Calling all crazies!!
Two possible outcomes tonight:
1) The dream run is over.
2) The elimination of elimination games continues.
These two scenarios both have strong arguments no one could dispute.
1) Aside from the fact Philly is simply out working the Habs, the odds are just too lopsided in the Flyers’ favour. The eight seed knocks off No. 1 when down 3-1? Maybe. The eight seed then knocks of Cup champs down 3-2? Pretty unlikely but considering it happened, I suppose it’s possible. That same eight seed then falls behind 3-1 to the hottest team in the playoffs, one of which they just don’t match up well against, and somehow manages another three-straight wins to reach the Finals? Not in 1,000 attempts.
2) The Habs are 5-0 in elimination. The Habs are the most talented and experienced eight seed the NHL has seen since the new playoff format. Halak has Halak’d the game’s two best snipers and he can catch fire instantly. Cammalleri gets even better when he’s threatened with a tee time.
But who hasn’t already thought of these things or written about them?
Well since I’m building a reputation for ignoring the mundane discussions of who’s going to win, I’d like to continue with my All Habs, All the Time series by giving the Canadiéns fans of the world:
Day 7 – They don’t make them like us, do they?
I’ve often thought the fact I never see people displaying the same emotion I do while watching their favourite hockey team play was entirely do to my immature inability to control myself – even as a grown up – when I’m put in front of them.
I’m 32 years old and if there is one thing I’ve learned about myself, it’s the unwavering necessity to control the environment in which I watch this team. The list of people allowed to be with me consists of other Habs fans – out-of-their-mind-hardcore ONLY – and really close friends, who respect my level of passion, frightened or not.
I yell. I scream. I throw hats (sometimes in the worst of directions).
But these fanatical actions are not exclusive to me and they are not what I am talking about when I truly refer to ‘emotion.’
What I’m talking about is the feeling I get every time I look at that jersey, that one where no matter what I’m doing, my knees weaken and I instantly begin to daydream.
I’m talking about the countless hours of sleep I’ve lost in any given November, just because the team has lost or won three in a row, someone got injured or was about to return, a Leafs game was upcoming or just been played AND/OR the Habs’ best player was streaking or in a slump.
I’m talking about the gigantic goose bumps and swarming butterflies I get when I see mash-up videos made by other fans, who clearly love this team the way I do. Especially the ones showing pregame conversations in the tunnel between Glen Metropolit and Jean Béliveau, where Le Gros Bill leaves with a fist pump that says, “We got this.”
I’m talking about all the tears brought to my eyes. But not the ones that came when The Rocket stood on the Forum ice for the last time. Not the ones that came when Captain Courage first walked his frail body onto the Bell Centre bench after being diagnosed, nor the ones that came after he kicked cancer’s ass and skated onto the ice only seven months later. And not even the ones that came when St. Patrick was traded out of my life forever. I mean that one tear that comes before EVERY single home game just watching the Bell Centre crowd do what no other fan base can match.
Well, as I said, for the longest time I believed these things were exclusive to my particular form of clinical addiction, that I was somehow a lone schmuck who just happened to miss the grow-up-and-realize-this-crap-doesn’t-matter-even-a-little-bit bus.
Then I met T-BO, not to be mistaken for Tae Bo, though meeting him can definitely result in involuntary punching and kicking. Anyway, T-BO is the carbon copy version – not nearly as attractive of course – of me as a Habs fan. He and I are so identical we went from bumping into each other while he had a Habs hat on to my being the godfather of his first born in about two seasons.
Until I met him, I knew only two people who could match up with me as a fan – AT and Bruce – but I’m fairly certain both of these guys have the self-control to at least stay composed if, let’s say, their grandmother were in the room. While T-BO and I, on the other hand, would most certainly be noted as the precise cause of death if we were faced with the same scenario.
But over the past season I have begun to expand my social-networking skills in an attempt to, you know, be something someday and I have begun to explore the interesting world of Twitter. At first it was just for the hell of it, after all I think the first person I followed was Raptors’ rookie DeMar DeRozan. But all of a sudden I started to learn how the system works and I began to find Habs fans from all over North America.
I don’t have a ton of followers – 172 as of today – but the vast majority are now hockey fans and the vast majority of those are Habs fans. And the more I get to know these people – from Active Sticks to Chile Peppers to Smiling Gaineys to Habs Addicts – the more I locate one common theme among most.
These people are just as clinically insane as I am.
They have the same debilitating stomachaches on days like today. They waste just as much time during what should be work hours just thinking about the team. They feel the same true love for grown men most of us will likely never meet in person. And they hang the balance of their summers on the simple fact Les Glorieux did not make it this far, in this way, to lose like this.
So as the true collective maniacs we are, I call on all of you Habs fans out there to join me at 7 p.m. ET in the loudest, craziest, most neighbourhood-disturbing expression of that love NO ONE out there can equal.
Because the team has never needed us more.