Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Our measured response to the Blueshirt Bulletin

So apparently we struck a nerve with the Blueshirt Bulletin over our "10 Things I Hate About the Rangers" feature, and the wailing could be heard for miles. Well, being lawyers, the FHF aren't the types to back down from an email exchange/fight, so we sent a measured response to the Blueshirt Bulletin. Kind of like swatting a fly with a Buick. We are now hunkered down in the basement of FHF Headquarters, awaiting the fallout from Broadway (well, except for HF29, who remains MIA somewhere in the wilds of the Eastern townships). If you see specious reasoning and erroneous facts colliding with no sense of humour, run for it ... the Blueshirts are coming!

Dear Blueshirts Bulletin:

Wow. We expected a reaction to our little tongue-in-cheek top ten, but this is fantastic stuff. I'm intrigued by your response to us having some fun at the Ranger's expense, but I think your passion is clouding your judgement. Let's go through your points one-by one.

Your ignorance is astonishing. The NY Americans remained in business -- in the Garden -- for fifteen years after the Rangers came into the leauge. It was MSG's owner in 1941 -- Jim Norris -- who ran them out of the building. Norris, by the way, owned the Red Wings and (illegally) the Blackhawks at the time. He used his ownership of the Rangers' home building to keep them from playing home games in the playoffs, including in 1950 when the Wings beat the Rangers in double-OT of the seventh game of a Cup final series in which five games were played in Detroit and two in Toronto. He also looted them (as well as the Blackhawks) of players, like Gordie Howe (who first came up with the Rangers at age 17) and Harry Lumley. His control of the Garden was wrested from him by an antitrust suit brought against him by the US Justice Department. The NHL, in its wisdom, named the Norris Trophy after him.

Yes, the Americans remained in business and playing at MSG after the Rangers came into being. However, nothing I said is untrue:

1. Rickard promised the Americans that there wouldn't be another hockey tenant at MSG.

2. Rickard and MSG management saw how successful the Americans were at the box office, and decided to go back on their word and get a team.

3. When the Rangers proved an immediate success, it negatively affected the Americans profile in comparison because they were struggling on the ice; naturally, fans gravitate towards a winner, so as the Rangers crowds went up, the Americans crowds went down. As they struggled more at the box office and on the ice, the franchise started a downward spiral that ended when the NHL revoked the franchise. James Norris might have dealt the final blow to the Amerks, but stating that the introduction of the Rangers into the market didn't help bring about the demise of the Americans is either naive, ignorant or both. Tex Rickard went back on his word, founded a team to directly compete with the Americans, and is as responsible as anyone for their end. Those are the facts, whether you like them or not. (Lovely story about Norris, by the way. Has nothing to do with our topic, but thanks for the history lesson. Imagine, some of the founding fathers of the NHL were less than reputable sorts! Astonishing.)

Now Montreal "Canadiens" -- that's an original name. Especially for the biggest city in a province that doesn't even want to be part of Canada.

If you knew your history, you would probably leave the Canadiens name and any comments about separatism out of this conversation. Montreal and its citizens have always been very proud of their roots in Quebec AND Canada, and in every referendum or election where separatism is an issue, the city of Montreal and it's surrounding municipalities votes overwhelmingly in favour of remaining in Canada. As for the team name, "Canadiens" is an ancient term used by the original French inhabitants of the province of Quebec. It has a 500 year history and association with the francophone people and the Canadiens carry it proudly as Quebec's representative to the world. The Habs themselves have categorically stated that, should the unthinkable happen and Quebec actually leave Canada, the Canadiens name would remain as is.

How many Cups would you have won without the 50-mile rule, eh?

Ah, the 50 mile rule. Whenever talk gets to the success of the Canadiens, someone brings up the 50 mile rule. No one talks about the advantages the Leafs enjoyed handpicking the best and brightest out of Ontario, or the Red Wings enjoyed by plucking the best out of the Southwestern Ontario/Winsdor/Sarnia hockey hotbed (don't forget, most of the Leafs 13 Cups and the Wings 10 Cups came before the effects of the oh-so-unfair 50 mile rule were eliminated thanks to the draft). No, it's only the Canadiens who greatly benefited. It couldn't have been the excellent scouting system, shrewd trades, or foresight to sponsor junior teams across the country that helped.

