Jump to content
The Official Site of the Montréal Canadiens
Canadiens de Montreal

Nostalgia - Stories About Being Habs Fans


Flying_Lion

Recommended Posts

The mods might shut this one down because it might have been done. I'll take a shot anyway.

Given that it's the Centennial Season, I thought it might be a great way to celebrate by sharing stories/memories of being/becoming Fans of the Most Storied and Glorious Team in Hockey, arguably in all sports.

Me? I was born in Yellowknife, NWT, a good part of the country away from Montreal. No reason at all to be a Habs fan except that my father, who passed away when I was 19, was from Gaspe and instilled into my DNA a love of all things French Canadian. That includes and included the Expos, the Alouettes, the Machine (for those that remember the fiasco that was the World Football League), and of course Les Habitants. I was too young to remember the run of Cups in the late 70s but I remember and always will remember Guy LaFleur, including the disappointment that was his "retirement" and time with the Rangers and Nordiques.

I wasn't enough of a hockey fan to have paid much attention to Montreal's Cup victory in 86 or the loss to Calgary in 89 but the win in 93 is like the JFK assassination is to an American: Snapshot. I remember sitting on the floor in our basement, crosslegged in front of my father in his favourite chair, super-marvelling; first at Lemers' gutsy gamble with the McSorley stick measurement and then at the DesJardins's goals. I remember the arse-kicking we laid on the Kings in the rest of the series. I remember my Dad's face, never the same as my Father's because of the damage from brain surgery to remove a tumour. While he couldn't always recognize who we were, he always knew his Team and never gave up on Them. It wasn't pride but the sheerest joy of never having given up. It was the look of Perseverence-Paid-Off.

Dad passed away in the fall of 94, after the Baseball lockout that denied the Expos their best chance of winning a pennant. I like to think that he had held on long enough for one more Cup, which he got to see, and a Pennant, which he was robbed of. I don't think he had it in him after that.

On top of that, Yellowknife's closest NHL team is the Oilers. I grew up in a 'city' that behaved like it was a suburb of Edmonton. Never being one to follow trends, I took pride in standing by Montreal through everything. Being a fan of the Canadiens hasn't always been the easiest thing to do. It was often hard, suffering schooyard ridicule, but it was worth it because my love for my Team was bigger than geographical proximity. It was bred in blood and nurtured through family.

When Koivu fell to cancer, that plague of civilization, I, of course, thought of my Father, my Dad. I remember the Captain coming back, that first skate on the ice, and the deafening sound of the hometown crowd.

Where there is a Fall, there is always hope for a Rising Up.

In an overly large nutshell, that's why I'm a Habs Fan. What's your story?

(maybe this belongs in "Introduce Yourselves" ... I dunno. I trust the Mods to make the call. Sorry to make work for you guys/gals)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The mods might shut this one down because it might have been done. I'll take a shot anyway.

Given that it's the Centennial Season, I thought it might be a great way to celebrate by sharing stories/memories of being/becoming Fans of the Most Storied and Glorious Team in Hockey, arguably in all sports.

Me? I was born in Yellowknife, NWT, a good part of the country away from Montreal. No reason at all to be a Habs fan except that my father, who passed away when I was 19, was from Gaspe and instilled into my DNA a love of all things French Canadian. That includes and included the Expos, the Alouettes, the Machine (for those that remember the fiasco that was the World Football League), and of course Les Habitants. I was too young to remember the run of Cups in the late 70s but I remember and always will remember Guy LaFleur, including the disappointment that was his "retirement" and time with the Rangers and Nordiques.

I wasn't enough of a hockey fan to have paid much attention to Montreal's Cup victory in 86 or the loss to Calgary in 89 but the win in 93 is like the JFK assassination is to an American: Snapshot. I remember sitting on the floor in our basement, crosslegged in front of my father in his favourite chair, super-marvelling; first at Lemers' gutsy gamble with the McSorley stick measurement and then at the DesJardins's goals. I remember the arse-kicking we laid on the Kings in the rest of the series. I remember my Dad's face, never the same as my Father's because of the damage from brain surgery to remove a tumour. While he couldn't always recognize who we were, he always knew his Team and never gave up on Them. It wasn't pride but the sheerest joy of never having given up. It was the look of Perseverence-Paid-Off.

