The Original Ten Takes Shape
We’re nearing critical mass, and as our attorneys have warned, restraining orders, cease and desist letters, and defamation suits – but we continue recruiting fresh voices in the NHL markets to cover their teams. Et voila! A Habs man. Matt reached out to us about filling the long vacant Montreal Canadiens position. The recruiting process is rigid; it takes fandom, gaydom, and a good command of the language, ideally English, but we’ll consider French-speaking applicants too.
Matt gives us a rundown of his bona fides and passion for the Habs. A straight woman expressed some interest in covering the team but negotiations broke down when she refused to write under the nom de guerre, “Habs Hag.” Her loss, North America’s gain. Bienvenue! -Craig
“I’m interested in being your Montreal Canadiens correspondent- but will leave it to you decide if I’m qualified:
Pros: I’m gay (yay!), I love hockey (yay!), I’ve been a Canadiens fan since the 80’s (Go Habs Go!), and I’m literate (one of my jobs requires me to do a lot of grant writing, which I’m very successful at, yay!).
Cons: I’ve never played a game of hockey in my life and can barely skate, and I haven’t lived in Montreal for a while now (but I can still speak French pretty well).
I religiously follow the Habs on NHL Center Ice and go to at least one game a year in Montreal or Boston, more often if I can. The Bruins suck, by the way; that shiny silvery Stanley Cup thing notwithstanding. I grew in Boston but I never felt like I fit in, like I was different from most everyone else. I had yearnings, yet I wasn’t sure what I yearned for. All I knew was that neither girls nor the Bruins did anything for me. When I moved to Montreal as a teenager I quickly discovered what it was that I needed to make me whole – boys, and the Canadiens.”
“After I left Montreal my interest in hockey waned for a little while until a friend of mine, a motivational speaker, was asked to speak to a gathering of players’ “wives and significant others,” at an NHL All Star game some years back.
She told me that at least 10% of the “wives and significant others” were in fact men, that this was all well-known and accepted within the NHL because, at the level of playing, they were mostly professional players with some level of maturity and were no longer homophobic high school thugs.
I could have plotzed when she told me that. I had been edging away from hockey for a while before that because of the homophobia in and around the game. It was certainly a major factor in why I never took up playing it to begin with. But once I learned that, hell, even if some of the players in the NHL could be gay; it all changed for me.
I’m the kind of fan who loves my team no matter what – whether they’re winning or losing. But I’m not the kind of fan who can tell you about every player who’s ever played on the team over the last 100 years. I’ve never even considered rooting for another team ever, though if the Canadiens aren’t on and I still need me some hockey action I’ll gravitate toward the Red Wings (which is totally safe, because they’re Western Conference), the Capitals (because Ovechkin is awesome), or the Lightning (because LeCavlaier and St.Louis are not only Quebecois but quite the duo on ice).
It’s a good thing I love my team no matter what because this pre-season and the first regular season game (versus Toronto) have not gone so well. From what I’ve seen so far the forwards look good, dreamboat Carey Price (does YOUR team have a half Native American hunk for a goal tender who, when he smiles, makes every teenage girl and most gay men swoon?) seems like he’s getting up to speed again pretty well… but what happened to the famous Montreal power play and HELLOOOOO!! – could we beef up the defense a little?
Carey Price can’t fend off a team of marauding opponents, an army of teenage girls, and me all at the same time!
Chris Campoli seemed like a good addition to the defense but then he went and got injured in the first game and will be out for several months. Andrei Markov would be welcomed back any time now. In a big way. It must be pretty obvious where the problems are if even if I noticed it.
I assume they’ll get right on it so that by the first time we play the Bruins everything is good to go. Because this year, baby, it’s Chara’s turn to cry!”
Please follow Matt on twitter @mattsko