It’s not that you’re wrong. It’s that you’re not right.
Let’s talk about booing.
I tried desperately to avoid this because it’s just been talked to death since the Montreal Canadiéns played their first exhibition game last week. I SHOULD be writing my tribute to Uncle Sam I promised my sister and brother in law after our recent trip to California. But after the ticket-holding rejects who contain their boos like an 18-year-old boy contains his wad received journalistic backing from the Montreal Gazette’s Jack Todd today, I simply have to weigh in.
Todd’s argument – like most out there – essentially revolved around a fan’s right to boo because they have paid “through the nose” to get their seats. Truthfully, he makes a great case; they absolutely pay through at least some hole in their body to be there and once they get there, freedom of speech gives them all kinds of rights.
Meanwhile, a fellow blogger – The Active Stick – made a great argument in retort to that a few days ago (before Todd’s piece) by defending the true fan’s right to not be incessantly annoyed by a small band of idiots while they are trying to enjoy their own paid-through-an-orifice ticket.
She too is totally right. The idiots are bothersome and it’s not fair to the rest of us.
So in a dispute where both sides are right, where does that leave us? To me, that leaves the side with the best ability to display logic beyond what is deemed correct as the victor.
So here’s my logic:
There are two versions of thought regarding the Habs’ goaltending situation – there are variations and subcategories but they all basically stem from two places.
The first is that Halak is about to be a superstar and not only did the Habs keep a bust instead, they also pulled the trigger too early to get full market value for the parting hero.
The second is that business in the 2010 NHL simply takes decision making to a level well beyond what most fans comprehend and one of the two goalies had to go. When it was deemed Halak would cost too much, he was shipped out for a player EVERY scout in hockey would agree is close to being a top-six forward already. The team was able to make this choice because the kid waiting in the wings to take over between the pipes has the potential to be as good as anyone alive.
There are entire blogs one could add to each of those sides but the gist is all there: Either Halak is great and Price sucks. Or it all works out and the world is sunshine and roses.
And while both sides have some compelling arguments to make, I can assure not one person from either contingent can say for sure which way this will all go. So even though it’s clear which side of the fence I reside on, I am not going to tell anyone not to boo No. 31.
I just want to ask those fans why they would rather see the team they claim to love lose games and be embarrassed in the media? You see, I may not be able to prove yet that my side is right – only the future can do that – but I don’t need to direct you to too many informational websites to get confirmation that constant booing and heckling affects athletes in a negative way.
For the dummies: the only results booing will get is further bad play.
That’s not to say every athlete who gets booed by his own fans is affected by it, I’m just saying I bet you can’t show me a single documented case where fans hating their own player so much that they’ll boo him in the freakin’ preseason has made that player better or helped lead the team to success.
So yes, you have all the rights in the world to boo and heckle whoever you want once you’ve purchased a ticket. Just tell me why you choose to not only aid the opposition by sabotaging your own players but actually pay good, hard-earned money to do it.
Would you rather they lose just so you can be right? Would it make you feel better if Carey ends up the next Dan Blackburn? Does it fix your problems if Halak wins the Cup in St. Louis? Because if the answer is yes to any of that, let me remind you the money you’re spending in tickets aren’t like taxes. You don’t HAVE to part ways with it.
But I actually believe all this booing – and bitching and whining – is just the thick passion of certain people, who can’t stop horribly butchering it with hatred. I believe the whole lot of you would be the first voices lost singing Olé Olé Olé during Price’s first win, defending it by saying you “love” your team. So if you love your team, as you’d all claim to do, and you want to help them and not hurt them, the next time you’re overwhelmed with the urge to boo in the Bell Centre, maybe try this instead:
Stop. Sit down. Remove your shoe. Remove your sock. Roll up your sock. Jam your mouth as full as you can with your sock. Gag on your sock.
(I said I wouldn’t tell you not to boo, I didn’t say I wouldn’t suggest an alternative.)
Price’s shaky play right now is almost certainly due to a lack of confidence. So while the games don’t mean anything whatsoever, why not try instilling some into him? Don’t worry you can all still unjustly crucify the kid once the season has started.