Part of me would like to say I don't care. But it just wouldn't be true. I'm still Canadian. I still have hockey in my blood. Sure, I'm still bitter about my Habs getting put out by the Bruins. But I'll bounce back by fall of this year and it will start all over again.
I remember parts of my Habs winning the cup in 1993. I remember the overtimes. I remember St. Patrick winning the Conn Smythe. (Can you hear the Superman theme?) I remember "Red Light" Racicot (who I had grabbed a couple of autographs from after a Jets/Habs game once). I remember the McSorley stick incident.
Carbonneau. Damphousse. Muller. Keane. Savard. JJ. Bellows. LeClair.
And now here I am in 2011. My own son absorbed in hockey, yet rejecting my favorite team, instead choosing to follow the crowd and cheer for the "hometown" Canucks. While I shouldn't be surprised I will admit that I do have some disappointment that we couldn't share the Canadiens. (Although I have always told my kids that they can pick their own favorite team., except when it comes to football. It's Manchester United only in this house.)
We've traded more smack talk this year than ever before. We even came close to attending a game together, but sadly those last ditch attempts just weren't affordable. But I finally came to embrace (at least from a distance) his Canuckism and rewarded him with his very first non-Canadiens jersey before their school's annual Hockey Day.
Now we ready ourselves for the Stanley Cup finals, Boston vs Vancouver, and I'm unsure who I am supposed to cheer for.
I can't stand the Bruins. They put my team out. Chara is still forever going to be labeled a goon from that Pacioretty hit. And it's the Bruins for crying out loud! Despite being Original 6, I just can't do it.
I can't stand the Canucks. Correction. I can't stand most of the hoopla from the bandwagon jumping fans out here on the coast. Honestly, they are so fickle and uninformed it makes me want their team to lose.
But then I remember what it was like to watch my team hoist the cup. I want my son to have that. I want him to experience the joy of jumping up and down yelling until he is hoarse. I want him to wear his jersey for days on end. I want him to have memories of this that he can share one day with his kids.
I want to be able to take him out on South Fraser to celebrate with the rest of the province. I want to be able to sneak him out of school to watch a parade through the streets. I want him to have what I had (minus the parade & South Fraser).
And for that reason I have made my choice:
I'll cheer for my son.