Ference's "Unintentional Bird" Much More Meaningful Than It Seems

Disclaimer: The following is an angry blog. It was written shortly following the Andrew Ference “unintentional bird” and subsequent fine from the NHL. I generally try to keep my writings a tad more professional, but this is an emotional playoff series that tends to bring out the worst in the fans of both teams – and, seemingly, their players. I think it’s fair to say that whichever teams win this series Tuesday or possibly Wednesday night deserves it, no matter what I end up saying here. Both teams have played a good, relatively clean series and anything else is just venting. So consider this blog just that... an airing of grievances. And whether you cheer for the Canadiens or Bruins or anyone else, you’re more than welcome to post your thoughts on this subject and any counter arguments. Enjoy my mental breakdown!

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During the course of Thursday night’s 5-4 overtime loss in Game four, Bruins’ defenseman Andrew Ference scored a goal. In the grand scheme of things, it would actually turn out to be a relatively important goal, as it would spur what would be a pretty impressive comeback by the Boston Bruins to take a 5-4 OT victory from the Canadiens on home ice, after trailing three separate times in the game, to tie up their series at two games apiece.

It was also an important goal personally for the 32-year-old Bruins defenseman. Other than an anomalous season with the Calgary Flames in 2005-06 where he tallied 31 points, the stay-at-home defenseman has never put up more than sixteen points, or scored more than four goals in a season. In fact, he went all of 2009-10 without scoring a single goal in 51 games. The Edmonton native has played 10 seasons with the Penguins, Flames and Bruins, and while he’s never been a gamebreaker offensively, he has always managed to be a valuable player. This season was arguably one of his best, as he put up his standard 15 points, with an impressive +22 rating and 74 hits.

Ference has also played about 80 post-season games with these three teams, including a trip to the finals with the Flames in 2004 and one to the Eastern conference finals three years before that with the Penguins. But here’s where things get interesting: up to April 21st, 2011, the guy hadn’t scored a playoff goal in literally a decade.

You’d think that a player who has often been criticized by his teams’ fan bases, has had trouble putting up points and should be lucky to be part of a team like the Bruins, considering his relatively small frame, would just be happy to get any goal, yet alone a highly important one like the one he scored Thursday night. Instead of celebrating his goal and thinking about the next shift and maintaining momentum, he goes ahead and does this:

In case you missed it, here’s a freeze frame of what we’re talking about:

Classy stuff, right?

While, as a Habs fan on the other side of the camera, seeing that middle finger raised staunchly into the Bell Centre air was relatively infuriating, what made the whole situation even worse was what Ference had to say about the incident following the game:

Quote:
“Coach just showed me it, and it looks awful. I just saw it and I can assure you that’s not part of my repertoire. I don’t know if my glove got caught up. I can assure you, that’s not part of who I am or what I ever have been.

“So it looks awful, I admit it, I completely apologize to how it looks.”

You can almost hear his lack of sincerity while reading that. Ference would follow this up with this gem the next day, after the NHL had fined him the maximum $2,500 for the incident:

Quote:
“I explained (to Colin Campbell’s assistant, Mike Murphy) the same thing I told you guys last night. He said the same thing: that it looks awful. And with this series, the whole year, how it is between the Habs and the Bruins, the fine was acceptable.

"I was pumping my fist. I'm not giving anyone the bird or anything like that. . It was an unintentional bird. I obviously apologize for it. It wasn't meant to insult anybody, especially a whole row of cameras in the Bell Centre and the fans sitting there. That's definitely not the intention. It's not something where I was trying to inflame anybody or do anything rude."

Fuck you, Ference.

Oh, sorry, I just had a keyboard malfunction.

It’s hard to really decide what pisses me off more:

A) The fact that he essentially told hundreds of thousands of fans to fuck off, showing his complete and utter lack of respect for the people who have played a large part in even allowing a fringe defenseman like him to have a job.

B) The fact that he doesn’t even have the balls to own up to his transgression, implying that his fucking glove got stuck. Seriously?

C) That if it was a member of the Canadiens doing the exact same thing, the world would literally melt with criticism and whining about how the Habs are pieces of crap that have no respect.

A) DISRESPECT
It should be pretty obvious that flipping off PAYING FANS in their home arena is a no-no.

