Resist Goallgallagher

I wish I had more time to blog and lay out cogent supporting reasons for what may seem like nonsensical blarney in any given post. Alas I don’t. You will just have to believe me when I say that valid, logical points exist behind all my opinions.

Which brings me to one Tony Gallagher, a Vancouver journalist who has covered the NHL since 1972 and has given all Canucks fans a bad name over the years, (via one Tom Benjamin, whom I adore).

***

All teams, franchises and fanbases have their own particular personalities, characteristics and uniqueness. Actually, wait… that statement is complete bull shit. I have come to believe in the all powerful media narrative instead, which is built and reinforced so easily in this day and age of Twitter and the internet. The very same makes shattering these illusions so easy. Let me explain.

Lets paint some pictures with some very wide brushes, shall we? Canadiens fans, Maple Leafs fans and Bruins fans are variously described as ethnically-focused, nostalgic old farts and irritating blowhards, respectively. How did the person holding these views come to do so (for the purposes of argument, lets say its me, Zuuko)? Why would Zuuko describe a collection of a large amount of people, that are labelled Canadiens or Bruins, with words that can only be applied at best to individuals? What would lead Zuuko to this… I don’t know what the word is… prejudice?

1. Canadiens: Randy Cunneyworth French Scandal

2. Maple Leafs: Don Cherry

3. Bruins: Jack Edwards

The all power media narrative is born and goes on to define the team, the franchise and the  fanbase. Especially, in the case of the latter two, the media narrative has a name and a face.

The only successful antidote has been reading hockey blogs. After reading Theory of Ice, watching Leafs Beefs and checking Days of Y’Orr (somewhat masochistically for this Canucks fan), one is reminded that not all Canadiens fans exclusively focus on ethnicity, nor are Leafs fans fuddy duddies, nor are Bruins fans irritating blowhards (now… Marchand is another story).

***

Canucks fans have thin skin, have no sense of humour, are conspiracy nutjobs, are self-hating, are stupid, <insert any generic Canuck fan description here>, etc. I am convinced that this undeserved reputation has been earned over the years because of one Tony Gallagher. He apparently hasn’t seen a single bad call that hasn’t been orchestrated by the NHL head office. His two outbursts that immediatly come to mind from the last year alone have been: (i) questioned the suckage of the team at a time when they were in second place in the West (see above linked article), and (ii) publicly called out the Canucks lack of toughness based on the evidence of one infamous January game, a game which actually proved the opposite if anything (hilariously, this last came in a segment where Gallagher was supposed to be defending the Canucks).

I’m not saying that Tony is a bad writer per se. All I’m saying is that he gives decent, hard-working Canucks fans a bad name. This is especially true in his outbursts when he goes all Gallagher, all rage in a tinfoil hat. Go all Gallagher. Go all Gallagher. Go’all Gallagher. Goallgallagher. Say it fast enough and sounds like one word, one phrase, one name. A Gollum to a Canuck fan’s Smeagol, taking over our psyche at crucial moments until we don’t even know who the hell we are anymore.

And so, the point of this post, if there is one to be gleaned, is a plea to not paint the Canucks with the same brush that should be used to tar-and-feather Tony Gallagher. And to Canucks fans (my brethren), resist this demon, this gollum, this goallgallagher.

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4 Responses to Resist Goallgallagher

  1. zolltan says:

    You know, I think the Canadiens fanbase is culturally, rather than ethnically focussed. And why shouldn’t they be? The French Canadian culture is special and it is awesome. And the Habs are a part of that culture and vice versa. To expect Montreal to divorce itself from its culture when they cheer for the Habs is to insist they come down to the level of lesser hockey teams when they don’t need to. Pretty much my position is that anyone in English Canada who begrudges Habs fans their culture-centric ways is either jealous or dumb.

    But it’s more than this. Most English Canadians think French Canadian culture is itself nothing special or worth getting ecxited about. And again, these people are either jealous or just dumb.

    • Zuuko says:

      To be honest, it was easy for me to pick the term ethnic over culture. I had a much harder struggle with terminology for Cherry and Edwards. I wanted to use a different word to describe both those guys because I didn’t want to convey that the Bruins fans and Leafs fans are the same.

      The first word that popped into my head for Cherry was blowhard. And then when I decided to include Edwards, the first word that popped into my head was also blowhard.

      And then I started spending the next two hours deciding who was the bigger blowhard. Remember that time when I was conflicted over whether I should quit my investment banking job or not? Yeah, that decision had nothing on this decision, believe you me.

  2. Zuuko says:

    that’s prolly fair. i tried to wrestle between should I use culturally-sensitive or ethnically-sensitive for the purposes of this post. Those are both stereotypes levelled against the Habs. but i actually like that the whole culture aspect of it. So i was trying to pick a negative stereotype, not positive stereotype.

    On the ethnic side, i’ve heard ludicrous things like some Habs fans suggest that only francophones can play for the team, which is patently ridiculous.. In terms of the Cunneyworth scandal that I linked to, when comments like “the hiring of Randy Cunneyworth was enough to prompt calls, from nationalist fringe groups, for a boycott of products related to the Habs. One political commentator even suggested local hockey journalists should refuse to address Cunneyworth in English.” I think that crosses the line from preserving culture into ethnicity and prejudice.

  3. zolltan says:

    Yep. I agree with your reasoning on the Habs and also with Edwards blowing harder than Cherry. I don’t think Cherry is a typical Leafs fan (I’m not even sure he’s a Leafs fan at all – I thought he was a Bruins fan? …btw, he’s such a blowhard, typical Bruins fan, amirite?). Your diagnosis of fan nostalgia as the prevalent stereotype for the Leafs was spot on: the cliché is that Leafs fans are all Wendel Clark this and Dougie Gilmour that. it’s not even nostalgia for the Leafs of the ’60s or whenever it is that they won cups, it’s some ref’s blown call in a semifinal game against the Kings in 1992 or something? You’d thing they’d get over it by now. Gah, now I’m falling into “identifying fanbase with most annoying fan within that fanbase” trap…

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