Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thanks Flames Fan for a Memorable Evening - Flames 6, Habs 2

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.


Vintage HF29 said...

come home Panger! No one will think you're gay here. NTTAWWT

Habs suck, fear the collapse, yada yada...

kevincrumbs said...

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that read "Homophobia is gay". You say that to those assholes and their heads would explode due to the inability to process that.

I went into San Jose alone last year and, of course, it was nothing like you described. Tons of Habs fans and I sat next to an awesome Sharks supporting couple who busted out a Simpsons reference randomly ("Hack the bone! Hack the bone!") and explained their "Taco goal" to me (like our five wings). Some dolts in the end tried to start a dumb chant that went "How do you say 'you suck' in French?" but nothing targeted directly to me.

Anonymous said...

Did the Flames fans boo Begin and Hamrlik the way we boo Streit and Ryder?

Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

As an Oiler Fan (and the CH were always my 1A team) - I'll share two old Flames jokes (although the Oilers looked like a joke vs the Wings...so there's maybe hope for a Habs win on the roadtrip).

Q: What's the difference between a bra and the Flames?
A: A bra has two cups.

Q: How do you spell dynasty in Calgary?
A: O...N...E

PS: 20 years after the fact let me apologize for hoping that Lanny McDonald would win a cup (as an Oiler fan what in the name of sacrilege was I doing?) I was most definitely young and stupid

L Dude said...

"Immediately following the game, the Canadiens boarded the Habs Train and headed north to Edmonton."

savardwalsh said...


With the Habs on it, that's a lot of suckage on one train.

My favourite part of that photo (titled "World's Biggest Vacuum Cleaner") is the first comment: "What is this?"

mr. gillis said...

They couldn't even give me a win for my b-day.

Anonymous said...

That's too bad that the stupid fans had to ruin it for you. I hate douchebag fans - even for a team I also cheer for. It doesn't make them any less douchebaggy.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday that read "Homophobia is gay". You say that to those assholes and their heads would explode due to the inability to process that.

I saw a cartoon once when two high-school boys were talking to each other, and boy A says to boy B "A sweater vest! You're wearing a sweater vest? That is so gay!"

Boy B response: "But I AM gay!"

Boy A: "I don't mean gay as in gay. I mean gay as in lame!"

Hilarious. :)

Edmonton has just lost probably their best (or at least second-best) defenseman for the season, so Montreal has an excellent chance of winning in Edmonton. That would be a nice two points and might help them for the rest of the road trip, right?

Number31 said...

Well, at least the Habs fans got the Flames fans to make some noise. I find their games super quiet! It's weird to me!

Habs went bowling today. Team Kovy kicked everyone's ass. News at 11.

Anonymous said...

Ontario Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure is warning GTA consumers of upcoming winter power blackouts that are expected to occur on:

Sat Feb 14, 2009 starting at 7:00 PM
Tue Feb 17, 2009 starting at 7:00 PM
Thu Feb 19, 2009 starting at 7:30 PM
Sat Feb 21, 2009 starting at 7:00 PM
Wed Feb 25, 2009 starting at 7:30 PM

This alert may also affect consumers outside the GTA. The lack of power seems to last approximately two and a half hours and is attributed to the excessive power required to run the goal judge light behind the Leafs' net.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause.

Doogie2K said...

I echo your grumping about Calgary public transit. Though to be fair, Bruins fans started that rather clever bit of counterheckling.

Next time, I'm gonna have to track you guys down. Much rather have watched the game with a bunch of fellow Habs fans than alone in a codeine-induced haze.