It’s one thing for James Wisniewski to act out what we’re all thinking when it comes to Sean Avery. While it was an afternoon game with plenty of kids watching and in attendance, and Wisniewski probably deserved a fine or a short suspension, that was a matter between two players on the ice, and it probably wasn’t half as bad as some of the things these players say to each other. Well, Wisniewski got a two game suspension for his “lewd gesture”.

Meanwhile, Andrew Ference pretty openly tells all fans of the Montreal Canadiens that he doesn’t respect them and that he doesn’t like them, and he basically gets off Scott-free. It’s one thing for fans to joust amongst each other on the Internet or even at the arena, but for a player to do that during a televised game towards fans that really weren’t doing anything wrong, just cheering for their team and against the opposition?

To me, this speaks volumes about the Boston Bruins and what their organization stands for. It’s been pretty evident all season that the Bruins have no respect for the Canadiens or the city of Montreal, and it’s downright disgusting.

You don’t have to look much further than the Bruins’ own play-by-play announcer, who just one game before the Ference incident, showed his complete lack of professionalism and, frankly, lack of hockey knowledge when he put on this display on NESN:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y66R0Cpel1g

It’s one thing to be a home announcer, it’s quite another to be completely bias and basically make fun of players on the air. Enjoy not calling another playoff game after this series Jack.

Go back a little further to the Max Pacioretty incident. We all know what happened. Pacioretty gives Chara a love shove in January. Chara loses his mind and goes after Pacioretty in the Beantown Beatdown, and the next game in Montreal, Pacioretty has to be taken off the ice and out of the arena in a stretcher. Fast forward another two weeks, and Mark Recchi has somehow acquired a PhD and making diagnoses because Pacioretty saw a movie, and, oh ya, he’s only doing it to deflect attention away from Chara.

Keep in mind that in the process of doing this, Recchi basically tried to discredit the Canadiens, an organization he played for, for many years, as well as Dr. David Mulder, one of the most highly respected medical professionals in the sport and a doctor that likely treated Recchi on many occasions.

The Beatdown itself was another show of complete and utter disrespect by the Bruins, who would rather beat down a team that’s admittedly smaller than them than play hockey. A month later, when most of the Canadiens’ players have Pacioretty’s status on their mind, Milan Lucic is trying to take Benoit Pouliot’s head off because he fought David Krejci? Not to mention how the Bruins ran up the score in Boston two weeks later. Or how about when Brad Marchand gold swinged his way out of the Air Canada Center a couple of weeks before the end of the season?

It’s incident after incident. It’s a complete lack of class and lack of respect from a team towards another that I can’t explain, and it’s simply disgusting.

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Edit: Before anyone brings it up, I’m very aware of Maxc Pacioretty’s twitter comment the other night about Brad Marchand’s “long nose”. To be fair, I found it to be in relatively good taste and in good fun, and completely lacking the malicious nature of Ference’s finger. And regardless of what he meant of it, at least Pacioretty had the comment sense to take it down and apologize, manning up for his “mistake”, while Ference can’t even admit that he did what he did.

B) DAMAGE CONTROL
As mentioned above, after he flipped off the crowd Ference couldn’t even care to own up to what he did, citing equipment malfunctions and, apparently, cinematic illusions.

I might actually be willing to accept his lack of respect for the Canadiens and their fans. After all, we do try to boo them out of our arena every chance he gets. But it’s the fact that the Bruins try to act all tough, but then go ahead and act like scheming little scoundrels in front of the media.

Honestly, what would it change if the little douchebag came out and said “yeah, I flipped off the crowd, and I’d do it again?” Instead, all he cares about is damage control; all he cares about is putting on a good show so that he doesn’t get suspended for the next game. It was the same case with Chara after he took off Pacioretty’s head. Kicked out of the game, facing a hearing with Mike Murphy – since, just like the Bruins, Colin Campbell doesn’t have the balls to deal with the Bruins – Chara comes out and says that he didn’t know where he was on the ice, and that he didn’t know that Pacioretty was even out there. And the same can be said about the Recchi situation.

Even after the Boston Beatdown, Lucic and Marchand and all the rest of these assholes were talking about how the Canadiens are always the ones who start scrums, and that the Bruins are completely innocent.