Dad passed away in the fall of 94, after the Baseball lockout that denied the Expos their best chance of winning a pennant. I like to think that he had held on long enough for one more Cup, which he got to see, and a Pennant, which he was robbed of. I don't think he had it in him after that.

On top of that, Yellowknife's closest NHL team is the Oilers. I grew up in a 'city' that behaved like it was a suburb of Edmonton. Never being one to follow trends, I took pride in standing by Montreal through everything. Being a fan of the Canadiens hasn't always been the easiest thing to do. It was often hard, suffering schooyard ridicule, but it was worth it because my love for my Team was bigger than geographical proximity. It was bred in blood and nurtured through family.

When Koivu fell to cancer, that plague of civilization, I, of course, thought of my Father, my Dad. I remember the Captain coming back, that first skate on the ice, and the deafening sound of the hometown crowd.

Where there is a Fall, there is always hope for a Rising Up.

In an overly large nutshell, that's why I'm a Habs Fan. What's your story?

(maybe this belongs in "Introduce Yourselves" ... I dunno. I trust the Mods to make the call. Sorry to make work for you guys/gals)

3 cheers to you. I live in Edmonton and I know its hard to wear a shirt or jersey on the streets. Your a true fan of the habs and the game!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 cheers to you. I live in Edmonton and I know its hard to wear a shirt or jersey on the streets. Your a true fan of the habs and the game!

I don't know. If I lived in Edmonton-Actual instead of Edmonton-North, it might be a little harder to be so outspoken.

I take it you haven't succumbed to the pressure of Oiler Nation? That takes a fair amount of confidence, pride and integrity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always been a fan of the game and a fan of the Habs. My mother spent years trying to 'groom' me into a Leafs or Flames fan, but I turned into a Montreal fan <much to my families shegrin> I remember sitting in the living room in my house in Newfoundland watching every game until my mom made me go to bed and then sneaking back out when I heard her close her door. I would sit in my jersey, surrounded by popcorn, hockey cards, stick, nick knacks and flags of Montreal and watch until the game was over. Being in Newfoundland that meant it was pretty late<especially w/ the OT's> and man was I tired the next day, but I could talk w/ all my friends <and gloat when they won> about the game and look forward to the next game. I doubt I will ever remember a better play off in my life as this was the first time I remember watching the Habs win the cup. I will forever remember.......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what it is like to be a outsider of the fan verity. I was in Minnesota and i was wearing my green bay packers jersey (huge rivalry). Everyone was looking at me. Also when i went to the broncos packers game in denver. I had painted my face and was wearing my cheese head and my A.J. Hawk jersey. We were walking to our car after the packers won and people were such a**holes. They were flipping me off and yelling rude things. But i like to show off my pride for the teams i like. When i wore my canadiens jersey to school after the habs won to the red wings i got a bunch of stares but my english teacher who is a av's fan loved it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know what it is like to be a outsider of the fan verity. I was in Minnesota and i was wearing my green bay packers jersey (huge rivalry). Everyone was looking at me. Also when i went to the broncos packers game in denver. I had painted my face and was wearing my cheese head and my A.J. Hawk jersey. We were walking to our car after the packers won and people were such a**holes. They were flipping me off and yelling rude things. But i like to show off my pride for the teams i like. When i wore my canadiens jersey to school after the habs won to the red wings i got a bunch of stares but my english teacher who is a av's fan loved it.

I read on a thread last year about a guy who wore a Habs shirt to a game in Boston. Evidently they were spat at and had stuff dropped at them from higher levels and generally just treated poorly. I imagine it's the same way in a lot of arenas, especially when their team's arse is getting kicked (again) by the visitors.

I've never lived in a place with a professional sports team so I can't imagine life in a place like that. I know I wouldn't stop being a Habs fan but that other team might become a secondary favourite. Either way, I don't see it happening. Right now, as far as Hockey is concerned, there is a Team I Love and a few teams I hate and the rest are just in Our Way.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From a posting that I did on my blog recently:

It was 1985.

I was 8 years old and my love of hockey was in it’s early stages of development. My collection of hockey memories were fresh, and I was impressionable. “The Great One” had just won his 2nd Cup, Mike Bossy had is 8th consecutive 50 goal season, and Mario Lemieux was the Rookie of the Year. I loved all 3 players, but I couldn’t decide who played on my favourite team. I was on the fence, and undecided voter so to speak, waiting for a team to call out to me an rally me towards their cause.