Was the core of the franchise French Canadian kids? Yes. Were the Canadiens merely playing by the rules set out by the league they were part of? Yes. Were the Rangers, Bruins, and Blackhawks at a competitive disadvantage due to geography before the rule was lifted? Yes. Should the Canadiens apologize for it? Should I feel guilty about it? Hell no. Should I point out the Habs claimed almost half of their Cups after the rule was lifted, thanks to excellent hockey decisions, while the Rangers continued to flounder?

I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict that Habs management in the 50's and 60's probably still would have had the inside track on French Canadian kids like the Richards, Beliveau, Geoffrion and Moore because they wanted to play for their hometown team, but let's for a minute pretend some of them escaped the Canadiens vast scouting network and sponsored leagues. How many Cups would have gone elsewhere? Between 1950 and 1970, the Habs took ten titles. Say for argument's sake that they lose 3 to the Beliveau-led Bruins, 2 more to the Leafs, and 1 each to the Blackhawks and Wings. (I assume that since the 50 mile rule is no longer around, the Habs found a few gems in the suburbs of Toronto and remained competitive enough to grab 3 Cups in 20 years.) That's still 17 Cups in their history; maybe Frank Selke and Sam Pollock knew a thing or two about hockey after all. Don't hold out the magical 50 mile rule as a excuse for 50 years of Rangers bumbling.

And the Forum, that's a pretty famous arena. I love to visit it whenever I'm in Montreal -- oh wait, it doesn't exist anymore? Since when? Over TEN YEARS! But you said "The Montreal Forum just called" -- where from, a time machine?

Yes, the Forum no longer exists as an arena (although the building remains, having been converted into an entertainment venue ... so you could go visit if you wanted. Check out the history of "hockey's mailing address" in the concourse level). Other famous sites around the world that are no longer in existence as they once were include the Chicago Stadium, Maple Leaf Gardens, the Boston Garden, the lost Mayan city of Macchu Picchu, the Temple of Solomon, the walled city of Jericho ... the point is, being famous and being current aren't co-dependent. Fans in China and Russia and France all know the Forum whether it stands or not. I'm also pleased to see your logic will accept that an arena can make a phone call, but only if it is still standing, so you toss a time machine into the equation. That leap over the entire joke is mind boggling.

And what exactly happened back in the day to the Montreal Arena, which the Canadiens shared with the Montreal Wanderers? It burnt to the ground, under mysterious circumstances, forcing the Wanderers to disband. What was that you said about the Tex Rickard and the Amerks? And how about the Canadiens being part of the group that disbanded the NHA because they didn't like Eddie Livingstone, just because he was so innovative that his team beat them? Yeah, that's a history to be proud of.

Interesting theory on the Montreal Arena. I have no idea if the Canadiens intentionally burned down their own rink in order to destroy the already struggling Wanderers, but I think burning your own home down and being forced to move to your previous smaller home sounds a little counterproductive to running a successful business. It makes for a nice conspiracy theory but doesn't make Tex lying to the Americans about the terms of their MSG agreement any less true. And if "being part of the group" means being part of "every other team in the league" then yes, the Habs up and left Livingstone and helped form the NHL. I'd like to think all those teams didn't take their puck and go home merely because Livingstone's team was successful; it might have also been because Livingstone could be a royal pain-in-the-ass. Of course, you probably know it was the Wanderers ownership who spearheaded the drive to get Livingstone out, but that wasn't a convenient fit for your rant.

And you had to go down to 7th place to find names you can make fun of on the all-time scoring list -- skipping over Rod Gilbert, Brian Leetch, Jean Ratelle, Andy Bathgate, Mark Messier, and Walt Tkaczuk. What, you couldn't come up with any jokes about those guys?