Please. If these guys sincerely hate the Canadiens, then just come out and say it. It would make a lot of things a lot easier. Instead, you can see the pure hatred and disrespect in their eyes when they bullshit anyone’s who’s anyone.

C) HYPOCRISY
Remember when PK Subban did this after a game?

The Canadiens were playing on home ice against the Calgary Flames, and completing a comeback from a four goal deficit to win a game 5-4 in OT. It wasn’t the best game the Habs had played during the season, but it was definitely a huge comeback. Subban scored in OT, something that’s sort of become his mantra, and he celebrated by doing a little bow-and-arrow deal.

While no one from the Flames seemed bothered, apparently, plenty of fans as well as teammates and the coaching staff thought this was the end of the world. I don’t really want to get to far into the sheer ridiculousness that followed, which included a discussion of PK Subban’s disrespect, a near-apology from Subban thanks to the coach, and even, for some reason, a discussion about whether Scott Gomez is a racist, if you can believe that, but you can read all about it in this great blog by TCL friend Kamal Panesar at Habs Addict.

Just for a second, think about what would have happened if PK Subban had flipped the bird in TD Garden in games one, two or five, following a goal. The Bruins would likely have to forfeit after fans tried to jump the fence to get to Subban, and Don Cherry would likely have a seizure live on coach’s corner.

Or you can look back to this particular incident between the Bruins and the Chicago Blackhawks:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QfPw7lISDpk

Bleeding after being cut by a skate, all Shawn Thornton can think about is going over to the Blackhawks bench because they were taunting him? He even went as far as to push a referee, and promise vengeance whenever the Bruins and Hawks play each other next season.

Someone taunts a Bruin, and it’s like it’s the end of the world. PK Subban or Carey Price celebrate a win, and the entire hockey universe gets offended. But when the Bruins do something completely and utterly disrespectful, it’s no big deal, bro! Just a hockey play. And it’s ok because the Canadiens are assholes.

I’ve had just about enough of all this shit. All that the team that I cheer for has done this season is prove people wrong. When Markov and Gorges went down, they proved everyone wrong. They lost an ungodly amount of games in December, they bounced back and proved everyone wrong. When people said they couldn’t be as good as they were last season, they ended up with a better record than in 2009-10 and proved everyone wrong. And when everyone thought they were goners against the Bruins, they won the first two games of the series in Boston and proved everyone wrong.

Instead of focusing on these things, we have to talk about how a Bruin took off Pacioretty’s head, and we’re forced to defend our own team and our own fans for the incident. We have to fend off the hateful comments of the Recchis and the Marchands, because they don’t like our team.

People have been talking about disrespect all season, as the source for headshots and the source for all these concussion and injury situations in the league. You don’t have to look much farther than the Boston Bruins to see what disrespect and lack of class encompasses. Everything that’s wrong with the NHL can be summed up by that organization, and it’s true from the very top of their team, from the owner and the general manager, all the way down to their rookies and fringe defensemen.

You can say what you want, but when I see someone flipping off an arena, when I see a major headhunting incident going unpunished and players downright insulting an entire fanbase every chance they get, I see a problem. And it’s a damn shame that the Canadiens have way too much respect and way too much class to do anything about it. While the Bruins care more about pissing off Habs fans, the Canadiens are busy trying to win games.

All of this should be a clear indication that something has got to change in the NHL. It’s clearly not just the Bruins against the Habs, and if we took a further look into issues of disrespect in the league this year, it wouldn’t be just the Bruins committing these acts. But to see a team have such evident hatred against a rival isn’t a healthy situation for the NHL, and Gary Bettman and Colin Campbell can count their lucky stars that the Habs have decided to turn the other cheek against Chara and the Bruins.

Because if Chara did that to a player on pretty much any other team and went unpunished, say, the Penguins or the Islanders, or the Leafs, we wouldn’t be talking about a flipped bird right now, but likely another player leaving the arena on a stretcher. And everyone needs to take a moment and think about that.

