2008-05-09

The Sean Avery of the Blogosphere

I read a lot of hockey blogs. If you do the same, you'll eventually become familiar with some of the commenters who frequent multiple blogs. One regular commenter at the Battle of Ontario was the most negative Sens fan I'd ever seen. There would be post after post after post, all berating his team.

So I was quite surprised to find out yesterday that this guy, PPP, is not a Senators fan at all. Despite only ever talking about the Senators, he is actually a Toronto Maple Leafs fan. Of course, once Ottawa was eliminated from the playoffs his sights were set on your Montreal Canadiens. There are few things that are a sadder commentary on our culture than the negative ad campaign.

This behaviour reminds me of Chris Cooper's character Frank Fitts in American Beauty (a fantastic film, btw). I'll try to explain without spoilers: Fitts is a man who demonstrates a consuming hatred for the Ottawa Senators. Only after this hatred destroys his family is it revealed that Fitts is a little bit of an Ottawa Senators fan himself. His past is a painful one, and his repressed desire is the source of his rage.

~

Schadenfreude: The most overused word in hockeyblogtopia. Being a Habs fan means never having to cope with the guilt associated with hoping to witness the misfortune of another. You never need to get your schadenfreude jollies from watching rivals lose. Just by winning - against anyone - the Canadiens unleash across the nation a tidal wave of agony that miraculously only affects jerks. It's a nice feeling to simply watch your own team and enjoy their successes, even when they are of a limited variety.

When you've got a solid lead and are cruising to an easy victory, you can always count on some pre-splenectomy Sean Avery type on the other side to start yapping. The best only response is, "Take a look at the scoreboard," because the only thing worse than a sore loser is a sore winner.

8 Comments:

Blogger eyebleaf said...

mats sundin is koivu's dad.

so, umm, how about that price kid?

GO LEAFS GO

5/10/2008 3:41 PM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Like Koivu, I played later into the Spring this year than my dad.

As for Price... well, he's no Toskroft, but he's young and still has a 15+ year career ahead of him before he devolves into an AHL-level talent. Have patience with him.

5/10/2008 9:53 PM  
Anonymous bkblades said...

Is this post supposed to be ironic (sit back down, Alanis)? I find it head-scratching to read your thoughts about the sad affairs of negative ad-campaigning when this post was spurred entirely by singling a person out. Not only is it petty (especially, since there was nary a comment from you until PPP wrote about the Canadiens), I have my doubts that you're a regular visitor of the Battle of Ontario blog. Surely, you would have noticed all of PPP's posts about the Maple Leafs over the years, no? Heck, even his name is linked to his Maple Leaf devoted site on the very FIRST page of BoO.

And spare us this arrogant stance about Schadenfreude. To think that a victory by the Canadiens, let alone any hockey game, captivates an entire nation to comment on your team's state of affairs is egotism at its worst. Was it the same "tidal wave of agony" that prompted your fellow Habs fans to torch several police cars and basically, cause a riot after the team's first round series win this year? Is it just "a nice feeling to simply watch your own team and enjoy their successes" that pushes Montreal fans to boo francophone players who don't play for the Canadiens? Oh, and I guess describing someone as "Sean Avery" isn't a negative ad campaign at all, right?

I have no problem with someone disliking aspects of sports and its fandom. But this self-centred piece, as if being a fan of the Montreal Canadiens allows you to make sweeping generalizations about your fan group as "never having to cope with the guilt associated with hoping to witness the misfortune of another", undermines your entire argument.

5/10/2008 10:09 PM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

Surely, you would have noticed all of PPP's posts about the Maple Leafs over the years, no?

I haven't read the comments there as often as I do other places. Too much trash talk for me. But I was once a very regular visitor *before that link was there*, and I admit I jumped to a conclusion based on what I read at the time. A quick scan tells me that the guy is a Leafs fan, but still spends 75% of his breath talking about the Sens. I haven't encountered another poster anywhere outside of HFboards who does that.


To think that a victory by the Canadiens, let alone any hockey game, captivates an entire nation to comment on your team's state of affairs is egotism at its worst.

Read it again - it doesn't captivate an entire nation, it "miraculously only affects jerks."


Was it the same "tidal wave of agony" that prompted your fellow Habs fans to torch several police cars...

Nah, that was a Typhoon of Ecstasy. Not sure what bearing this (or your booing Briere comment) has on the subject of this post. Go back a few posts if you want to know my thoughts on the riot.


Oh, and I guess describing someone as "Sean Avery" isn't a negative ad campaign at all, right?

Count how many of my posts are about the Habs, then count how many are negative comments on any one club, media member or individual. BTW, Avery is a fine player who talks trash too much.


But this self-centred piece, as if being a fan of the Montreal Canadiens allows you to make sweeping generalizations about your fan group as "never having to cope with the guilt associated with hoping to witness the misfortune of another", undermines your entire argument.

I apologize, I'm no great wordsmith and lots of people misinterpret my ramblings. I'll try again: Islander fans relish the unhappiness caused by Ranger losses. Flames fans enjoy making Oiler fans cry and vice versa. Now this is the tongue-in-cheek part: Canadiens fans don't *need* to do this, because a Montreal win makes a whole lot of people get very mad. The Schadenfreude is built-in.

