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A Hatred That Will Never Die
- Updated: July 9, 2014
GO HABS GO! Three simple words that mean so much to so many people (technically two words). Three simple words that echo through so many communities and homes of citizens all across this great nation of ours. Three simple words, that to myself, and so many like me, are the basis of the air that I breathe.
But all is not well in this beautiful country of ours. Oh no! There is a disease that runs rampant throughout our cities and towns. A disease so powerful that at times it threatens our very Habby existence. This wretched disease I so hastily speak of, ladies and gentlemen, is LEAF SYNDROME! A very dangerous, incurable disease that eats away at the very fabric of our society. A disease that is rivaled by no other. A disease, that simply put, makes me SICK!
I’m sure that all of you reading this article at one time or another have been sitting around with friends, sipping on an ice cold beer, discussing your favorite thing in the whole wide world… that being the sport of Hockey… and no doubt the subject of “Hated Rivals” has been brought up.
To many Habs fans, our Greatest Rivals are none other than the BOSCUM BOOINS (oops, I mean Boston Bruins), and that is understandable, and I respect that, for I hate them with a passion just as much as the next Habs fan does… but, in my own humble opinion, there is nothing on the face of this planet that is more disgusting than the Blue and White of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Sure, the rivalry between our beloved Habs and the hated Leafs is the oldest rivalry in hockey, but that isn’t the reason I hate them so much, as I’m sure you all do too.
It isn’t even due to the fact that the two teams have met each other fifteen times in the playoffs (nowhere near the amount of times the Canadiens have faced the Bruins), or the fact that the two teams have faced off five times in the Stanley Cup Final. It isn’t due to the fact that during the 1960’s, the loathsome Maple Laffs (oops, Leafs) rivaled Les Canadiens in Stanley Cup victories. It isn’t due to the fact that in 1967 the Leafs upset the heavily favoured Canadiens to win the Stanley Cup, the very year that the city of Montreal was hosting Expo 67 (on another note, as if you didn’t know, 1967 is the last time the Laffs won the Stanley Cup *snicker*). It isn’t due to the fact that on May 29, 1992, beloved Head Coach Pat Burns resigned as Coach of the Canadiens, and was hired by the Leafs the very same day. It isn’t any of that.
Technically speaking, the rivalry between the two clubs died down somewhat in the 80’s and 90’s, due to the fact that the NHL’s ancient rivals were in opposite Conferences from 1981 until 1998. It’s safe to say that while the rivalry may have faded a tad, my hatred for the Leafs did not.
From the very moment that I was old enough to even know what hockey was, I despised the Leafs. Maybe some fellow Habs fans were bred to hate the Leafs, due to the fact that there was an overwhelming presence of Habs positivity in the household they were raised in. Maybe their parents and grandparents were die hard Habs fans, and to root for the Bleu, Blanc et Rouge was a thing of destiny.
As for myself, on the other hand, I was raised in a split household. My father was a die hard Habs fan and preached the word of the Habs to me on a daily basis. Some of my earliest memories are of my father sitting in front of the TV watching the Canadiens play on Hockey Night in Canada. I distinctly remember him cursing up the refs every time the Habs would be penalized, and I certainly will never forget him jumping up and down like a crazed madman every time the Habs would score. Maybe it was his overwhelming enthusiasm that led me to root for the good guys.
As for the other half of the “split household” I mentioned, I’ll keep it short and sweet. My grandfather was a die hard Leafs fan. He would walk away from a Habs game mumbling under his breath slurs to the extent of, “frogs, frenchies”, etc.. Now, being very young at the time I was not impressed with his “contrariness” and loved the up beat, energetic antics of my father. Being very impressionable at a very young age, I got the understanding that all Leafs fans were “contrary” like my grandfather, and all Habs fans were up beat like my father… turns out, I was a very smart kid because I was right on the money.
Unbelievably enough, my grandfather’s sour ways isn’t even what drove me to hate the Leafs more than anything else on Earth. The reason is this. In the eyes of most media outlets, and in the eyes of all delusional Leafs fans, they see themselves as being the Mecca of the hockey world. They seem to think that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the best thing since sliced bread, and are Canada’s team. They all seem to think that their history rivals that of our beloved Montreal Canadiens… simply put, they all seem to think that the Toronto Maple Leafs are the greatest organization in the history of not just the NHL, but in all of hockey itself… and for that very reason Ladies and Gentlemen, I hate the Toronto Maple Leafs more than words can express. I guess you can say that the arrogance of Leafs fans is what literally makes me physically ill.
The greatest franchise, not only in hockey, but in all of sport is undoubtedly Les Canadiens, La Sainte-Flanelle, Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux, Le Grand Club. Now, I leave you with the three simple words that I opened up with… three simple words that are the most powerful words on the planet.. GO HABS GO!
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