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Tuesday night at the Bell Centre, the Habs face elimination in Game 6. If they happen to lose, or if they push it to seven and win, I hope every player on this team lines up and shakes the Bruins’ hand. At the very least, let’s hope we can see one, preferably two great games of hockey without incident, like the one we saw Saturday night. These teams are clearly capable of it, and rivalry or no rivalry, there are some things that are just unnecessary. And as a Habs fan who gets the brunt end of the stick more often than not, I’m pretty sick of it.

Prax

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22 Comments

tec4_cleveland's picture

Thank you! You said everything I've been thinking through the regular season and now. So angry and so tired of the disrespect.

Even the NHL must have decided we don't have a chance. If you go to the store, at the bottom is a string of players whose merchandise you can select "directly" and you guessed it -- not one Habs player, not Subban, not even Price. And ESPN hasn't been able to provide one writer who could at least pretend to cover the BOS-MTL series ... everything they've put up has been by James Murphy -- the Boston blogger.

Enough is enough. Where do I go to complain?

George Prax's picture

Thanks for the comment tec4. What's funny is that the entire time between when I wrote this earlier in the weekend and posted this last night, I kept asking myself if this was too harsh and if I needed to be apologetic in that disclaimer at the top. Then you see someone like Pacioretty apologizing for a completely innocent comment - after all the bullshit the guy he made fun of has said this year AS A ROOKIE - and you think... man... seriously? Why do people think habs fans are so classless? I don't get it. Our players never say anything bad, they rely on skill and speed to play even though they constantly outmuscled and outmatched, and all we get is crap for it.

The bird itself wasn't that big a deal... it's everything surrounding it and leading up to it that pisses me the Hell off and that we've somehow gotten to the point where it seems like people feel like Habs fans are the ones who need to apologize for Chara's actions, Recchi's comments, Jack Edwards' behavior. It's sickening.

You know, people talk bad about Leafs fans and Flyers fans, well, I know way more balanced and leveled fans from T.dot and Philly than I do from Boston. All I've seen from those guys is disrespect and borderline racism and I'm sick of it.

SloweVechkin's picture

Boston fans are the WORST as a group. In one sport, Philadelphia Eagles fans are the worst, and Flyers fans aren't saints, but BOSTON fans suck in general. I've never been in a fight (off the ice) in my adult life, and have had two run-is with Boston fans, one of which included a drunk Bruins fan literally falling out of his row onto my daughter.

Canadiens fans are passionate and know the game. Bruins fans are ignorant whiners who talk trash until their team is losing, then tell you how much you suck when they inevitably choke, then whine and cry on the sports talk shows on the drive home.

I don't know if the Habs can pull it off, but boy do I hope they can.

George Prax's picture
SloweVechkin wrote:

Boston fans are the WORST as a group. In one sport, Philadelphia Eagles fans are the worst, and Flyers fans aren't saints, but BOSTON fans suck in general. I've never been in a fight (off the ice) in my adult life, and have had two run-is with Boston fans, one of which included a drunk Bruins fan literally falling out of his row onto my daughter.

Canadiens fans are passionate and know the game. Bruins fans are ignorant whiners who talk trash until their team is losing, then tell you how much you suck when they inevitably choke, then whine and cry on the sports talk shows on the drive home.

I don't know if the Habs can pull it off, but boy do I hope they can.

Believe it or not, since the Habs lost to the Flyers last season, I've come to respect Flyers fans a fair bit. Lots of good ones that frequent this site and on twitter that I've gotten to talk to. There are many more knowledgeable fans in that city than might meet the eye. But Bruins fans are something else. You should see some of the run ins I've had with them on twitter. A local rapper who made a song for the playoffs gets bashed pretty much every day by dummy accounts on there, and I had one guy threaten to photoshop my picture. And this attitude transcends to their organization and their players, and this is clear evidence of that. They're hypocrites and I hate how Habs fans always end up looking like bad guys here. Every player that goes through that organization ends up looking like an asshole.

A few years ago in Boston a habs fan was beaten nearly to death down there. Flyers fans might throw snowballs at Santa Claus or trash a car with Quebec plates, but they'd never do that. And what's funny is that Bruins fans are likely proud of this, just like they're silently proud of what Chara did,

johnnyO's picture

As a habs fan living in Boston, I have to agree 100% with what you say here.

