Wednesday night marked another chapter in the long and storied history of the Montreal Canadiens-Boston Bruins rivalry. Yet, it was something said away from the game, and in the press box, that shows how much history this game made.
The Sports Hub, 98.5 FM in Boston attacked Montreal Gazette writer Pat Hickey over Hickey's report on the Habs-Bruins game the day after. The hosts, Mike Felger and Tony Massorotti, quoted Hickey's article that was headlined, "Canadiens, Bruins Game Smelt like Vendetta."
Going on, both trashed Hickey for being a "weasly, wussy French-Canadian." Furthermore, they attacked Montreal and stated "Montreal should be in Europe" with their "snotty, snobby Montreal attitude that looks down on everything American."
Hickey's response to Felger and Massorotti was very classy—a somewhat comical, but truthful reply about Quebec, French-Canadian people and making a few cracks at the fact that Boston's coach (Claude Julien), leading scorer (Patrice Bergeron), rookie (Jordan Caron) and famous defenseman (Ray Bourque) are all of French-Canadian descent.
While reading the banter between the two sides, it brought to my attention the differences many columnists and journalists as a whole bring biases to their writing. Some bring more passion than others, and this seemed to be the case this time around.
However, this reaction to a Montreal Gazette article crossed many different boundaries than per normal circumstances. Journalists may express their opinions, because that's their job, and do it with a multiplicity of criticism. Most criticism can be extremely harsh and some can be harmless.
This fell into the category of extremely harsh.
Hockey biases aside, this was a classless act by radio DJs who seemed to want to run their mouth about cultural differences instead of focusing on what the entire disagreement began with—the hockey game.
Journalism can cross lines many times, but to be this culturally blind and classless to boot, causes some concern for the world of journalism. Many will not drop to this level, but there are those who decide to forego the honour of the field and begin ranting on nonsense without proof, based entirely on emotion.