My husband, Ian, was born and raised in a town two hours east of Montreal. He has been a Habs fan for as long as he can remember. I grew up in BC, watching over the shoulders of my mom and older brother as they religiously watched the Canucks lose.
In short, I am not a hockey fan and up until now this has not been something I have been keen to share as the sport is, after all, our national sport.
The topic of hockey has caused many debates between Ian and I, and we still have not reached common ground on the issue. Every time his Habs games are televised out here in the West, Ian makes chicken wings and drinks beer and yells at the tv, hopping up and down from his seat on the couch. When the games are not televised, he stands in the kitchen hovering over his phone watching the stats.
The idea of eating fattening food while watching other people exercise is not appealing to me, and the yelling at the tv thing? Why? They can’t hear you.
I just came home from a local game between the Blazers and a team from Seattle. I was there because my daughter is part of the Brock Middle School choir who sang both anthems, and very well, I might add. Beyond that, I only found interest in observing the event, not watching the hockey.
The announcer was too loud, the fans were dressed in everything gawdy, yelling at the air while simultaneously stuffing themselves with garbage food, and the music was tacky, for example, Bachman-Turner Overdrive Taking Care of Business. Meanwhile, men in pressed suites and shiny shoes stood looking ever-so-important, on the sidelines.
I simply don’t understand the hype? Other than the money factor of course, which brings me to our biggest hockey-related marital debate. The debate started long ago when we went to watch the Canucks (lose) in Vancouver. We were handed a pamphlet listing stats and info about each player. As the arena grew in volume around me, my confusion grew as I read the pamphlet.
“Wait a minute,” I said, turning to my husband, “there are very few players on this team who are even from BC, never mind Vancouver.”
That man rolled his eyes at me.
“How can all of these ‘locals’ be supporting a team that isn’t local?” I pressed on, wiggling my toes toward a soapbox of disgust that would ruin the game for both of us.
“Shannon, they are bought and traded. All sports teams do that.” With his eyes he added, where have you been? Everyone knows this?
“So it is all about money then? Rich people buy a team and slap a city’s name on their jerseys?”
No comment from Ian, just a hunched shoulder that requested I drop the topic and watch the game. But that was not going to happen.
“Ian,” I demanded, “why would anyone support a home team that isn’t from their home?” My feet found the soapbox, good and solid, and there they remain.
“It all started with trading players. It is the way it is. It’s a money maker. If you have a winning team everyone is making money.”
I crossed my arms and huffed at that man.
“People love the sport. It’s about using what resources you have to make the best team,” he said with a shrug, repositioning his ‘be quiet’ shoulder at me.
“Well that’s just stupid,” I griped, and spent the game pouting and watching Canucks from Europe skate around the ice.
To this day, after 10 years of marriage, and 10 years of Saturday night hockey between us, I am still waiting for a reasonable answer and he is still watching hockey by himself.
Rather sad I think?