I hate this city 2 months a year - during the pink-hat season of the playoffs for the Bruins. The fans are completely ethno-centric and downright racist against especially the French Canadian population, and they do not even attempt to hide it.

Just so you know, the psyche behind it all involves a complete and utter insecurity complex that stems back to decades of losing to the Canadiens. Bostonians for some reason show their insecurity with hatred instead of respect. Most places that get their asses handed to them time and time again would be respectful of the opposition - ESPECIALLY when victory is a possibility - as it unfortunately is tomorrow night. But not in Boston where anybody that thinks differently, acts differently or IS different is laughed at and scoffed at. The narrowmindedness and ignorance of the fan base is overwhelming.

What makes it worse is what you pointed out - the unprofessionalism of the NESN team that covers the Bruins. They incite violence (you neglected to show the clip of Jack Edwards basically calling for Patch's head after he bumped Chara), they get the fan base riled up with complete bullshit opinions about diving and cheap play (they recently called Plekanic one of the cheapest players in the league....really!?!? PLEKANIC!?). They underestimate or worse don't care about the impact they have on the fan base and the way they treat each other.

Anyway...my favorite day of the year is the day after the Bruins lose. I look forward to it every single year, and it has not failed me in my lifetime. I celebrate that day and look forward to it again this year, regardless of the outcome of this series.

GO HABS GO - Karma IS a bitch, and the Bruins are do to get a heaping helping.

George Prax's picture
johnnyO wrote:

As a habs fan living in Boston, I have to agree 100% with what you say here.

I hate this city 2 months a year - during the pink-hat season of the playoffs for the Bruins. The fans are completely ethno-centric and downright racist against especially the French Canadian population, and they do not even attempt to hide it.

Just so you know, the psyche behind it all involves a complete and utter insecurity complex that stems back to decades of losing to the Canadiens. Bostonians for some reason show their insecurity with hatred instead of respect. Most places that get their asses handed to them time and time again would be respectful of the opposition - ESPECIALLY when victory is a possibility - as it unfortunately is tomorrow night. But not in Boston where anybody that thinks differently, acts differently or IS different is laughed at and scoffed at. The narrowmindedness and ignorance of the fan base is overwhelming.

What makes it worse is what you pointed out - the unprofessionalism of the NESN team that covers the Bruins. They incite violence (you neglected to show the clip of Jack Edwards basically calling for Patch's head after he bumped Chara), they get the fan base riled up with complete bullshit opinions about diving and cheap play (they recently called Plekanic one of the cheapest players in the league....really!?!? PLEKANIC!?). They underestimate or worse don't care about the impact they have on the fan base and the way they treat each other.

Anyway...my favorite day of the year is the day after the Bruins lose. I look forward to it every single year, and it has not failed me in my lifetime. I celebrate that day and look forward to it again this year, regardless of the outcome of this series.

GO HABS GO - Karma IS a bitch, and the Bruins are do to get a heaping helping.

I absolutely love this post. Thanks for pointing out the Edwards call on Pacioretty, I completely forgot about that. Edwards is an idiot and an asshole and I try to ignore him, but those comments from game 3 were something else.

I've been to Boston (as I mentioned above), and it's absolutely a wonderful city. I love the architecture and how history and modern design seem to intermingle perfectly. Love the food (went to this seafood place by the pier called the Barking Clam... best seafood I've ever had in my life), and the people we talked to away from the arena and away from gameday were great. The working class, the people in service, etc, and we all had Habs t-shirts or caps the entire time. It really does seem to be limited to Bruins fans. Maybe it's the booze, maybe it's the false sense of accomplishment, and definitely the inferiority complex you mentioned.

As I said, I can't understand what comes over these players when they put on that sweater. Even for former Habs. You can see the loathing in the eyes of Claude Julien, that cocky smirk of Michael Ryder, and even Mark Recchi who always respected before his medical school comments, basically trashing the doctor who treated him in Montreal. It's unbelievable.

I really hope that Karma thing stands up... at the very least, like you said, I can take solace in the fact that even if they win this round, they're likely going to lose the next. Smile

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

I personally found this to be both completely childish and freakin hilarious all at once. I firstly could not believe what had just happened. I thought I saw the finger so I hit the rewind and slow motion and there it was. It was unprofessional and has absolutely no place on the ice, but at the same time what would you expect from these rivals. I could see a flyer doing that in Pittsburgh, and vise versa, and it just stems from these rivalries. I can see why so many can be upset and if this happened in Pittsburgh and Hartnell was flipping off the fans I would also be upset, but as an outsider I found this to be so ridiculous that it was funny.

