As our team is preparing for its Centennial, there's going to be a lot of excitement and many special events to celebrate the occasion. Management is working hard to make the team better and more exciting. We'd like to think the players sense the magnitude of this season and will give a little more. All of which begs the question, what can we, as fans, do to make this a season to remember?
I think we should try to suck it up a little more if the team is in a slump. We should try to be more patient, and we should try to understand that maybe...just maybe...the minds running the team know a little more than we do. In other words, we should try our damnedest to be on our best fan behaviour this year. (And yes, I do know that "fan" derives from "fanatic" and, as such, the idea of "best behaviour" is relative...but still...) We should follow a best behaviour code of conduct, that would go something like this:
We, the undersigned, acknowledge that the Montreal Canadiens (henceforth known as "Habs") is the franchise we choose to support, cry over, laugh with and obsess about. We are deeply proud of our team's accomplishments to date, and are excited to watch it push its way back to those glorious heights of victory we've been missing for almost two decades. In our understanding of the momentousness of the Habs' hundredth-year anniversary, we pledge to back the team to the very best of our ability, including:
-Not demanding Saku Koivu be traded as soon as he goes into his Christmas slow-down period.
-Not booing players in their own arena.
-Not second-guessing Bob Gainey's decisions when the second-guessing has been second-guessed a thousand times already and still has not changed anything.
-Not calling Guy Carbonneau names because he refuses to take a timeout with two minutes to go in a close game
-Not comparing Guillaume Latendresse to a snail, a turtle or any other creature that moves at a microscopically slow pace, while calling him a bust and begging Gainey to trade him before the rest of the league catches on.
-Not declaring that any player who's in a slump is a complete piece of crap and/or waste of oxygen, then raving about him when he starts to score again.
-Not allowing our blood pressure to achieve new heights every time a ref makes a stupid call, but rather understanding most of the calls will, in fact, be stupid and sometimes they'll be in our favour.
We promise to cheer like hell, only throw things on the ice when our team is down by five goals and we need to spark a miraculous comeback, make more noise than any other fans in the league which will make the Bell a wickedly indimidating venue for the opposition, and bear with the down periods with humour and good grace. We accept that it's hard not to grumble and that after years of mediocrity, we're used to expecting the worst. But we promise to try to be positive and we pledge to get the most fun out of this season that we can. Those of us who gave up and turned the TV off during the Comeback game last winter and are now ashamed to admit it, (you know who you are) swear we have learned a lesson about having faith. And we promise, most of all, to enjoy the ride, whatever happens!
I think if we all abide by the fan's code of conduct, we'll have a better year...and hopefully, so will the team.