Why I am a Habs Fan

It has been asked time and time again with the use of vulgarity and offence as to why I support Les Canadiens de Montréal. As a child; even into my teen years, my direct resposne to said question would be: “who’s got the most cups?” And of course the questioners were quick to respond with: “they won cups when there was only 6 teams, and 93 was too long ago”. Twenty years is most definitely a drought but of course Leaf fans have no idea what the word drought means. In all fairness however, there is this unwritten standard as Les Glorieux for excellence in cup victories, and I shall be the first to admit it, twenty years without even getting to the cup final is unacceptable. Sadly, I have not been able to witness a parade in ye olde Montréal, but would that classify my fandom as a bandwagoner simply due to my age? I certainly hope not. Just as LOVE is a choice rather than a feeling, labeling yourself as fan is a constant and faithful decision made on your own volition.

Being born in Kingston, Ontario and then growing up in the outskirts of Napanee for most of my life, I found myself in the crosshairs of an already bitter rivalry between Leaf and Sen fans, so I of course, quickly made loads of friends. My father quickly taught me the ways of the Habs and gave me my understanding of the game itself which had been passed down from his father from Québec. Brought up as a Habs fan wasn’t as brainwashing as it seems, although I am very vibrant in my fandom, I quickly made my allegiance my very own. I would study stats, research past jerseys as well as arenas and constantly be on the lookout for the newest poster, mug, pennant, doohickey, pillow, blanket, whatever I could get my hands on with a CH on it. It became a religion in my life, I would do anything to make sure I saw each and every game, study every goal, learn every player’s name and I would always buy my baby brothers the latest Habs gear such as pacifiers, slippers and pajamas. You don’t have to go to great lengths to find something I own that is in the bleu, blanc et rouge. But why, what draws me to the Canadiens of all teams?

Surely no one can argue the majesty of the tricolore, the dominant red on both the home and away uniforms neatly contrast in white complimented by the bold blue trim makes for easily the best jerseys in the NHL; as suggested by ESPN. The presentation however just creates sheer beauty anywhere they are to play. But the Bell Centre already painted red and having red chairs, the dim blue that is shone around as 21,273 wave white towels around as if it were snowing inside sacred building, I tell you, there is no better place for a hockey game. The ultimate Canadian experience is inside the Bell Centre hearing the crowd serenade OLÈ OLÈ OLE. The joy and passion the whole city and province feels by even a single goal scored is incomparable in the hockey world. No other city or team can come close to the beauty which is Montréal.

Maurice Richard with Lord Stanley's Mug

Maurice Richard with Lord Stanley’s Mug

How can anyone forget the undeniable historic success the Canadiens have had over their 103 year existence. The dynasties just blow a single cup victory out of the water. Countless Habs legends now reside in the HHOF (the HHOF is in Toronto which clearly is an oxymoron) and numerous others are now the names of awards and trophies. During the French revolution and of course the world wars, Québec went through many hardships which continue even to this day, but isn’t it just so fitting that one little francophone would change history by scoring goals for the CH. If you have not guessed by now, I am indeed referring to The Rocket. Maurice Richard is a legend not only in Montréal but in the hockey world, his legacy still lives on. The movie, “The Rocket”, shows how he united and unified a nation throughout his genuine character and of course, goal scoring prowess. I highly encourage you to go out and watch that film.

There is also one other huge reason as to why I choose to cheer for Les Glorieux, and I will try to explain it. As humans, we are taught throughout history, society and many religions that only the strong survive. There is this idea planted deep within our minds that there is this higher standard of living. I choose to cheer for that higher standard. The team I am in love with refuses to let their players, coaches and staff to even step on their emblem. The team I cheer for fundraises for disabled children. The team I support simply treats their  fans with respect. This team is Les Canadiens de Montréal. They do not support losing or droughts like a particular rival in the blue and white, nor do they approve of violence like those bears in the black  and “gold”. The only team that truely lives up to the creme de la creme is the Habs. The classiest organization in all of hockey is undoubtably from Québec.

To you from failing hands we throw, the torch; be yours to hold it high.

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3 Responses to Why I am a Habs Fan

  1. Very, very well said Colton! I specially liked the last paragraph. This resonates well with me, and it’s part of the reason why I’ve been traveling around the world for 5 years now with Habs tuques, jersey and flags 🙂
    I’m right now in a motorcycle adventure across the continent (will arrive in Montreal late September), holding the torch high!

    Go have a look at the community we’re building around traveling Habs fans (and Habs fans outside of Quebec) –> facebook.com/HabsAW

    Habs Around the World!

    Max August 26, 2013 at 12:43 pm Reply
  2. Thank you for those kind words Max! Stay strong and raise the torch high!

    Colton Di Stefano August 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm Reply
  3. Great piece Colton. Amazing. Its difficult to not get chocked up reading about the pride us fans have in our team. There is no team to fan base connection like that of the Canadiens to us. It’s truly something else. Like you said, it’s a large part of our identity. In my case (which I’m sure many can relate), my great-grandparents were Habs fans, my grandparents are Habs fans, my parents, and of course myself are Habs fans. Its in our blood. Nothing can change what’s in our blood.

    All the best man and again, great work!

    -Micah

    Micah Winston August 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm Reply

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