Saturday, February 04, 2012

What To Do with "Fans"

(nb: if this graphic looks familiar, it's because I created it for this piece last year.)

Today, on Twitter, after another devastating loss, Habs fans were commiserating as we always do. As we did, we listened to a new show on CJAD, The Locker Room, with Abe Hefter. By the time I tuned in, one caller had suggested the Habs trade Erik Cole. Say WHAT? Cole has been a huge asset since he was signed. Big, powerful, takes risks, and scores goals. His attitude and heart are top drawer. But this caller wanted him traded.

I then heard a caller who called fans "duped". That people keep spending the money, going to the games, and being duped. He insulted those of us who cheer for our team, saying that the team doesn't show up, why should fans?

That got me ticked! I posted to Abe's Facebook page: Abe, I can't NOT be a Habs fan. Your previous caller quit but I never will. I'm devastated by this season but I'm optimistic and patient, and a forever Habs fan!

Abe read it on the air with all the passion I felt in my heart. But then, the fun started. I suggested we trade or fire the fans. It started to grow legs. Mimi - aka habschick66 said, " Know what keeps me going? I trash the fans instead of the team. HAHAHA"

Cathie wrote: "I'll pay the shipping to Boston, with a Toronto return address. #FireTheFans"

Bella, on her birthday, posting from Miami, posted: "I'll pay for the crate. They're going cargo. Don't forget to drill holes in it."

I replied, "They don't need holes - they have them in their heads!"

When Mimi asked if, after trading Cole, we have any players to ice a team, I suggested Youppi lacing them up (for those not familiar with him, Youppi is our big, orange, loveable fluffy mascot). To that, Mimi replied, Yup. And we'll dress some fans, preferably those who think they're better than Gomez." My reply: "And then get Chara to fire some 108.8 MPH pucks on 'em!"

We began to have fun with this; we needed an outlet for our sadness, our frustration, and our increasing sense of doom. Being Habs Fans Forever (aka #HabsFanForever - a new hashtag not usable by everyone), we found an outlet: "fans" who proclaim that they are either done rooting for the Habs, or who constantly bash them (I've seen people actually say, "shame on them for not showing any heart." as well as rather profane statements about the team). We haven't picked on specific people, we've kept it fun and light, and it sure does bring people together. I've gone from sinking heart to a feeling of cohesiveness and camaraderie and it makes a hard loss more palatable.

Your turn: what would YOU do to those who may dress like fans but speak like rivals?

Go Habs Go!

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The People Speak...

My Habs are in last place. Last. A place I'm not used to seeing them, in the past 2 years since I started paying attention to points and standings. We've been through trades, coach firings, injuries, a suspension, and loss after loss.

I read my Twitter timeline and see the analyses placing blame everywhere it can be placed (and some are right, some are off the mark, some are way off base). I express my sadness, my frustration, my disappointment and my dread of Season's End. I commiserate with other Habs fans, and it actually feels better to do so.

But I think we need to do something. As a fan base, we consist of people from every level of knowledge - from reporters, to reporter-smart, to just-plain-smart analysts and bloggers. And people like me, fans who enjoy the game, understand much of it, and learn from those who discuss the situation.

Still, we don't do the hiring or firing. We don't coach (other than armchair coaching, of course!), we certainly don't manage, we aren't the players. What power do we have as fans?

We could boycott the game. Before you open the "leave comment" box, that is NOT my opinion, suggestion, or idea! I've heard it said; you won't see it. Not here. Montreal eats its young sometimes, when hockey doesn't go its way, but we will still flood the Bell Centre for games.

We could write letters - they may or may not reach the desk of those people we are addressing, those people who need to know how we feel.

But what I've done - and will continue to do, and am proposing we ALL do - is to tweet Geoff Molson. He has Twitter, and is found at . I believe if he hears enough of our suggestions (am I wrong in believing we ALL want Pierre Gauthier fired before he can do any more harm to our team by signing the wrong players and missing out on the right ones?), he may just understand how WE see this team.

So fellow fans: Tweet Mr. Molson. I can't do anything but suggest that our tweets are respectful (he's more likely to listen to fans who aren't tearing him apart or using profanity), calm (anger will be behind our sentiments but he'll see the cool heads that prevail) and to the point. I don't know if it will do any good, but who knows? He's on Twitter, it's not easy for him, but he's on. He reads the tweets. Let's inundate him with our pleas to fire Gauthier and see what happens next.

I'm not saying we have power. But vox populi, right?

And on another note: no matter where we're at in the standings, my son has been invited to Saturday's game and is as excited to attend as any game where we were on top of the world. THAT'S loyalty!