April 28, 2010

A fan’s playoff dilemma

by Dan Bilicki In: Ice Hockey

An interesting debate came up on the radio that I couldn’t help but muse about. It seems that some ice hockey fans have quite a conundrum about tonight’s game.

Should fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs cheer on the Montreal Canadiens or the Washington Capitals?

The simple answer would be that you shouldn’t cheer for either since these fans should only be invested in their own tormented franchise, but apparently some people actually like to cheer during the Stanley Cup playoffs, even if it won’t be for the Leafs.

So do you support, perhaps, the biggest rival your team has had in its’ history? It sounds absurd, right? Well the argument is that Canadian fans should be cheering on other Canadian teams, even if you’re supposed to hate the Canadiens.

Sure, the whole nationalism angle is a nice concept, but not in pro sports. Would a Manchester United fan ever cheer on Manchester City if they met Barcelona in the Champions League? Of course not. There’s some true hatred there. Just like there should be with Leafs fans towards Montreal.

The bottom line is that rivals should never cheer each other on; they should be wishing the worst on each other. If you want to show your national pride, Leafs fans, then adopt Vancouver for these playoffs. There’s no need to jump on Montreal’s bandwagon.

And really, who could cheer against Alex Ovechkin, anyway?

*** There is only one circumstance where a fan should cheer on a rival team. Say the Red Sox need the Athletics to lose in order for Boston to make the playoffs, but Oakland is facing the Yankees. That might be the only that a member of Red Sox Nation is rooting for the Yanks, but they’d still also pray for a plane crash on the return flight to New York. ***

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