Why am I still watching the Habs games?

Posted: March 17, 2012 in Uncategorized
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It’s quite the philosophical quandary. Someone call Soren Kierkegaard quick. Or maybe it’s M. Descartes that we need. I watch Habs games, therefore I am.

Actually it’s an existential dilemma. So who you gonna call? (Eds. note: Ghostbusters???) Jean-Paul Sartre, of course. Remember that novel of his, La Nausee? Sure you do. It was a key rite of passage for all of us at 18. (Eds. note: What are you talking about? I was thinking about other stuff at 18 pal!) That’s when the mopey fellow – hey it’s a French existentialist novel, man! What did you expect? A happy main character? – comes to the conclusion that pretty well everything in the world is not going to be impacted one way or the other by what he does in his life.

So me sitting on the couch watching the Habs isn’t going to affect the team one way or the other. It’s meaningless. LIFE DOESN’T MEAN ANYTHING! There I was Friday night, sitting morosely staring at the screen as Les Boys managed just 14 shots against the Ottawa Senators. 14 shots! At one point mid-way through the third, they had just one shot in that period and three in the second. Now I know they had a lot of penalties, but still. This is suckiness taken to a whole new level.

Richard Labbe has a good column in La Presse Saturday in which he suggests the game looked and felt like a meaningless exhibition match. (Maybe Richard was thinking about La Nausee too.) The better of the not-good teams won, says Labbe. That, by the way, would be the Sens, who won 2-1 in overtime.

Yes, news flash – the Habs lost! News flash 2 – the Habs are now sitting comfortably in 14th place in the East, one point ahead of the Islanders. News flash 3 – Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night looks to be a doozy with the Habs battling the Isles in an epic battle for who gets bragging rights to last place! But I digress…..

So the question du jour is – why am I still watching this sad-sack team? Smarter men and women than me have tuned out long ago and have spent the past weeks working through the collected works of Henry James. Me I’m still shouting insults at the frustrated ex-coaches on L’Antichambre.

What’s wrong with me? I think I need help. I am downright wallowing in the misery of this hellish season which might end up being the worst Canadiens year since the Great Depression. In a perverse way, maybe I’m even enjoying it.

But I’m not actually. I’m Irish. So I hold grudges. Which is why I am so furious with the folks who got us into this mess. But I vowed that I will not even mention those guys today.

Maybe I am a romantic. That’s why I’m so hurt. I still believe. Not in this season obviously, not in this team, not in these managers. But I believe in the Habs.

Remember John Lennon’s God. That’s the one where John – out of his mind on God knows what dope and what wack-job psychotherapy – runs through that list of everything he doesn’t believe in. Turns out he doesn’t believe in Beatles, Jesus, Zimmerman or Gita.

“I just believe in me/Yoko and me/And that’s reality.”

So with me it’s the Canadiens. Call me crazy (you wouldn’t be the first!). Tell me I should grow up. But to me it’s not just a game. Like Ken Dryden put it – it’s The Game.

Hey if John can believe in Yoko – and write a bunch of songs about the woman who broke up the Beatles (joke alert!) for heaven’s sake – I don’t know why I can’t keep believing in the greatest hockey team in the history of the planet.

You think I’m a little nutty right? But Viggo Mortensen feels exactly the way I do. When he won the Genie Award for best actor the other day, he dedicated it to the Canadiens and said just wait for next year. So there! You gonna call Aragorn crazy? C’mon say it’s to his face!


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