George Prax's picture
Chuck Gaston Jr wrote:

I personally found this to be both completely childish and freakin hilarious all at once. I firstly could not believe what had just happened. I thought I saw the finger so I hit the rewind and slow motion and there it was. It was unprofessional and has absolutely no place on the ice, but at the same time what would you expect from these rivals. I could see a flyer doing that in Pittsburgh, and vise versa, and it just stems from these rivalries. I can see why so many can be upset and if this happened in Pittsburgh and Hartnell was flipping off the fans I would also be upset, but as an outsider I found this to be so ridiculous that it was funny.

I'm not going to lie, I actually felt the same way haha. I was both disgusted and amused. It's one thing for a player to do it to another player (Wisniewski to Avery) or even for a player to do something less offensive to fans (Thornton blowing kisses to fans). The problem I have is in the discrepancy of disrespect between these two teams, and that was proven over the weekend. Pacioretty makes an innocent tweet about Marchand's nose, people flip out, he apologized. Ference didn't really apologize, he made excuses. Chara made excuses. Recchi made excuses. Disrespecting fans that pay his salary... completely and utterly wrong (even though a part of me did laugh).

Jason Pietroniro's picture

I'm a die hard Habs fan. Over the past few seasons I've begun to really like the Bruins. Enough to consider them my #2 team. it's times like this that make it tough to like them. They basically ruin your credibility as a hockey fan. It's already tough enough to be both a Bruins fan and a Habs fan, but this season especially has made it close to impossible. Before I knew these two were locked for a round one match up I ordered an official Lucic Jersey. Black with Original B logo, with the laces and all. Depending on how the post series hand shake goes, I plan to burn it.

Fuck you Boston. You shit all over me for cheering you on. Scum.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

I was actually really happy when I saw Ference flipping us off. Felt like he had mentally given up. At that point was the first time I really thought " wow, this is it, we're taking this series". Little did I know, the Habs then forgot how to play D in the post season.

Jason Pietroniro's picture

Dustin Buff was the king of taunting fans last year in the playoffs. Difference is, he kept it PG. Kids are a huge part of the NHL's future. After landing that monster contract with Versus/NBC, Ference should of been made an example.

George Prax's picture

I really hope you're right about taking the series because of the bird, Jason. Like how the Leafs took the game against the Bruins when Marchand did his best Tiger Woods impression. And "making an example" is exactly my gripe here. Wiz gets suspended because he made a lewd gesture - even if it wasn't directed to the fans. Ference tells the crowd "fuck you" on national TV, and he gets away Scott free. This is the kind of inconsistency that's holding the NHL back.

SloweVechkin's picture

When I saw the replay of it I was half-asleep and honestly thought I was dreaming. I've seen players flip fans the bird discreetly before or "adjust" their cup or whatever so that it's not visible for millions to see. While it's just as unsportsmanlike and unprofessional, at least those guys are smart enough to know that it's wrong and hide it somewhat. I guess it goes back to the old line, "Act like you've scored before." Even if you haven't for a decade. Haha.

Chuck Gaston Jr's picture

George, it was absolutely disgusting to do that and completely unprofessional but yah I just had to laugh. His excuses in the lockerroom really got to me though. Own up to it if you do that. He was going to be fined anyway, just be a man and say it. I flicked them off because I hate them, its not hard to say and no one would question you because frankly it is the truth. It was just pathetic that he made up some excuse instead of being a man and owning up to it.

George Prax's picture
Chuck Gaston Jr wrote:

George, it was absolutely disgusting to do that and completely unprofessional but yah I just had to laugh. His excuses in the lockerroom really got to me though. Own up to it if you do that. He was going to be fined anyway, just be a man and say it. I flicked them off because I hate them, its not hard to say and no one would question you because frankly it is the truth. It was just pathetic that he made up some excuse instead of being a man and owning up to it.

