Long Distance Love

Photo: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

Photo: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

The Canadiens have fans all over the world. Where I live, Long Island, New York; there aren’t very many. I know I’m not the only one but it is rare to see anyone wearing a Habs hat or t-shirt. Around here, most hockey fans like the Rangers or Islanders, who for the most part are pretty tolerant. I get some blank stares and odd questions. “Why?”, “But you’re from Long Island” and my favorite “Are you Canadian?” are some of the most common reactions. As if you have to cheer for the team closest to where you live. The Canadiens history speaks for itself. Overall, at least from my experience, being a Montreal fan is an acceptable out of town team. This wouldn’t be the case if I was a fan of Philadelphia or worse, Boston. There isn’t much of an inter-city rivalry between New York and Montreal, and the on-ice competition is usually pretty sane.

Us out of town fans usually don’t get to watch as many games as we’d like to. The number of nationally televised games, especially in the U.S., is limited. Making do with the television broadcasts from the local team can be a less than enjoyable experience. Some are overt homers and some just don’t bother to pronounce the Canadiens’ players names correctly. The main exception is the New Jersey Devils television team of Steve Cangialosi and Chico Resch. They refreshingly speak well of the Habs in general and have been very complimentary to both Price and Subban all season. Resch clearly has respect for the Canadiens and their history and I want to thank them for making a fan of the road team feel welcome. The rest of the time, when I can’t find the game on television, I listen to the radio broadcast from TSN690. John Bartlett and Sergio Momesso, I feel like I spend more time with the two of you during the season than I do with my family.

The best part of being a Canadiens fan on Long Island (at least until the Isles move to Brooklyn) is when the Habs come to play here. There’s always a substantial number of my fellow Habs fans who find their way to Nassau Coliseum. The building leaves much to be desired, but all my fellow Habs fans filling the building makes for a fun evening. Thanks for making the trip, it’s so nice when we’re all together cheering.

As the playoffs are about to start I know all the Habs fans from around the world, whether they are at their televisions, computers, radios, bars or are lucky enough to be at the game will be together cheering for our Canadiens.

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One Response to Long Distance Love

  1. Nice column. Interesting perspective!

    Wayne Marshall May 2, 2013 at 3:40 pm Reply

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