Game 7 between the Montreal Canadiens and Boston Bruins took place at Boston's TD Garden, but even with no one and nothing on the ice in Montreal, Habs fans filled the Bell Centre to capacity. People had a little fun with this report yesterday, pointing out that they were effectively paying extra money to watch TV, but the reality is that it's a whole lot of fun to watch a Game 7 surrounded by like-minded fans.
It's a lot less fun to be a fan in enemy territory, Yves Leger discovered back on May 10th. According to a letter he wrote to the Montreal Gazette, he and his girlfriend attended made the trip to Boston for Game 5, where they were harassed and assaulted, rather than being thanked for their contributions to local tourism.
Yves and his girlfriend kept mostly to themselves. Admittedly, they wore Habs jerseys, but they didn't even stand up to cheer the Habs goal, likely because by then, they were terrified.
But we got called f-----g stupid Canadians, we were told to go back to Canada, I was called a French f-g — t — all that happened while the play was going on. Then between periods, I had to use the washroom. That was my biggest mistake. I was called the same, was shoved and punched. I’m surprised I got out of there without fighting, but I managed to find my way out. After that point I understood I had to stay in my seat, so I did.
After the final whistle, while people were walking out of their rows we stayed at our seats to let the crowd out, so we wouldn’t have to deal with the fans. Then a fan just stood on top of my 98 pound, 4’11” girlfriend and spilled a full beer on top of her head while she was looking at him. Luckily, I didn’t see this — she only told me after we left —because there would have been a guy flying off the balcony.
No doubt it was only a few Boston fans -- the ones that booed Jesus on Easter, perhaps. The rest most assuredly believe in the proud, proud tourist industry. I'll bet those touristist fans aren't even real fans.
But this is troubling. It's one thing to jeer visitors and make them feel unwelcome. It's another thing to harass a guy using the bathroom, punch strangers, and pour a full beer on a woman's head.
While standing on her head, at that. Ridiculous. Even if you could balance, you'd get your shoes all wet. That seems inefficient, not to mention downright impossible.
I'm going to assume he meant that the beer-pourer stood in the row above her. I'm also going to assume the beer wasn't actually full, since Leger probably would have noticed if his girlfriend was covered in a full thing of beer before she told him. Plus they stop serving beer at the end of the second period, and I doubt the type of guy who would pour a beer on a woman is the type of guy who could sit on a beer for an hour.
Leger's account raises some questions about the conduct of fans in the building, no doubt. But it also features a pretty hilarious question all on its own.
"I realize that TD Garden is the home of the Bruins and Bruins fans love their hockey," he writes, "but would I be wrong to say people like myself help the U.S. economy and should be thanked, and not disrespected?"
Okay. Now I want to pour a beer on this guy.