I caught Ian Mendes' blog on Sportsnet (http://www2.sportsnet.ca/.../2007/04/13/deep_thoughts
), and still wonder if he can actually address the question of why to boo Sidney Crosby. He can't seem to figure it out either. Or maybe he just can't seem to string multiple thoughts together coherently when it's not about the ultimate greatness that is the Sens.
Sens fans have a completely different reason for booing Crosby everytime he touches the puck, and it has nothing to do with Crosby. It has everything to do with Toronto and Montreal: They just want to look cool, and they're tired of being shown up by Toronto. The Leafs and the Habs have decades upon decades of history behind them. They have an established rivalry, traditions, and a general sense of unity getting behind their team. Ottawa just has an inferiority complex, and the constant hassle of living in a city where you never know if someone is a Sens fan, or a fan of one of the traditional teams (Leafs and Habs). One of the hardest things for Ottawa fans to swallow is that everytime Daniel Alfredsson touches the puck in a Leafs-Sens game, he gets booed, no matter which arena he's in. And anyone that follows the rivalry knows why: After a blindside hit on Darcy Tucker in the playoffs, he turned around, picked up the puck and scored the game-winning goal. No penalty and a game-winning goal. Any fan would hate that.
This wouldn't be so bad for Ottawa if it just happened at the ACC. But it happens at Scotiabank Place too, and they feel a need to counter. So when Leafs fans boo Alfredsson, the Ottawa fans respond by booing the Leafs' best player. Unfortunately, Ottawa fans don't coordinate well (especially when they try to keep their plans secret from Leaf fans, and find out that those people are constantly among them) and they couldn't even decide if that was Sundin, Tucker or Roberts.
But great, now they have a tradition: Booing the other team's star player, just like Toronto does! Now who should they go after next? Well, it's Pittsburgh, so let's go after the phenom. Part of the reason why this new tradition is so unusual is that they kinda forgot to follow it last year. They played Buffalo, and I don't remember them booing. But now they'll start again with Sidney Crosby! (They seem to have forgotten the constant agony Gary Roberts caused them). Sidney Crosby might be a little hard to keep a constant booing going when every 5 seconds, your 'boo' changes to a 'woah!'
It might seem a little immature, but then again the team's fandom is based on rants at fans of neighbouring teams - how often do I get a chirp from someone in Ottawa when I wear my Leafs jacket? Alot more often than in Montreal, where they don't care - so booing a player for no other reason than the fact he's just good seems par for the course. I just wonder if they'll be able to keep up this 'tradition' in future rounds (if their most common tradition of choking doesn't come back to bite them), when none of the other teams in the East have a clearcut person to boo, besides the Islanders with Yashin, and even I would join Sens fans booing him.
The majority of Leafs and Habs fans in Ottawa are the older crowd who grew up cheering for them before Ottawa had a team. Some day, those people will have to die out (and I hate saying that because that era includes people my age) and Ottawa fans will be able to get over the inferiority complex. Till then, they will have to just suffer with their noisy neighbours constantly coming over and taking over their house.
Feel free to hate me since I'm one of them. I'm writing this on vacation from my relative's house in Ottawa.