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Okotoks, AB • Canada •

The Act of Jumping Ship

Posted 11:26 AM ET | Comments 4
Another blog in a series of blogs that focus on the game outside of scores and reviews, here's one that deals with band wagons and jumping ship...

There are purists out there (mostly Leaf and Hab fans) that believe you root for one team your whole life - win or lose, whiners or not - they are YOUR team. I do believe that once you are grown up enough to make a tough decision as to sticking with a team - win or lose - you should stick with them. After all, once you grow up, you make decisions for yourself, create your own views and morals. But when you're a kid, you may be forced to root for a team your parents root for (I'm looking in your direction Leaf and Hab fans) or a team your friends root for, or even a team that you hear about ever God-forsaken day of the year. Yes, as you guessed, I have jumped ship in the past. That would explain my defense of this subject. Let me give you a little history lesson.

When I was old enough to understand hockey and it's team structure, I would imagine I was a young fellow. My father grew up rooting for the Boston Bruins. My two older brothers followed suit and also rooted for the Bruins. I was a kid, I wanted to be different, to rebel my brothers who always picked on me. How could I get under their skin? I got it, I'll root for the Montreal Canadiens. Not only will that bug my brothers, but most of my friends are Montreal fans. So as a young, naïve, couldn't think straight kid, I went for the Habs - loyally. Going through school I was dressed in all the latest Hab merchandise. Habs winter coat, Habs hat, Habs t-shirt, Habs school supplies, and yes, even a Habs scarf that I still have to this day. But during the 1991-92 NHL season, when I was 13 years old, I began to think on my own. I was tired of the Montreal Canadiens losing to the Boston Bruins in the second round of the playoffs. I used that as my excuse (and yes, my brothers relentlessly teased me about the losses). It was time for me to start thinking on my own.

Don't think finding a new team to root for is an easy thing. You have to go through a lot of soul-searching, and at that point I did not rule out leaving the Habs in the running. So much to the chagrin of my friends and family - I jumped ship. I didn't leave the province of Quebec though, I chose the Nordiques. A huge rival of Les Habitants and just what I was looking for. The Nordiques were a young team then. And don't think I picked a team that was highly successful then either. The Nords were 20-48-12, finished last in the then Adams division and missed the playoffs. I thought they were destined for greatness and decided at that moment, that no matter what, the Nordiques were my team - win or lose. So you see, I never really jumped ship - I just hopped onto another one that was sturdier for me. So you want to know what happened the next year in hockey? My Nordiques made the playoffs, showed a lot of promise in the regular season. They met the; you guessed it, Montreal Canadiens in the first round. Nothing could go better or worse for me. It started well, the Nords won the first two games and I was gloating all over the place. The Habs won the next four en route to their Stanley Cup victory of 1992-93. So did that backfire on me or what? It didn't. I stuck with the Nordiques, I didn't "Jump Ship" back to the Stanley Cup champion Montreal Canadiens. I was old enough to realize my loyalties - to the Nordiques.

Up until living in Calgary for 2 years, I was still a Nordiques fan. Mind you, they are now the Colorado Avalanche and have won two Stanley Cups since their inception in 1994-95. But I was a loyal Colorado Avalanche fan - ask my friends. 13 years strong a Nords/Avs fan and I wasn't showing any signs of jumping ship - err, that is until I moved to Calgary and had no choice but to cheer for the Flames. Of course, the Avs/Nordiques remain a solid #2.

Comments are welcome as I'm sure this is a hot topic!!
October 19, 2007 12:12 PM ET | Delete
i've cheered for the oilers for the last 25 years. to cheer for any other hockey team would not be an option. i've lived in calgary twice and there is no way on earth i would even consider cheering for them. there is no was on earth i would even consider not hating them either. OILERS FOR LIFE!!!!
October 19, 2007 7:10 PM ET | Delete
Flyers for Life... since about 10 Years. But when the Flyers don't play my brothers fav team, the Avs are the ones i cheer for. Beside that i have some other sympathies for other team around. So,... i like Nashville because I had them once in a NHL2004 Online League and liked Upshall, Timonen, Hartnell and some others... You can only guess how broad my grin was when they got those 3 to Philly. The main thing for me in hockey is: The Enemy of your Enemy is your Friend. So i cheered for the Ducks when they played the Sens. ;-)
October 20, 2007 12:58 PM ET | Delete
This is interesting, I was a Habs fan growing up on the prairies, mostly due to thier success and probably partially due to my father. I live in Vancouver now, but have lived in Edmonton and Calgary as well. I have a soft spot for Calgary and also cheer for the Canucks, but my first team is still the Canadiens. My sons one born in Edmonton and the other in Vancouver are Canucks fans. I find these games fun because we get to cheer against each other. But I guess the short answer is "I am and always will be a Canadiens fan"
October 20, 2007 11:42 PM ET | Delete
I will always be a Montreal fan. No matter what. I once saw someones quote on the Canadiens message board as "Im a hockey fan first and a Canadiens fan 2nd." Not me, I am a Canadiens fan first and a hockey fan 2nd. If Montreal ever moved away or folded, I would not watch the NHL. I could never love or cheer for another NHL team. I would feel like a Judas.Habs fan forever and a Leafs hater for life.
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