The Canadiens/Bruins rivalry is the best in hockey by a mile, but our fanbases just don't seem to understand each other. I thought I would ask Cornelius Hardenbergh to help us understand one of the most confusing things about Bruins fans:
Me: The Boston Bruins have been called "The Big Bad Bruins" for quite some time. This isn't a nickname used only by opponents, but a culture that defines the franchise that the fanbase fully and completely embraces. Yet whenever the Bruins are cast as the bad guy in this matchup (which is obviously true because the Bruins are evil with an evil owner and everything that's wrong with hockey), Bruins fans get all pissy and whiny. How exactly can Bruins fans reconcile this behaviour while embracing the villainy that is so obvious in the culture of The Big Bad Bruins?
Cornelius: I'm not sure when the last time you were at the Gahden was but they sell a bunch of knockoff shirts in the street out front. Most of them are pretty bad ("Who won? I blacked out" is particularly egregious, I think) but there's one that I actually kind of dig. Aside from the "Fuck the Habs" ones. It's the one millionth version of those "Keep Calm and Carry On" shirts that were everywhere a year or two ago. It says:
I feel like it's this sort if attitude that really endears us to our rivals.
Seriously though most of the Boston teams are like the second-worst in that regard:
"Sure the Red Sox spend a lot, but we're not evil like those awful Yankees"
"Sure the Celtics have won the most championships but at least we're not those awful Lakers" (heat can be substituted in if you like
"Sure the Patriots have crushed nearly all comers and Bill Belichick gets mocked worldwide for not smiling and/or cheating, but at least we're not those awful Jets/Steelers/Ravens/Cowboys"
and of course,
"Sure the Bruins are big and bad but at least we're not those awful habs"
So as long as there's an other out there that we can see ourselves as a bit better than, we sleep at night just fine.
And sometimes you just want to see a guy's teeth have a meet and greet in his stomach. I know you know the feeling.
Personally, I don't think Cornelius answered the question. What about you?
Check out Stanley Cup of Chowder for the questions Cornelius asked me.