Before you begin to read this article, please read Scott Moganroth's article, if you already have feel free to continue. (it seems the author has removed his article it was form his blog sorry for the inconveince. However I i have posted his article below, feel free to skip, but i recommend reading it.)
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." (Scott Morganroth)
First and foremost, yes it seems wrong at a first glance. Now I have the opinion that sports and politics should not go hand in hand, and that us North Americans should take a page out of the European sports world, where anthems are not played before games. There is no room for them, as many players come from countries outside this beautiful continent, and beyond that its just plain rubbish. Where the fans in Montreal wrong, most definitely.
However, as a Habs fan, and having participated at the game myself, there was no booing, just a continued “go Habs go” chant, this during both anthems. The booing was last year, and even than it was directed purely at the Bruins, not the United States of America.
The Habs depend on many American born players, such as Higgins, Pacioretty, and Komisarek. Calling Montreal "a third world market city" was a complete classless and cowardly move. If you had any knowledge you would know Montreal is one of North America's finest jewels, a culinary leader, a cultural Mecca, and has a nightlife second to none in North America. If Detroit is Hockeytown, than MTL is Hockeycountry.
This is our sport and frankly we don't give two rats asses if you don’t care or pay attention to hockey, I am truly sorry if I just bursted your bubble, but wake up the world does not revolve around you.
Be that as it may, the NHL does not attract anywhere near the amount of spectators and media deals the NFL and MLB do. That being said the NFL and the MLB pale in comparison to other sports outside of this continent, and would have the commish’s drooling over the amount of people who watch Formula 1, Soccer, and Cricket.
Montreal fans don’t care about the NHL, they care about Les Canadiens, and regardless of how the NHL does, the fans fill up the largest Arena in North America to its capacity every single game. Those who don’t have a chance to watch the game at the arena pack the local bars. We live for this club day in and day out.
Hockey is part of our culture here, it helped bring our people together, and bring down a language barrier, that segregated against the French-speaking majority. For your information the Alouettes are doing fine, and if you really believe that the Lions will win a Superbowl before our Canadiens, then you really are just as bad as the Canadiens fans you so unknowingly condone.
Montreal suffered the loss of its top goal scorer in Robert Lang early on, than the list got larger by the day, until it claimed Andrei Markov, Montreal’s cog, and when he went down so sank the Canadiens post-season hopes. Then you claim to say that it’s easier for teams to turn it around in the NFL than in the NHL. You are talking about Montreal and Boston for crying out loud the eighth seeded Habs vs the first seeded Bruins, and a much, much stronger first seed.
Go back a year and you get the reciprocal, what a difference a year can make in the NFL; the Bruins and the Habs both play in the Bettman circus. Give the Candaiens a healthy roster, such as the Bruins, and a key FA pickup, which the Canadiens will have more than enough room for with the summer restructuring, and you have a cup contender in the next two years.
As for your Wings, yes they are good now, but they are digging their own grave with these lifelong contracts; 6-7 years down the road they will be where Montreal has been since '94. Montreal fans are some of the most loyal, most intelligent, and without question, most passionate fans around.
So choose your words wisely before you utter random gibberish that aims for an "US vs. them" mentality, I love the US and I love Canada there is no room for your childish antics, and there is no room for politics in genreal. Sports are sports; and it should be left at that. Do you think Boston fans acted any better than Montreal fans ?
One fine case was a guy around my age (20-21), who, when entering the pub proceeded to give the finger to a Habs fan majority. Needless to say he couldn’t handle the responsibility of having no adult supervision and was forced to leave and pass out outside of the pub due to in part his "fuck you Canada" chants and in other part for having heaved out his dinner all over the establishment.
You don’t see me writing an article on how classless Boston fans are, because its a generalization. I've been to the city of Boston, it’s a great city, and the citizens are even better. I am a passionate fan, but my passion stays at the arena, as it should. We are all people.
Mr. Mognaroth, you should be ashamed of yourself. Firstly, because of your dimwitted, boorish, ill-mannered, and ill-adivised reactions. You should also be ashamed of your predictable, anemic, and lame writing skills.