I was talking with my friend Luigi yesterday, and I innocently asked if he would be watching Les Canadiens that evening. He replied in the affirmative. I told him I don’t usually watch, but this year I tuned in to the Montreal/Toronto series and got hooked. The team was playing well and looked like they were having fun. They beat the Leafs and then swept Winnipeg and eked past Las Vegas to appear in the finals with Tampa Bay.
I asked if he noticed the size of the brutes playing for Tampa Bay, and he said “and the size of their salaries, they slipped through a loophole and have slipped past a salary cap” which means they have superstars against our mere asteroids. I said it is kind of disgusting to be in a race on a scooter next to a souped up Hemi Roadrunner. It takes the fun out of it. Like playing cards with a stacked deck…. not exactly fair. Not exactly “sportsmanlike”.
It was evident that the Canadiens would lose game three from the first period on. It was 6-3 finally. The Lightning (Greased Palm Lightning) are ahead in the series 3-0. It is possible that the Canadiens could fight back. They have done it before, but this Lightning team has a goalie that, if he were a few inches bigger, could effectively seal the crease without moving. Their team are all at least a head taller than our guys. Orcs vs. Hobbits. Good should finally prevail, but probably won’t. It is a shame, because I was enjoying this run at the cup until we met the bullies. The Lightning are VERY SKILLED, there is no doubt about that, they will win the cup and should win it. It is the league that is flawed and money driven.
Luigi told me that he was enjoying the Euro cup, especially….you guessed it…Italy. He told me that the coach for Italy didn’t want superstars who would wade in and score, he wanted athletes that cooperated and treated each other with fairness and respect.
I get it. I won’t follow soccer, just because I find it to be like geriatric hockey and the players, although marvellous physical specimens are a bit wimpy when it comes to a slight kick in the shins….. But I love watching the various communities driving around with their proud flags and honking horns etc. I abhor hooliganism and racist b.s. which seems to mar the sport. Watching drunken English soccer fans for example is embarrassing not just for my heritage, but for the human race.
These two things remind me of why and when I stopped following sports. I was an Expos fan from their birth til their death. They were only a contender once, but that never deterred me from following them fervently. The team was sold to some “flippers” who gave zero shits about baseball, or Montreal. Jeffrey Loria and Claude Brochu whittled away at the talent and the support until they finally sold the team to Washington D.C.
The death knell for me was when the English language radio no longer had Dave Van Horne or Duke Snyder…. I listened in French often, but I preferred the colour commentary of Duke ’n Dave. I stopped reading the sports in the paper and stopped any watching or listening. Period.
I am not sad that I invested my time last month. I truly enjoyed watching the games I did, win or lose. I just hate the Star maker machinery of the mainstream world. Greatness can’t be bought, it has to be earned.
I have my life back. Bravo to our scrappy talented team. Hold your heads high!