Yeah, I made fun of some of the low-hanging fruit on the Rangers all-time scoring list. If you had paid attention, that's kind of the point. Like it or not, Steve Vickers and Adam Graves aren't on the tip of the tongue when someone says "all-time greatest NHLer's", yet there they are, among the top ten Rangers scorers of all-time. It was a dig at your team's lack of star power over the years, and I think a rather good one. Look at the Habs all time top scorers for comparison:

1. Lafleur
2. Beliveau
3. H. Richard
4. M. Richard
5. Robinson
6. Cournoyer
7. Lemaire
8. Shutt
9. Geoffrion
10. Lach

Stars, every one of them; all Hall of Famers save Lemaire. That's what an all-time scorers list should look like; good God man, can't you see the humour in your team's history at all? Of course I skipped over Messier and Leetch and Gilbert. They are all-time greats and everyone knows it. I would laugh just as hard if somehow Denis Herron or Steve Penney was featured prominently amongst Plante, Dryden and Roy on a list of all time Habs goalies.

You idiots -- your site is pathetic. It sure looks like it has a lot of visitors. Too bad none of them like to leave comments.

If you'd like to respond, there's a wide-open comments section below my post on (as you pointed out, our comments section isn't exactly overflowing ... touche. Let us get a full year (and an actual hockey season) under our belts and see where our blog is.) However, you might want to re-read it so you don't go off again, accusing me of ignorance and foaming at the mouth over some harmless, tongue-in-cheek filler.

God help us if the Columbus bloggers get as angry over some goofy jokes, because I think Ten Things I Hate About the Bluejackets is next.




Pete said...

You guys can take your history. Enjoy it. Your franchise is as big a joke since the lockout ans the Rangers were before it.

Fans who have a team they know is going nowhere frequently talk about their "storied" history. The fact is, The Rangers and the Red Wings are the only 2 of the Original 6 that are competitive these days. From the front office down the Habs are a joke, have a obviously racist coach, and have very few things to brag about these days.

So yea, you win. Your history is better. Congrats. I'd prefer to think forward, not back.

Anonymous said...

That doesn't change the fact that french canadiens are fags.

Jordi said...

Fucking hell, so Rangers fans can use a computer and type under anonymous names. Big whoop. Grow some fucking balls, not everyone will love your Rangers. And about the past - who was it who wanted to refute the history of "who has a better hockey history"? It's like fighting over someone's doll only to go you didn't want it anyway.

The Rangers top the list of joke franchises. Team owners salivate to get the kind of status the Habs have. That's really all there is to it.

Jordi Sucks Dicks said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Prospect Park said...

Sad that in this day and age how people have to act to gain attention for their website.

They hide behind the disclaimer "that we were just having a little fun" but the truth is that there was some mean-spirited behavior at the core of their post.

I bet there is even some serious jealousy because when you compare which team has given their fans reasons to get excited about the upcoming season Hab fans lose

Even worse is that to make your point you guys lied (but wait you guys are lawyers so lying is a natural trait for you is it not?) about WHY you really hate the Rangers so allow me to post the real reasons why you guys hate the Rangers

10--Nobody has been visiting our blog so we figured the best way to get some attention was to cheapshot the Rangers.

9--Ranger fans get to talk about adding Drury and Gomez while Hab fans get to talk about adding Roman Hamrlik and Bryan Smolinski.

8--The Rangers will be playing meaningful games this season as the Habs will be playing for a lottery pick.

7--The Ranger gave their fans reasons to get excited about this up-coming season, the Habs just did nothing.

6--Ranger fans are looking at a number one seed in the playoffs, Hab fans a lottery pick that they will have traded away trying to get the 8th seed.

5--Rangers have Chris Drury throwing checks and scoring goals, Hab fans get to watch Hamrlik cash more of his paychecks than throwing checks

4--Ranger fans will get to chant "We want the Cup", Hab fans will get to chant "Fire Gainey" (but you guys will do it in English and French)

3--The Rangers have said "The Future is Now and Tomorrow", The Habs say "The Future is Someday we just do not know when"

2--Tom Renney has a shot at Coach of the Year, Hab Fans wish Guy Carbonneau would just disappear

1--Rangers are headed towards the Stanley Cup, the Habs towards nowhere, their fans know it and that is why come next spring when you get to watch the Rangers and their fans partying all spring and summer long you guys will be crying about how much you hate the Rangers

Ok now you have had your few minutes of attention from us Ranger fans, your hit counter has gone up a few (watch how fast it nosedives once we Ranger fans go back to ignoring you).

