Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bell Center cretins show some class (for a change)

They weren't booing - they were saying "Lu" last night at the Bell Center. The chant went up with every save by Vancouver goaltender and St. Leonard native Roberto Luongo, and represented a welcome departure for the Bell Center crowd, which historically has rained abuse on visiting All Stars, with an extra measure of disdain for ex-patriate Quebecers, especially if they're perceived as having somehow offended local sensibilities. Vincent Lecavalier gets booed at the Bell Center every time a rumoured trade between the Canadiens and the Lightning doesn't materialize. Daniel Briere still hears it every time he comes to town, three plus years after spurning the Canadiens - among other suitors - to sign as a free agent with Philadelphia.
Other star players who aren't from Quebec - Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Ilya Kovalchuk et al - are booed solely on the ridiculous premise that if they're talented and they don't play for the Canadiens, they're unworthy of respect. So it was heartening to proponents of decency and decorum that the fans actually cheered for a player from the visiting team, even if it sounded like they were booing. That said, the next time Boston comes to town, they won't be saying BROO-ins - they'll be booing.

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