Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Are you now or have you ever been a Bruins fan?

Sports and politics often clash, and while the Olympics seem to be the real hot button issue of late, it’s Canada and it’s payoff time, so it’s not too surprising that pucks and politics have become intertwined yet again.

The latest round of controversy comes from Quebec. The Mayor of Montreal has demanded that local firefighters take down Habs logos painted on fire stations – by the time this one is done, this may make David Miller and Dave Bronconnier’s headaches over “support our troops” decals seem mild by comparison. We’ve already seen the CP headline “Montreal Mayor Defends Team Spirit”. I’m sure we can expect “Mayor denies ties to Zdeno Chara”, “Protesters demand Mayor wear jersey”, and “Mayor resigns amid Habs-gate scandal” headlines in the weeks ahead.

Also in hot water is Michael Fortier. The Senator appears to be far more forthcoming with his hockey opinions than with government polling reports, telling reporters he believes the New York Rangers will win the Stanley Cup. Uh-oh. Certainly a valid hockey opinion, but you have to wonder how the guy ever got elected in Montreal saying things like…what? Oh right.

So, anyways, Dion hears this and decides to score some points in Quebec so he goes and chews out Fortier for not having faith in the Habs. Unfortunately, a smart assed reporter asks Dion who Montreal is playing in the first round of the playoffs and Dion hums and haws until his aid jumps in with the answer. Oops. I guess it’s not too surprising that, given his blind faith in the Liberal Quebec election readiness team, he’d also have blind faith in the Canadiens.

Stephen Harper has yet to comment on the playoffs but this time of the year is no doubt difficult for a closet Leafs fan like him. Luckily, Jim Flaherty has jumped in to let Quebecers know that, yes, the Conservative Party’s respect for Quebec goes beyond the nation resolution, and includes a love of all things bleu blanc rouge. Although it's not mentioned in the article, I can only assume that Flaherty went on to blame Dalton McGuinty for the Leafs’ missing the playoffs.

Also showing a lack of faith is Mario Dumont, who has picked the Sharks to win the Cup. That prompted the following rebuke from Jean Charest, which I can only hope (but doubt) was tongue in cheek: "Mr. Dumont will have to explain to Quebecers. ... That is unacceptable." No word on Pauline Marois’ view but one assumes she’s just pissed that the team is called “Canadiens”.

All of this and we're just a few games into the first round! And you just know Denis Coderre is already drafting his witness list for the inquiry into Shane Doan’s upcoming re-appointment as Team Canada captain. So stay tuned.

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