The Oracle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Taffy Lewis said...

Oh Ranger fans when will you learn? 4 cups in 80 years; one in 67 years. you are much to easy a target.

suddenly rags fans have grown balls now that they poached the sabres and devils suddenly rags fans have grown balls
don't worry habs have a mighty fine future.

Prospect Park said...

Let us get a full year (and an actual hockey season) under our belts and see where our blog is.) However, you might want to re-read it so you don't go off again, accusing me of ignorance and foaming at the mouth over some harmless, tongue-in-cheek filler.

As someone who has spent the last 10 plus years writing on the web, I can tell you that you will not grow if you go around causing flame wars which you did do in this case.

Serious fans (the ones who will come back repeatedly) if the discussion is both meaningful and civil will get turned off if they see a ton of immature behavior. The serious fans will tell their friends about a site and help you grow.

At the same time, those same fans will also help kill your site if they see flame wars and/or see that you are not someone to be taken seriously. If they see you having to delete nasty posts all the time then they will think your site is just another AOL message board for 11 year olds and avoid you.

Now I am going to believe you when you claim that this was all supposed to be a joke. I will even bet that you were unaware that the Blueshirt Bulletin website was the home of an actual business.

Now as lawyers I will also bet that you tell your clients that when their behaviors goes overboard that they are responsible for any and all damages right? Starting a flame war is basically online vandalism is it not?

You said "We thought it would be amusing to send our post to a NYR blog" so let us be honest here and acknowledge who threw the first salvo. If I came to your business and as a prank spray painted something on your walls I bet you would be pissed off too.

You did attack someone's business, that person had to take the time out of his day to delete that post and clean it up his site did they not? You wanted a reaction you got one which also was what you wanted right?

Ah but you will use "We were just joking" so if that is the case please send us your business or home address so we can have someone vandalize your stuff and see how happy you are. I am sure as adults that when you stop clowning you will understand why someone would get angry at you for what you pulled.

When you guys are ready to treat others with the same respect that you would like from us please let us know as Ranger fans happen to enjoy talking serious hockey with legit hockey fans.

We would enjoy some serious give and take when our teams met on the ice but do not bother us if you are going to disrespect us.

Good Luck with your site

Jordi said...

Experience tells me that people who claim to write for over 10 years but have nothing to show are full of flaming shit.

By claiming that by attacking the Rangers, the boys are attacking a business is ridiculous waffling around. The Blueshirt Bulletin doesn't own the Rangers as much as I own the fucking Habs. If your skin's not thick enough to live with a critic of your team, even if it is a drunken old man or a foul mouthed 5 year old, then online writing is definitely not your pony. Hell even Eklund can live with the guys screaming for his blood (while he still offers sekrit info for money).

I see nothing that is particularly scandalous in the post as much as a stupid Laffs fan complaining about any old shit. Now if they said that the the Blueshirts liked to touch little boys and sold online photos of them then fine. But for the time being, condescending reprimands mean jack. You can hate the Habs fans, just stop pretending you guys are god's gift to hockey fans as much as Don Cherry is to pansy ass Euros.

Jordi said...

And for the phallic comment, I already know how to make love.

habsdoc said...

First off, I LOVE the site, and my apologies for not feeding the "response machine" earlier. Don't worry; come hockey season, you'll get lots of responses :)
Secondly, nice tongue-in-cheek on the Rangers. You could do one on every team and get 1. a chuckle and 2. an irate response or two...which I assume is the whole point of the exercise. But some people have no sense of humor. For laughs, do the Habs.
And finally, despite Shakepeare's comment about "first, kill all the lawyers", you 4 can keep breathing as long as you keep up the good work!


