ms. fresh fish

Foul for Unnecessary Roughness
April 5, 2007, 7:01 am
Filed under: Sports

Something has come to my attention lately, something that perhaps isn’t new to many readers, but is very new to this blogger. It would seem that people are actually judging and feeling anger towards fans of “their” opposing hockey team. You may say it’s all a joke, but I sense something real and dark underlying it all. Specifically, I’m referring to the rivalry in which I am always stuck in the middle of: The Leafs (although I still contend they should be called the Leaves) and the Habs, and because we’re in Ottawa, I’ll throw the Sens/Leafs rivalry in there too.

I’ve been noticing some fairly angry comments around the internet and groups on Facebook, especially directed at Leaf fans by Habs fans. What’s struck me is both the extremity of the language used to express hatred and despise for the other and also, based on conversations I’ve been having, there appears to be a genuine dislike/distrustfor the individual fan, based on which team they like. Am I mis-reading this, or what? I hope so, because it’s freaking me out.

I can understand getting angry, very angry, at politicians who make decisions that have profoundly negative impacts on their citizens; for personal betrayals; for horrible disease diagnoses – but that angry at another frickin’ hockey team? Seriously?

I grew up in Mtl but was born in Toronto. Being a part-time pot-stirrer, I simply enjoyed cheering for whichever team everyone else wasn’t, usually the Leafs, because I do indeed believe that a healthy bit of rivalry is fun. But my allegiance was so unsteady that I basically shifted from one team to another every game, if not period. Then again, I never usually made it through a whole game, but that’s another issue.

My indifference was apparently too much tension for our household, given that Husband, being FROM Toronto, is a Leafs fan (not in fact chosen because of some personality or character flaw, but rather his parents chosen geographical station). He’s not the crazy, paint-your-face and yell at any other teams’ fans, but a serious fan nonetheless. This playoff run has, as a result, been intense and has led to one of our top five most serious  conversations in the last 5 or so years together: He officially requested my allegiance be stated – no more of this willy-nilly stuff. I could keep my name, but I had to give him my hockey allegiance. It meant so much to him that how could I resist? So, I’m a Leafs fan. I can justify it. I was born there and it helps peace reign in our home.

Last night, upon telling this “news” to my friend’s Husband (who happens to be a nutso Habs fan), I was hung up on. HE HUNG UP ON ME. He later apologized, via his wife – unable to bring himself to speak to me directly I fear – and has since agreed to write me a full apology (which I’m expecting within one week Chris!!). While he was kind of joking (I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt, for the sake of his unborn child), I suspect some people I’ve heard talk about how Leaf fans are another breed (and apparently not a good one at that) were speaking from some actual long-held belief.

Really, all this animosity and tension is almost enough to make this new fan hang up her jersey.


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lori. We can’t be friends anymore. THE LEAFS?!!!!!!!!!

Comment by JAMKE

You see?!?! This is what I have to deal with!! The biggest anti-jock I know but he cares about THIS!? JK – You owe me for all those g-d skate and snowboarding flicks you made me watch for YEARS. YOU OWE ME.

Comment by freshfish

Tell me you’ll come over to the Sens now that neither of your teams made it to the playoffs?!!

(I’m not rubbing it in or anything… :))

Comment by Lori

Maybe… but it’s more a case of the hockey season now officially being over for me (joy!)!

Comment by freshfish

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