Thursday, September 22, 2011

Leafs and Habs: Rediscovering the Rivalry

I could have become a Habs fan. A startling admission, I know.

My family is originally from Montreal and is full of die-hard Habs fans. But, for some reason, when my Dad was a kid he took no interest in le blue, blanc, et rouge (check out that awesome French I just pulled out). In fact, he was adamantly anti-Habs. Instead of cheering for the home town team who consistently won championships, my father decided to root for the Boston Bruins, the team that was consistently broken by the Habs.

Eventually, my Mother and Father moved to Toronto. The romantic in me likes to believe they moved to escape the oppressive Habs culture dominating their lives. This is unconfirmed.

It isn't hard to imagine if my Dad grew up a Habs fan he would have brainwashed me into the same cult when we were living in Toronto. Thankfully, he wasn't a Habs fan and didn't even attempt to brainwash me to become a Bruins fan.

So I merrily became a Leafs fan, aided by Doug Gilmour, Wendel Clark, Felix Potvin, and that upstart 1992-1993 team. I had a VHS copy of The Passion Returns that I taped off TV that I watched relentlessly. I usually stopped it before game 7 against the Kings.

This week for The Good Point I wrote about the state of the rivalry between the Leafs and the Habs. The family we still have living in Montreal are as Habs-centric as always, making family get-togethers full of good-natured ribbing. It's definitely more fun when the Leafs are doing well and I can do a little gloating (those being all but a distant memory now). The rivalry is alive to me. But is that still the general feeling around the league?

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