Anthony said...

Excuse me, but Blueshirt Bulletin is a business - as poiunted out by Prospect Park. If you did a little research you would know that the Bulletin is a thriving publication that actually comes out in print (as opposed to just being four anonymous guys on the Internet) and features actual Ranger beat writers, a prestgious hockey historian, as well a couple of diehard fans who present an unbiased view of the team.

For disclosure purposes, I am one of those fan reporters.

Habsfan10 said...

Prospect Park, thanks for your comments. Nice to hear from someone who rationally looks at the situation. However, I'd like to clarify a few points.

Anyone who spends any time looking at this site would realize we are far from "serious" bloggers. We aren't in this for money or fame; we do it because we love the Habs, Hockey, and the general silliness that surrounds it, and we like to take potshots at our rivals as much as we complain about the sorry state of our beloved Canadiens.

In fact, if you scroll down the page, you'll see an email chain where we discuss random teams to hate on. Columbus gets mentioned, as does Calgary, and the Rangers. The Rangers just happened to be first ones out of the gate.

Now, once the piece was finished, we were obviously looking for a reaction. However, as far as I know, HF33 never posted anything on the Blueshirt Bulletin page ... he emailed a quick note complimenting the Bulletin and said "here's a post on our blog we thought you might find amusing." Did we misjudge what the reaction of the Bulletin would be? Absolutely. But to claim we attacked his business is ludicrous. The email is on the Bulletin's front page and the email was a totally benign "hey, what do you think?".

The joke clearly wasn't to everyone's liking, but as a ten year vet of the web, I'm sure you have put something out that resulted in some less than pleasant responses. It goes with the territory. I for one won't bat an eyelash when the "Top 100 Reasons Why the Habs Need to Go to Hell" list hits our inbox, as long as it merely skirts the line between offensive and snarky, but doesn't cross it.

LeNoceur said...

I love this site. And despite my francophone name I could care piss-all about the Habs or Rangers. It was funny. Grow up Rangers fans. I can't wait for FHF to skewer my favorite team!

Mitch Beck said...

Since people seem to be afraid to stand on their names and such, mine is Mitch Beck. I can be communicated with at I am VERY proud to be associated with one of the finest people I know (Dubi)and Blushirt Bulletin. I work with Dubi as a columnist for his magazine. I am also Editor in Chief of both The NY Rangers Fan Club and Hartford Wolf Pack Newsletters.

So much for anonymity.

First of all let me say that Dubi is a personal friend of mine and someone that I admire greatly. He is an exceptionally loyal friend and has been a VERY successful businessman. He has run BB for many years now on his own money and has managed to bring a first rate independent voice on all things NY Rangers soley for NY rangers fans. He takes more crap for that then anyone deserves. You're attempting to get a blog running and that's fine but when you take on the level of work that Dubi has and put out 1/2 the qulaity publication that he does I think that would give you more of a right to have something to say. I admire the man as both a friend and as an employer and anyone who knows him would say the same.

Anyhow, the magazine has done nothing but bring the best writers, photographers and so on and gotten them to put together what I think is unquestionably the best independent magazine about a hockey club, and perhpas even any other sport, out there. I would say this same thing even if I didn't work for him because before I even knew him personally I was a subscriber to the magazine.

He, much like those people posting to this and to "our" site are passionate about our teams. Does that mean that we need to make cheap and degrading comments about each other? I don't think so. I often tell people that I don't "hate" the Islanders (the Rangers biggest rival...if you didn't know that already)'s just an enormous waste of energy. It takes just as much energy to hate a team as it does to love one and to be honest, personally I'd rather not waste my breath on something so negative and counter-productive. I enjoy the team I root for and I enjoy watching other teams becasue hockey is the greatest game in the world and no matter who's playing it's a pleasure to watch these athletes compete.

