Feb 19, 2007

Howard Berger on Montreal crowds vs. Toronto crowds

Blogger Howard Berger has this to say about the differences between crowds in Montreal and Toronto.

...First off, the winning tradition in Montreal far exceeds anything that is evident in Toronto, for obvious reasons. The Habs, though they haven't sipped champagne since 1993, have won ten Stanley Cups since the '67 Leafs upset them to win their last championship. Also, there are cultural differences among people in Ontario and Quebec that lead to a more passionate, noisy hockey crowd at Habs games. Here in polite, conservative Toronto, people do not start making a fuss until the Leafs win a first-round playoff match -- at which point Yonge Steet, the main north-south drag in our city, is closed to vehicular traffic. Montreal, because of its rich French-Canadian heritage, is more reminiscient of the culture and custom in Europe. And anyone who watches soccer from England, Italy, Spain or Germany knows how demonstrative and zealous good European soccer fans can be. Montreal's hockey audience reflects that trait, and it frequently carries over to the devotion for past heroes. There will never be a Rocket Richard-like ovation in Toronto for any hockey player, past or present. It just isn't in the genes...

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