5/10/2008 10:56 PM  
Anonymous bkblades said...

Nah, that was a Typhoon of Ecstasy. Not sure what bearing this (or your booing Briere comment) has on the subject of this post. Go back a few posts if you want to know my thoughts on the riot.

My reasons for bringing those comments up was to try and make sense of your assessment that a Canadiens victory/success brings nothing but a litany of hate that only so-called jerks seem to exhibit. To say that jealousy doesn't affect the fans of the bleu, blanc et rouge is completely false. It certainly weren't the jerks who hate the Habs that booed Briere. As said before, these booers are the same fans who you wrote should feel content about watching their own team and enjoying their success. Why even bother with Briere then, if enjoying your team's success should be all that matters? And I don't doubt any self-respecting fan ever approved of the riot (and never said you did either), but it wasn't a bunch of Canadiens haters that caused the riot either. As easy as it is to deride a fan for taking pride in another team's misfortunes and calling it a sad commentary of culture, I can sit back here and just as easily say how pathetic and idiotic society has become when it encourages the seemingly jealousy-immune Habs fans to cause needless destruction and mass stupidity over a simple hockey victory.

Count how many of my posts are about the Habs, then count how many are negative comments on any one club, media member or individual. BTW, Avery is a fine player who talks trash too much.

But this is what makes this post so contradictory. What prompted you to go out of your way to post about another blogger in a negative light, if you're content on writing mostly about Habs commentary? In regards to Sean Avery, since he's generally identified everywhere as a douchebag, how does comparing him to someone else not quantify as anything but a negative? I didn't see a disclaimer about your thoughts on Avery anywhere, so we're to assume being called Sean Avery is a good thing now?

Now this is the tongue-in-cheek part: Canadiens fans don't *need* to do this, because a Montreal win makes a whole lot of people get very mad. The Schadenfreude is built-in.

I saw this as the main point of your argument, and it would have been interesting to see it expanded. But it got lost in the brunt of your post because you chose to single out a fellow blogger. It was needless and detracts from your point. Like I said earlier, it comes off as petty and exudes a "holier than thou" attitude - an attitude you claim doesn't exist as a Habs fan. Moreover, doesn't it say something about your fanbase that Habs fans still love ridiculing the Leafs and their followers, despite your contention that Canadiens fans don't "need" to take pleasure in their rival's misfortunes?

Cases in point: http://www.habsblog.com/2006/03/26/canadiens-embarrass-leaf-nation-again/
http://fourhabsfans.blogspot.com/2008/01/schadenfreude-101-leafs-suckitude-makes.html

Seems to me a lot of joy in seeing the misery of the Leafs. So if PPP's general principle of negativity bothers you, why not make a fuss about the Schadenfreude that is exhibited by fellow Habs fans? While the negativity and cheap shots constantly directed at the Leafs can get annoying, most Leafs fans take it in stride because they can and are allowed to dish it back. Is there any malicious intent in them? Sometimes, I'm sure it happens. But mostly, seeing joy when particular rivals fail is one of the forms of fandom that can foster loyalty or commonality amongst fellow fans. It's not the first time it has happened, nor will it be the last time.

5/11/2008 2:40 AM  
Blogger eyebleaf said...

great points made by all. i'm still sticking with: shit-disturbing is fun, blogs are fun, and the leafs rule. and sundin really is koivu's dad. alfredsson's too.

cheers.

5/11/2008 12:51 PM  
Blogger Jeff J said...

What prompted you to go out of your way to post about another blogger in a negative light, if you're content on writing mostly about Habs commentary?

Key word: mostly. I've gotten away from it lately but in the past I put up plenty of very negative (imo) posts bashing media and writers. I'm probably more negative than most. Ted Leonsis' blog comes to mind. I recently bashed Elliotte Friedman's. Neither target occupied more than one post, let alone >50% of my content.


...so we're to assume being called Sean Avery is a good thing now?

Absolutely not. Avery's reputation was built on antics unrelated to his above-average abilities as a player. The analogy holds.


Cases in point:

Habsblog is a joke. Haven't visited it in years.

FHF are not my cup of tea but they're pretty high traffic and Habs related, hence the link. They're the smack-talkiest habs blog around and still post nowhere near the proportion of negativity exhibited our subject.

Gretzky and Jordan trash talked. My beef isn't with the act. It's with the complete fixation.

5/11/2008 1:04 PM  
Blogger LeoSC said...

jeff j, really, the pain goes deep, doesn't it? To dedicate an entire blog to PPP, after he wrote the Habs eulogy, is a sure sign that you're trying, as hard as you can, to exorcise the pain of 15 long years, years that are getting longer and longer...a bit of hope in 2007/08, smothered, again, agh! It sure hurts! The slope is getting steeper and more slippery every year. What really shows the depths of Habs despair is that after winning one playoff series you celebrated as if you had won it all. And another thing, jeffj, check what you write vs what you do, it's not congruent.

5/12/2008 10:12 PM  

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