It has been 2 years less 16 days since I moved to Calgary.
What a wonderful city...no curbside recycling...the size of your engine is heavily valued over our children's future...public transportation is a joke, partly because so many people refuse to stand "too close" to their neighbour on the C-Train...snow removal is done by one dude in a F-150...downtown is deader than Elvis after 6pm...everything is at least a 20-minute drive away and you can't even get around without a vehicle...and due to wonderful economic planning, the bottom is about to drop out of the economy while huge infrastructure costs remain since no one is willing to pay any taxes - especially Big Alberta Oil.
So maybe I should take Flames' fans advice and "go back to Montreal" since I'm a Habs fan, although I now make this city my home, sometimes to my chagrin. I'm also apparently "gay" since I like the Habs, as I fund out when the turned "Oley" into "You're Gay" (probably news to Mrs. Panger who was the entire reason I moved here). Wonderfully original heckling Flames Fan - both sophomoric and discriminatory. In thier defense, I suppose it's difficult to be clever when all you do is go on beer runs and yell at the other teams fans while virtually ignoring the ice.
What made this game especially bitter is that the early going was great - the walk down 17th Ave (aka the Red Mile) to the Saddledome with 20 Habs fans singing and cheering while cars and buses honked their support. The atmosphere before the game was electric. Watching warm-up with the 60% Habs fans from the second row, all of us desperate to see our boys in person for the first time in years, was unforgettable. The Habs crowd chanting Go Habs Go while the rest of the crowd countered with Go Fames Go was special. I especially enjoyed talking to the non-asshole Flames fan sitting next to me throughout the game.
Losing I could have lived with - although not happily - just seeing my Canadiens in my city for the first time. Hanging out with fellow Habs Fans in Calgary* (*TM FHF commentator Bryan Driscoll's Facebook group), including the said Mr. Driscoll (thanks again for the ticket buddy!).
Make no mistake: the Flames kicked the Habs ass. Two SH goals. Halak was weak. The Flames seemed the only team feeling an urgency to win. Kovalev was absolutely invisible. Even at the end of the first with MTL up 2-1, the sneaking suspicion that the Habs were in for another "L" was nagging. There is such a thing as losing with class, which too many Flames Fans don't seem to understand or care about.
OK, so I know that every segment of a fan base has it's asshole contingent, but last night's game was ruined not by the Habs play but by the aforementioned assholes. I guess it was my fault for expecting more, but reminded me why I would never cheer for the Flames - straight or gay.
I guess stealing anther city's franchise and winning one Stanley Cup in your entire history gives you the right to belittle the history and tradition of the flagship franchise of the NHL - and a Canadian cousin, no less. Oh yes, I forgot: Quebec isn't really in Canada. (I guess I should have added "no understanding of or familiarity with Canadian history or politics" to the second paragraph).
Well done Flames Fan, well done. Oh, and congratulations on the win.