Precisely. Even after the fine he didn't man up. What difference would it have made if he owned up to his mistake? Instead he says he's sorry if people saw it as if he was giving him the finger? That's almost as if he's blaming people for thinking that he did it. Which is the root of the problem. They do shit that's wrong, unprofessional, etc, and then they try to blame these things on the Habs and their fans. I'm sure that's a sign of SOME sort of mental problem.

George Prax's picture

http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Bruins+pest+Brad+Marchand+thumbs+n...

I find it funny how Bruins fans made a huge deal about the nose comment, stopping short of sending death threats to Pacioretty, when the guy admitted himself it was a bad joke shortly after he posted it. I actually thought of all the things that have happened between the teams, this was the most innocent. Yet Pacioretty is the one apologizing and having to make excuses, while Ference acts like nothing happened. This should likely prove my point better than anything.

I do have to say, though, that Marchand handled it will. Surprisingly well actually.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Sorry guys, but too much Montreal love and I'm gonna stir the pot a a little more. It's stupid to think the Marchand nose thing is a big deal. Honestly a little chirping never hurt anyone. But Ference did what probably a lot of people have wanted to do and that was to tell that crowd what he thought of him. Whenever theres a game in Montreal I have to mute the TV, because the fans are embarrassing. They boo everyone and it pisses me off. Habs fans are taking this too seriously. I would worry about the game not the actions between plays. Get over it and watch hockey. If someone flipped off the JLA crowd, whatever. We just cheer louder when we score. I just can't stand the booing it shows no class.

George Prax's picture
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

Sorry guys, but too much Montreal love and I'm gonna stir the pot a a little more. It's stupid to think the Marchand nose thing is a big deal. Honestly a little chirping never hurt anyone. But Ference did what probably a lot of people have wanted to do and that was to tell that crowd what he thought of him. Whenever theres a game in Montreal I have to mute the TV, because the fans are embarrassing. They boo everyone and it pisses me off. Habs fans are taking this too seriously. I would worry about the game not the actions between plays. Get over it and watch hockey. If someone flipped off the JLA crowd, whatever. We just cheer louder when we score. I just can't stand the booing it shows no class.

I don't get it... you find the fans embarrassing because they boo the opposition? That literally doesn't make any sense. What do you want them to do, cheer Chara on? Bruins fans do the exact same thing, as do many buildings. Subban basically gets booed in every arena he plays in when he's not at home.

It honestly boggles my mind that you think that booing is classless.... I literally have no words for that because I actually can't wrap my mind about why you might think that.

So, it's not ok to boo players, but for the players to flip off the fans that pay to see them is a-okay? Your own comment reeks of hypocrisy, and that's the problem that we're all talking about.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Quite honestly, no other building is as obnoxious as the Bell Center. Subban gets booed because he's overrated in my opinion, and he really hasn't done anything to be liked around the league. My comment is basically that Habs fans get what they deserve, it's on everyone's mind anyways. The only place where you find riots after a sporting event that really shouldn't affect people's lives in any way. It just means that they take it too seriously. I don't want to sound like I'm bashing all Habs fans, because I know a lot who are down to earth and love the game. I dunno, they boo everything and everyone, it gets old. I never said flipping off a crowd is OK, I just said Ference probably felt that way anyways. The only time the JLA crowd boos is when the ref makes a crappy call. If the other team scores, big deal, keep watching the game, I doubt booing has any effect on the game anyways.

George Prax's picture

If you think that Montreal is the only place in the world that has riots because of sporting events, you clearly haven't been to enough places. I'm sick of people bringing that shit up. The riots were the most over-exaggerated things ever. A few gangbangers decided to set a couple of cop cars on fire and rob an SAQ. How does that translate to all Habs fans, myself included?

And don't follow that up with saying that you don't want to bash all habs fans, because you are bahsing all habs fans by bringing up this nonsense. Lots of arenas boo the way the Bell Centre does, and the JLA isn't doing it then I'm sorry, but then you're not doing it right. You have literally made no argument as to why booing is a bad thing. Habs fans boo to support their team when they don't like a call, when they think they should be playing better, and conversely they cheer in nearly every situation. I'm sorry that you're bitter that your arena isn't as loud as ours. As for booing players, have you ever been anywhere other than Detroit? You don't have to go to far to find arenas booing and taunting opposing players, and frankly, Habs fans only do it to Boston, Philly, Toronto and maybe one or two others.

