Friday, February 16, 2007

Where the Right Road is Wholly Lost...

This blog will be going onto a reduced posting schedule for a while. How long, I don’t know. Maybe just a couple of days, maybe a couple of weeks, maybe longer.

The fact is that I’m a very angry Habistani these days. I’m angry at the Canadiens, not so much for slumping but for absorbing so much of my affection for hockey in their half-crazy, improbable, fragile game, and then taking that game and shattering it into a million pieces right in front of me. I’m angry because they’ve put my beliefs at odds with my better judgment. I still believe in them, I still believe that they’re a good team that will come around and play well again, and that makes a mockery of any claim I might have had to really, objectively understanding hockey. It more or less exposes me for the complete idiot I am.

Mostly, though, I’m angry because the hockey world is so freaking happy to bury ahbabi alive and dance on their grave. There is more coverage of and conversation about the Habs now than there has been all year, they are more interesting as a disaster than as a success. People are eager to chew over the increasingly gory details of their collapse, and embroider those details for increased dramatic effect whenever possible. Lest you think I’m speaking of the good folks over at Battle of Ontario and their ilk, no, not really. Honestly, Leafs fans wish they had half the Habs-hating skills of Habs fans. People often complain about ‘bandwagon’ fans- those who are attracted to the team when they’re winning and leave when they’re losing. The Habs, however, seem to have a rather large coterie of anti-bandwagon fans- people who never mention hockey all damn season, until the team starts tanking, at which point they begin declaring to all and sundry that they’ve been a Habs fan for 8.75 million years, so they know what good hockey should be, and then proceed to recite a list of approximately 300 reasons why this year's team is a total waste of organs and always was. I know there are more moderate voices out there, many of whom have been kind enough to leave me the occasional encouraging comment, many of whom have their own blogs, but they are out in the wilds of the internet, and seem very far away from my actual life.

So I'm angry and isolated and, lacking anyone to casually vent to who doesn't make me feel even worse, it’s affecting pretty much everything I try to write about hockey. Every general post I’ve worked on all week has been total crap. I wrote three pages on ‘the code’ that came out with a tone of such shrill rage that I can’t even bear to reread them myself, much less inflict them on the world. My goal here was never to write a rabidly partisan Canadiens blog, and it’s not fair to start filling it with bilious nonsense just because I’m upset that my team is falling apart, just because I have inadequate coping skills.

I’m going to keep doing the post-game comments, because that’s just something I need to do, so this isn’t a total hiatus. Rather, the Theory itself is being suspended indefinitely, until I find a way to recover some sort of equilibrium. Hopefully it won’t take long, who knows, maybe everything will turn around this weekend and I’ll feel so vindicated that it’ll be as if none of this happened. But I’m not counting on it.

Just thought I’d let y’all know.


Delicious said...

You just need someplace quiet to hang out for a while. I recommend the expensive seats at Staples Center for Kings-Coyotes.

Olivier said...

I think that, when it comes to habs commentary, soliloquy is the best way to go. There just isn't good journalistic coverage of the game in Montreal anyway.

That being said, I have to say it's still hard to live with. I personnally got fed up last year in Theogate. The way I see it, we *needed* the bastard to get back up. Piling on him wasn't an option. Habs fans (hardcore ones, not guys who used to root for the Nordiques like me) often look forward for the next saviour instead of building an appreciation of the process that is a hockey team.

At least Gainey is holding his ground and nobody's asking for Carbonneau's head.

Julian said...

E, you need to start watching Junior hockey, the QMJHL.

I don't think there's actually a team in Montreal, but I'm fairly sure there's at least on in a suburb somewhere.

Go to a few stretch run games and playoff games, it'll renew your faith in hockey and hockey fans. Someone more familiar with the Q will have to tell you which arenas specifically.

PB said...

There are good fans and there are bad fans - the ratio seems 1:1 but sometimes it tips in either direction based on the wins (winds?) of the season.

All I would say is don't stop writing. What I am learning (and I'm a Coyotes fan no less), is that a team can make certain decisions that they think will pan out only to have it come crashing down. With as much skill, grade, and intensity this game has, there is still an element of luck.

So, in other words, try to drown out the noise as best you can.

Tapeleg said...

E - Welcome to the club.

Tapeleg said...

E - Welcome to the club.

Robert L said...

Don't despair E, the Habs pull this crap every year. It's like a rite of passage. They did it in '86, and it also happened in '93. I just laugh it off.

Contrary to what Olivier says, there's tons of great journalistic Habs coverage in Montreal, in both languages. At present there are a myriad of conflicting issues hurting the team. Putting the finger on what is primarily wrong with it, is difficult now, and practically futile. What we are all hearing, and experiencing, is the pure frustration of incomprehensability enhabiting us all.

It's tough to examine a beast one cannot understand. I'd be posting on it each day if I could get a handle on it myself.

For now, I am consoling myself with the fact that the games have been better lately than the result. We outplayed both Ottawa and Florida and were beaten by superior and extraordinary goaltending. As for the NJ game, bad luck and penalties were again the nemesis.

By Mondat, the habs will have two straight wins under their belt and be back in 7th place!

Tony said...

Keep the faith man <3. It's hardest to stay interested and upbeat when the team you love pulls this long losing streak stuff after playing so well to start a season. It's honestly just easier if they suck the entire time so you at least don't have expectations and hopes for the rest of the year. Your voice is needed!