So not liking Crosby makes me anti-Canadian, eh?

Friday, May 1, 2009

JT at the H Does NOT Stand for Habs brought up in an interesting topic the other day about our (least) favorite player. Apparently someone said that if she didn't cheer for the Penguins over the Capitals, she would be anti-Canadian. You heard it. Cheering for the Capitals over the Penguins makes you anti-Canadian. I've actually had similar if not quite so blatant statements from people myself, which always, without fail, puzzle me.

Let's be honest here. This series is between the Capitals vs. the Penguins. This is not a series between Russian and Canada. It's not even just about Crosby vs. Ovechkin, despite what the media tells you. It's the Washington Capitals vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two very talented teams in the National Hockey League who are based in the United States.

With most teams in the NHL comprising of players from many different nationalities, I find it hard to understand why people would associate a team like say, the Penguins as being Canadian? Sure they have a lot of Canadian players, but the team itself is based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Capitals are considered "Russian" and yet they have more Canadians than Russians on their team. But I suppose because the Caps have a few high profile Russians, the entire team must be Russian and that's somehow a bad thing....Both teams however, are technically American.

Personally, I don't see why even defining the team as "American" or "Canadian" is needed in most cases anyway. The thing is, a player should be playing for the logo on the jersey (however ugly it is). They play for the team. In the NHL, that means they are not playing for their country and I'm not sure that most guys play for the city either. They play for the logo on the jersey. Nationality should have zero to do with it.

When I watch hockey, I watch it to see what the guys on the ice do. I want to see guys play with a lot of passion. I want to see guys who care. And I like exciting plays on most nights as a bonus. I dont' care what the guys do with their lives off the ice as long as it's legal. I don't pick my favorite players based solely on where they were born. That's ridiculous.

If I limited myself to only Canadian players, then I'd be stuck with people like Sidney Crosby, Danny Heatley, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal, Sean Avery and Martin Brodeur. Thanks but no thanks. I'm not saying that these guys aren't talented. I believe everyone I just named is capable of being talented at something (I wouldn't say that Avery is an extremely talented player. He's a talented pain though). But I can think that they're talented and still detest them.

Ovechkin meets my criteria for what I want to see in a player. He works hard, he cares and he's pretty exciting on most nights. I like him because of that. I don't like him solely because he's Russian. I don't care if he was from India or Australia. I don't like him because I don't like Crosby. All I care about is what he does on the ice. All I care about is what he brings to the game. And on most nights, I like what I see.

Crosby's seemingly lack of emotion in general, makes me snore. He doesn't make me interested in watching hockey. When I initially watched the Pens, I watched Malkin (until he disappeared). I watched Fleury. I didn't watch Crosby. Look, I feel bad for him. I think he's been manufactured and handled by various people beyond belief and that's resulted in this cardboard cut-out guy. I'm not going to say that he isn't talented or that he doesn't try hard. I think he's talented and he tries. But he doesn't interest me at all. I find him annoying now. I don't like his constant yapping and whining. I don't really like his new hobby of getting into cheap fights. I just do not like him.

I don't see how that makes me anti-Canadian if I don't like Crosby and would rather cheer for a team that interests me. If I said "I prefer Lidstrom to Avery" do you think many people would complain? I doubt it because we're talking multiple Norris winner vs major pain who got suspended for dissing his ex-girlfriend. But Lidstrom is from Sweden and Avery is indeed Canadian. If I said "I wouldn't cheer for the Leafs if they were the last Canadian team in the playoffs" would anybody care? No. They know I'm a diehard Habs fan and I would never cheer for the Leafs, even though the Leafs are a Canadian team.

So. If it's okay to prefer Lidstrom to Avery and if it's okay to not cheer for the Leafs under any circumstances, why the heck isn't it okay to cheer for the Ovechkin over Crosby? In case everyone missed it, the Cold War sort of ended a while ago.

Again, this isn't about Russia vs. Canada. This is about the Washington Capitals vs the Pittsburgh Penguins. This is about which team I prefer to watch. Nationality of the players notwithstanding.

Go Caps Go!


Grrrreg said...

Well I think your anti-Canadian bias is pretty obvious. You defend the European players, you prefer Ovie over Crosby, you clearly prefer the WASHINGTON Capitals over the OTTAWA Senators, you don't like when proud Canadians boo the US anthem at the Bell Center, and you don't care wether the next coach of the CANADIENS should speak both official languages... I mean come on!

I, for one, only like players from my country.
Huet! Huet! Huet! Huet! Huet! :P

Eternal Pessimist said...

But isn't Huet the only player from France? Now THAT is what I call limited choice, lol =p

Grrrreg said...

Yep. Luckily, I do like him, and I do like the team he's playing for. Imagine if he were playing for Boston!

Eternal Pessimist said...

I was going to say the same thing... how lucky for you that he used to play for the Habs and he's now playing for the Hawks.... =p

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