As for Subban, that comment might actually be more ridiculous than your booing comment. In his rookie year, he came close to breaking a franchise record for goals by a rookie defenseman. In Montreal. Have you seen the defensemen that used to play here? Moreover, he went from 5th or 6th defenseman practically overnight with the injuries to Gorges and Markov, still finished with great stats, and, oh ya, led ALL PLAYERS in ice time in the first round. In his rookie year. The guy does an amazing offensive move, and on the same play he'll back-check and make an amazing defensive move.

Subban doesn't get booed because he's overrated, he gets booed because a) the NHL still has troubles with players "like him" and b) because he's a superstar, and people hate players who are great. Maybe you should actually watch him play before assessing him as overrated.

And if you're not okay with Ference flipping off the crowd, then why are you trying so hard to justify it? It was a classless and gutless move, as was this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffiQUe1tfqM

(ignore the biased NESN commentators).

The guy is a tool and a dirty player, and his actions tonight only reinforce the entire point of this blog.

Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Subban is not s superstar, I'm sorry. I've definitely watched enough to see him. He has a great shot and his stats are decent, but to me he's a a GOOD defenceman, not superstar. Not yet anyways. Like you said, he's only been in the league for a year, right? I'm going to give it another year before seeing if he's a "superstar" or not, it's only fair. All I was saying is that I think people are trying to make him into one without him being one. If you had to rank him in the NHL for defenceman where would he be? Because like Top 5 is superstars, the rest of the top 10 are very good and the rest might just be good/average. And yes Ference is a tool. Just trying to give different perspectives.

George Prax's picture
Kyle Andrew Busch wrote:

Subban is not s superstar, I'm sorry. I've definitely watched enough to see him. He has a great shot and his stats are decent, but to me he's a a GOOD defenceman, not superstar. Not yet anyways. Like you said, he's only been in the league for a year, right? I'm going to give it another year before seeing if he's a "superstar" or not, it's only fair. All I was saying is that I think people are trying to make him into one without him being one. If you had to rank him in the NHL for defenceman where would he be? Because like Top 5 is superstars, the rest of the top 10 are very good and the rest might just be good/average. And yes Ference is a tool. Just trying to give different perspectives.

i'll give you that he's a budding superstar, not a superstar today, fine, but you're seriously going to ignore the fact that he was a number one defenseman in the league this year? Like I said, he led all players in ice time in the playoffs. He went from a cocky, flashy offensive defenseman to a steady two-way defenseman who could make a sick move in the o-zone and a big save in the d-zone on the same play.

Superstar may have been of an emotional reaction, but here's the thing. This is a city that doesn't get many top-flight prospects these days. The best thing they have in the system right now is Louis Leblanc, basically a two-way forward and a third line center. Other than Subban, the most impressive rookies this year were on the 3rd and 4th lines with little offensive upside. Subban is the first player since Koivu, maybe longer, to excite the fanbase, and he's backing up every single thing he says/does with his play.

Sure, he's not a top 10 D in the league, but he replaced one this year (Markov), had a lot of pressure, and lived up to that pressure. While there could very well be a sophomore slump, the kid's being compared to Robinson and Chelios, and I'm not talking about fans.

People see that he's a little cocky, that he likes to talk a lot and start shit, and ya, he needs to calm down and work on that - and when he does he's even better - but I think it distracts people from how good of a player he actually is.

But all of this is irrelevant to how much of a tool Ference is Tongue. And no matter what you think about Habs fans, which clearly isn't much, no fan who simply cheers on and reacts to his team deserves that. No one threw anything to Ference, threatened him, heckled him, not even said anything bad about him in the media before he did this, and he took it upon himself to say "fuck you" to every single Habs fan, for what, a hockey rivalry? Completely unprofessional.

In Ference was in the NFL and he did that, he would automatically be suspended. And in the NFL, a one game suspension is much more meaningful than a 1-gamer in the NHL because obviously the season is like five times shorter. Ference got a small meaningless fine. That's an even bigger FU to Habs fans and I'm just sick of this lack of respect towards my team.