of your people brought up the Detroit Red Wings 42-year championship drought and while it was frustrating for us to deal with it for four decades, they've done fine the past 11 years winning four Stanley Cup Titles playing in the Western Conference, where travel expenses run $2 Million per-year, not $500,000 per-season if they were in the Eastern Conference. I'd like to see how the Canadiens would handle that amount of travel. The last time the Red Wings played in a playoff series in the Eastern Time Zone prior to this season with the Columbus Blue Jackets, was when the Toronto Maple Leafs resided in the Western Conference.
Red Wings fans can't watch a portion of their games in prime time because they start at 9:30 and 10:30 PM.
But for those that know me in the media and in the sports world, they understand I'm fair and objective with all of my assignments. I think long and hard before I put something in print or on the air because I know my words can trigger emotions and reactions. I've always remained objective and that will never change.
With that said, I do agree that with all of the information I've gained that it's not fair to judge a Metropolitan Area of 2 Million people by the actions of 3-5000 Bad Apples!
The only e-mails I responded to were the folks that were civil, had intelligent and meaningful opinions.
I'm sure there are lots of great people in Montreal!
I don't care if you Montreal fans boo your coach, players or even your own national anthem, just don't boo mine!
I realize the rivalry between the Canadiens and Boston Bruins now goes deeper than the "Ice Rink" and there is no love loss between these original six rivals. I understand that both towns boo each other's national anthems and if that's what you're doing, it is what it is.
But "The Star Spangled Banner" represents the USA.
I do feel bad for fans who had to listen and felt embarrassed by what transpired in a game that drew 21, 273, therefore, I won't lump those individuals again that were respectful and polite.
I wouldn't doubt that the Montreal Canadiens have a passionate fan base! They should because they've been around for over 100 years, own 24 Stanley Cup Championships and have amassed over 3,000 wins. Any hockey fan in the USA realizes that the Canadiens can be compared to the New York Yankees and they do have drawing power south of the border being an original six storied franchise.
But I encourage the passionate Montreal fan base to use their passports to travel to Lexington, KY., and see a Kentucky Wildcats basketball game. You'll be impressed!
Other passionate places to view a sporting event include: The Boston Red Sox & Celtics, Chicago Cubs, Portland Trail Blazers, Green Bay Packers, North Carolina Tar Heels, Duke Blue Devils, New Mexico Lobos and Indiana Hoosiers in college basketball. Until the tough economy hit Detroit, the Red Wings fans were boisterous and for you Montreal fans that want to criticize Motown, you need them to thrive to keep a huge fan interest in the USA.
By no means do I feel booing a national anthem is acceptable behavior in the USA.
There was no excuse for St. Louis fans to boo the Canadian National Anthem before a Blues VS Vancouver Canucks playoff game. The St. Louis Cardinals have one of the best and most loyal fan bases in major league baseball.
The fans in Detroit were out of line when they booed the Toronto Raptors in 2002. I'm sure there are other incidents that I haven't mentioned that you people will bring to my attention but there is no need to elaborate because my point is made.
For those Jerks at Habs Inside/Out, I'm not afraid to mention these incidents because they were wrong and took place. You can't ignore the truth.
But there is a national perception that French Canadians have an Anti-American attitude.
Maybe we should bring back Richard Dawson to get in the middle of the Bruins/Canadiens "Family Feud."
Are there any solutions to this national anthem fiasco?
Perhaps Canadian teams should only play theirs at home and their USA counterparts should do the same.
Otherwise, just eliminate them altogether and not mix politics and sports.
You can't boo what you don't hear.
But, we know that will never happen.
The next time I see a backlash of e-mails from Habs Inside/Out, the delete & spam buttons will be real busy because now I know who are the real "Culprits and Scum Bags."
Scott Morganroth can be reached at Scottsports33@aol.com.

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