Then my Uncle from Saskatchewan came to town for a visit and he introduced me to the history and tradition of the Montreal Canadiens. The Oilers, Islanders and Flyers were all successful, but they all lacked the mystique of bygone days that the Canadiens carried. He told stories of Richard, Plante, Harvey, Beliveau, Cournoyer, and Ken Dryden. It all seemed so hard to believe. 5 Cups in a row during the 50’s, 4 in a row during the 70’s, the trophy for “best goalie” named after one of their own goalies. I was hooked after he told the story of Richards 50 goals in 50 games.

The Habs at that time were a good team, but they were in transition. Guy Lafleur retired during the season, but the Habs still had veterans from the great teams of the ’70’s. Players like Captain Bob Gainey, and stalwart defenseman Larry Robinson. Goalie Steve Penny was up and coming, and there were high hopes that he could fill the shoes that the Habs has desperately needed to fill since Ken Dryden’s departure. Chris Chelios had a break out season as a rookie and was runner up to Lemieux for the Calder Trophy. Though the Canadiens bowed out of the playoffs after a 7 game battle in the Adams Division Final against the Quebec Nordiques, the season was a reasonable success.

Then came Roy.

I was riveted as so many were during the incredible Cup run in 1986. There was Game 3 against the Rangers in the Wales Conference Final where he all but stood on his head to keep the Habs in the game, and allowed Claude Lemieux to stride in an score the winner in OT. He talked to his posts. He was an absolute wall and as he lift the Cup for the first time, I was a Habs fan for life.

And it got better through the rest of the 80’s. Roy wasn’t a fluke, he was a genuine All-Star winning Vezina Trophies and Jennings Trophies. Stephane Richer scored 50 goals. Chris Chelios was a Norris winner, Carbonneau was the leagues best defensive forward. But no Cups for the rest of the 80’s, or even my dream matchup of Roy and the Canadiens vs. Gretzky and the Oilers.

Into the 90’s I was able to attend my first Habs game, see Roy play for the first time. But it seemed like the Bruins always had our number when we met in the playoffs. That is until the year of the upsets in ‘93. What a crazy first round of the playoffs. The Sabres take care of the Bruins thanks to Brad May’s famous goal (MAY DAY! MAY DAY! MAY DAY!), the Blackhawks get swept by the Blues. We barely made it past the Nordiques, but after winning in OT in Game 3 we never looked back. Thanks to Roy, in a feat that will never be matched, the Canadiens won 10 overtime games in a row, including 3 in the Stanley Cup Finals. I remember sitting in my basement, watching them celebrate the win in Game 5. I basked in the glory of victory, and slowly rose into the light of late afternoon. I donned my Patrick Roy jersey, jumped into my 1987 Dodge Colt, and did the slow drive around White Rock BC. I honked my horn, hung out the window and yelled at random strangers. They had no idea what I was doing. I was just trying to spread the love to all the Canucks fans. But they have no idea what success feels like, so I can appreciate their bewilderment. They’d only have to wait one year to get a taste of how sweet the Cup can feel, or in their case could possibly feel.

Cheers!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From a posting that I did on my blog recently:

Cheers!

Canuck fans just don't understand what it feels like to actually win. :) The ones around here are bandwagon jumpers, one day they'll say "Oh I loveee the Canucks, luongo roxxx!121!" then the next day when they lose they say "Wow the Canucks suck, I never liked them in the first place." I hate living here, all these idiots at school are trying to shove them down my throat every day and I say "Screw them, the Habs are way better" I even did this when I was 5 years old XD except I would say 'The Canucks are so bad, Montreal is good'

I've been a Habs fan pretty much since I was born. When I was in Grade 3, I didn't really understand hockey very well and I didn't know the players.. but I still said "I'm a Canadiens fan" to any canucklehead. I've stood by the Habs for all of my life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, what is it 38 years and counting for them. Wow, that's almost as long as the Leafs. And they are the only Canadian team who hasn't won the Cup.

I totally hear what you say about the bandwagons. If you listen carefully later tonight, you'll hear all of their ankles snapping as they jump off the wagon after they lose to Calgary.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah, what is it 38 years and counting for them. Wow, that's almost as long as the Leafs. And they are the only Canadian team who hasn't won the Cup.

I totally hear what you say about the bandwagons. If you listen carefully later tonight, you'll hear all of their ankles snapping as they jump off the wagon after they lose to Calgary.

Exactly. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...