Je suis un Montréalais. J'adore les Canadiens. Je suis francophone. Je veux vomir.
I'm usually very proud of my city but the coverage we are getting in the last few days is down right embarassing. We've had an english coach for 3 days and you would think the whole world is crumbling down. The Journal de Montreal has already voted Cunneyworth off the island and pulled a bullshit stat out of their asses saying that 72% of Quebecers find it unacceptable that the coach can't speak french.
Let me start by saying that I am a firm believer that people are stupid. A person is smart, but people are idiots. You slap a stat like that on the front page of a moronic publication like the Journal and what do you get? A bunch of simpletons who are so bored, that they are willing to call for a boycott of Molson products. Well, that is until they realize than an import will cost you an extra loonie.
Calm down you bunch of freaks! The Canadiens fired the guy you all hated and just because we don't have a french guy right behind him, you're all about to lose your marbles. Jacques Martin was losing the respect of his players. His decisions were borderline insane and he had to go. Randy Cunneyworth isn't the answer, but it certainly isn't because he can't speak french. The team sucks. They suck in english, et ils sucent en francais. Same difference. It ain't Mr. Cunneyworth that will change that.
I'm sick and tired of hearing about the Hab fans in rural areas who don't speak english. Who gives a shit about them? Are they buying tickets? Are they coming into the city and spending their money at the surrounding bars and restaurants? No. They're watching RDS in their log cabins. I never realized you needed to speak english to watch a fucking hockey game on TV. The Montreal Canadiens have millions of fans. They don't need the ignorant racists who would rather see the team lose en francais, than win in english. Newsflash morons, the coach doesn't say anything. EVER. All the news you ever hear is from anonymous sources or figments of the reporter's imagination. I've got news for you assholes. Youppi doesn't speak french either. Are you gonna boycott orange fur now?
Do you really need a french coach to tell you it's Peter Budaj in nets tomorrow night? Or that PK has the flu? Get over yourselves. It's not enough that the rest of the country, er, the continent, is rolling their eyes at the fact that this is front page stuff?
People keep saying that hockey is a religion in Montreal, they think that's why people care so much. BULLSHIT. If hockey was a religion, we'd be more concerned with winning than with language. This is political garbage. There are countless examples around the sports world showing foreigners coming into sports crazed markets and leading their teams to championships. If Ferrari can embrace a german to win countless F1 titles, I think we can relax on the coach's mother tongue.
It's obvious that a bilingual coach is ideal. The Canadiens have made every effort imaginable to make that a reality. Cut them some fucking slack if they choose to fire a guy mid-season and don't choose to throw another 4 year contract at the next frenchman that you will all want fired within 2 years anyways.
Now that I've gotten that outburst out of the way, let's talk about how moronic this decision was. That's right, after telling how idiotic it is that the coach must speak french, I am now saying it was also wrong to have fired Martin in favor of Cunneyworth. Why? It's simple. As much as I think this whole fiasco is ridiculous, I'm not stupid enough to think that it is not a sensitive issue. As a matter of fact, I think we all expected this reaction from our province.
Let me be clear. I wanted Martin out. I thought his message was stale, his treatment of our rookies was not beneficial to their development and I found his constant scribbling in his notebook to be distracting. But firing him just to hire his right hand man, regardless of language, was senseless. Our anemic offense was Cunneyworth's responsability. Why would things be so different now?
The mistake the Habs made is that they had one chance to try and get the public to accept an english coach. To make that happen, you needed a heavy hitter. Someone with a cup, or a Jack Adams, or... a single win as an NHL head coach. I shat on this team for constantly hiring green coaches, from Tremblay to Carbonneau, so I can't possibly be happy with this decision.
Montreal is a place where you can't afford to learn as you go. Not with an average team that is constantly expected to win the cup. You need a name, someone with credibility. Jacques Martin had that. What he didn't have was the good sense not to play Mathieu Darch for 17 minutes a game.
Had they brought in a Babcock, Bylsma, Ruff or Carlyle, the backlash would not have been this hard. Of course you would have the people who would rant about it no matter what, but you could look at them dead in the eye and challenge them to come up with a more qualified coach. By naming Cunneyworth, they opened themselves up to a world of criticism that they can't possibly withstand.
They put this poor bastard in a no win situation. He can't possibly live up to the expectations and the idiot GM who put him there is on his way out anyways.
Bienvenue a Montréal Monsieur Cunneyworth. Now get the fuck out of here.