Now, as far as this entire "controversy" is concerned, from what I gather being that this is the first time I've visited your site, you wrote a very nasty commentary about the Rangers that while peppered with some comments that were witty, for the most part were laced with some VERY nasty comments that you had to know would invoke a heated response from people who feel they were being bashed and they CLEARLY were. You can say you were trying to be funny, either you've got a really poor sense of humor or you're not being totally truthful and both are disappointing. I've spent the better part of my life (over 25 years) as a professional touring comedian prior to going into business for myself. I can tell you from experience that what you wrote was intended to be nasty from the outset and we both know that's true. Why pretend that it wasn't? What does that benefit you?

Dubi, being a passionate person himself wrote you, from what I've heard from him, and I believe him, was a private email. In turn and without his permission, you published it and insulted him further because he was upset at what you wrote and wrote back angrily as I would as well if you attacked me that way.

You're supposedly professional lawyers. I don't know if that's true but I will assume it is and you should know about protecting people's privacy. This celarly was in violation of Dubi's and your comments back, while some of your claims are interesting are so negative in tone that it's just difficult to read and it shouldn't have come down to it like that in the first place.
You had to know that you were going to invoke anger in Ranger fans when you posted your commetns and you were successful in not only drawing people to your site that wouldn't visit it normally, but you hurt people's feelings along the way. Was that necessary? I don't htink it is but what do I know.

And by the way, having had the exact thing happen to me, a personal email published without my permission, it's infuriating and I probably would have reacted the same as Dubi did and might have even been more harsh in my comments back than he was.

Personally, I'd like to see the back and forth name calling put to an end right now and that a civil debate over the differences between these two great franchises discussed like adults and not in the manner these things have gone. It doesn't help anyone or make the situation any less tense.

You can see here that there are no insults being thrown at anyone here by me and I have nothing nasty to say. I just think that it's time for the name calling to stop.

I think that both sides should take a step back, regroup and treat the other side in the same manner as they would like to be treated themselves and for goodness sakes enjoy the team you root for and be the bigger person and grant other people the right to have the same passion about their team regardless of the fact that you don't like them. That's what makes all of this fun...

As that tremendously horrendous human being, Rodney King once said, "Can't we all just get along?"

BTW, if I was going to attack something here it would be the French language...while beautiful when spoken who the hell can understand it..but that just comes from a guy who failed the class in HS so maybe I'm a little jaded.

One last thing, thanks for taking Alex Kovalev off our hands...that move sure worked out didn't it? :)

Was it something I said?

Twitch said...

Oh dear lord, I saw this this afternoon and laughed my ass off! Can't post a comment from work (screw you government fire walls!), but I just want to congratulate you all! Quality work. I think we can all have a lot of fun with the Boys On Broadway this season.

Come after the Sens next boys. Do your worst. I'm waiting for your hounds with bees in their mouths bitches! I mean that in the least litigious way of course...


Twitch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Twitch said...

Hey Mitch,

Look, as a third party observer (a highly amused one, I must admit), I gotta say, you guys are taking this way too seriously. The post that started all of this was just a throw-away, a harmless bit of filler in a long off season (ahem...longer for some than EASTERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS others of course). It could just as easily have been "10 things I hate about the Ottawa Senators", or Maple Leafs, or Flames, or Odessa Jackalopes, or whatever.

I applaud Ranger fans for rushing to the defence of their favourites, no matter how small the offence without regard to either intent or context, I do. But c'mon boys. It was funny. Move on. If you or any of your friends had read any other posts on this site, you'd know that that's all FHF wants to do.

So if I can offer only one piece of advise it would be this: Chill the fuck out and save something for the regular season.

Greg said...

Re: the 50 mile rule...I fail to see why a rule that allows teams to veto a new franchise within 50 miles would lead to the Habs' success.

Maybe those Rang-uh fans were talking about the French Canadian Rule.

Of all the Habs French Canadian stars that carried them to a ridiculous number of cups, do you know how many of them were with the Habs because of the French Canadian rule? I'll give you a hint - the biggest name ever picked up via this rule was Reggie Houle. Not Richard, Not Beliveau etc...

Noted hockey trivia expert Liam Maguire has the details here:

habslove said...

"That doesn't change the fact that french canadiens are fags"

Wow that's real bright. What does that have to do with the Rangers?