DEC
2018
   LOG CABIN CHRONICLES    UPDATED
DAILY

Ross Murray's Border Report
Ross Murray
Ross Murray
spacer
is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 02.22.06
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

The hockey column (with Reader Commentary on)

WOOHOO! GO, COLUMN, GO!

Two weeks ago, I took James to his first NHL hockey game at the Bell Centre - Canadiens versus Carolina.

YAY HABS!

We had great seats behind the visitors' goal, better seats than originally planned. In early December, we had ordered tickets through some group deal and had given the promise of a game to James as a Christmas gift. Unfortunately, the ticket deal fell through so I had to take what I could find online. It ended up costing three times more than what we originally planned but the seats were better.

COME ON! MOVE THE STORY! DO SOMETHING!

The last time I saw Montreal play was 14 years ago in the old Forum. Professional hockey has come a long way since then - or at least the distractions have. There's so much happening off the ice you don't have time to notice how lousy the actual game is.

OOO, NICE HIT!

For instance, there's the jumbo screen displaying crowd shots between plays. You never know when you might show up in front of 22,000 people - which is a pretty good deterrent against picking your nose in public.

HEY, OFFSIDE! WHAT KIND OF SOPHOMORIC CRACK WAS THAT! WHAT'S NEXT, POTTY HUMOUR?

Maybe they should put those cameras in the washrooms to show how few people wash their hands.

WHAT DID I TELL YA! YOU SUCK, COLUMN!

The big screen also serves to bombard the crowd with commercials before the game, between periods, between plays and, well, pretty much all the time. You can even watch the game on the screen if you like. In fact, except for the pushing and shoving to get a beer, you could be watching the game at home. Come to think of it, that's exactly like watching the game at home.

COME ON! THAT WAS STALE HYPERBOLE! LET'S SEE SOME ORIGINALITY OUT THERE! DRIVE SOME METAPHORS INTO THE BOARDS!

The big difference, of course, is the crowd reaction. Even here, though, the screens around the centre tell you when to cheer, when to make noise, when to purchase Pom Ultra-Moist Bread. But the crowd does set the tone, such as when they cheer their favourite players or, in this case, boo goalie Jos&ea;cute; as soon as he skates onto the ice.

I had to feel sorry for the guy (luscious locks notwithstanding). Imagine if you walked into your workplace tomorrow and everyone stood up and started hollering "Boo! You stink! You couldn't underwrite an insurance policy if your life depended on it!"

FALSE ANALOGY! THEODORE IS A PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE PAID MILLIONS TO PROVIDE ENTERTAINMENT AND VICARIOUS GLORY FOR FANS AND IS THEREFORE OSTENSIBLY A PUBLIC FIGURE TO WHOM THE NORMS OF SOCIAL DECORUM DO NOT NECESSARILY APPLY. AND, YEAH, YOU DO STINK!

And boo they did, especially once the score was 5-2 for Carolina. By the time the final score hit 8-2, there were so many people leaving you'd have thought a fire alarm had gone off.

YOU CALL THIS FUNNY? MY GRANDMOTHER MAKES BIGGER GAGS!

And James? He booed along with everyone else, a true Habs fan. Yes, this is where memories are made.

WHAT KIND OF COLUMN IS THIS? WHERE'S THE STRUCTURE? WHAT'S THE FOCUS?

We had a good time but frankly I've seen better high school hockey games. The only difference is high school fans generally don't riot in the streets when their team wins.

LOW BLOW!

When you come right down to it, what with the fighting and the booing and the gambling and the steroid hair tonic, professional hockey ain't nothing butů

"LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE WRITER HAS BEEN PULLED FROM THE COLUMNů SUBBING FOR HIM WILL BE A POEM ABOUT FUZZY KITTENS."

HOME   COLUMNS   FEATURES   FICTION   OPINION   POETRY   PHOTOGRAPHY