Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Poor Andie and stupid journalists with a personal mandate

Hi guys! First I want to thank all the folks who took time to email me telling me that I am right and Mitch is wrong. No better way to start the day! I won't draw out this topic but I do think that my point was slightly misunderstood by Mitch and Pierre. I am the last person to focus on the negative regarding the Canadiens. I agree that Carey Price is a great goalie, future of the Habs etc.. but lets not get ahead of ourselves.. we should be just as critical of his play as we are of Cristobal Huet. Thats all.

That being said; as much as I appreciate the emails talking about how hard Mitch is on me sometimes, one of the great things about Mitch is that you can have a heated discussion/disagreement with him and nothing is ever personal. I enjoy the challenge of working with Mitch, if nothing else he keeps me on my toes and expects nothing but the best from the people he works with and tries to do the best possible show every single day. Don't feel too bad for me. I'm scrappy, I can take it.

Another topic I don't want to dwell on but I have to mention is the yearly visit from the TVA contingent showing up at practice and wasting everyones time with inane questions to Saku Koivu and Coach Carbo. First of all it would be lovely if these bozos had enough class to remain quiet after they get their xenophobic questions out of the way for the rest of Carbos press conference. I know its a lot to ask, but you just made all the reporters sit in the room while you beat a dead horse for 10 mins the least you could do is not screw up the rest of our audio with sounds of you taking down your camera, dropping tapes then conversing with your token English speaking (barely) reporter you brought along while Carbo is still talking. Second of all if it is such a cinch to learn a new language, why don't you learn some English? I love the irony of a uni-lingual French speaker telling another Bi-lingual person that they should learn French. ARRG! And they wonder why young people are leaving Quebec. Its no mystery to me. We are fed up with this. I love being Bi-lingual. It is truly an asset for anyone but its a choice. Even for the Captain of the Canadiens. He owes you nothing more than giving his all on the ice and being a good leader for his team.


Eric said...

Well said Andie. Let the guy play hockey. If he wants to say "Bonjour Montreal", one day, fine, if not, as long as he plays hard and habs win, I could care less. He's paid to play hockey. We wonder why guys don't want to play in Montreal. One guess why Briere chose Philly over us!


Mimmo said...

You know what, i hope that Carbo and all the players stop talking to the media. No offence to the team990 (i know you wouldnt deserve this), but you know what, you're not obliged by law to speak to the if by not speaking to the media is what it takes to keep these stupid people who enforce others to speak french quiet then so be it.

Niraj said...


I disagree with your statement regarding Koivu. Saku is a great captain. He's great with the community and he's an excellent leader on and off the ice. But why not learn a few phrases in French? Turning Saku into a fluent bilingual is not even the point. They, along with me, just want to see an effort. He's worn the bleu, blanc, rouge his entire career. So why not embrace the cultural significance of being the captain of les habitants? It would take so little to please so many.

You might soften your stance after you watch "The Rocket". The Habs have more political history than any other North American sports team. Not understanding that and not embracing it, I think, is not fulfilling your duties of captain. I wish he would.

Andie Bennett said...

niraj, I think you need to inform yourself a little. Koivu does actually speak a bit of French but he prefers talking to kids in the hospitals he frequents not journalists who have already made up their mind about him. And although I have seen "The Rocket" (and LOVED it) I don't need to watch a movie to know the history of Richard and the difficulties he went through in his career. I guess your idea of embracing the cultural significance of the Habs is different from mine.

Niraj said...

Andie, a few points:

1) After posting my comment last night, I come across this article in the Calgary Sun (I was looking for an explanation as to why Kipr is playing so poorly. He's one of my fantasy goalies):
In it, Alex Tanguay is interviewed about Saku's French saga and defends our little guy. If you use it to support your argument on air, I'd appreciate it if you could indulge me with some cred as your unreliable "source" :-p. What's relevant to this conversation is that I came to learn that Saku does indeed speak French. What's even better is that he says a few phrases in French in the new Habs pre-game introduction jumbotron package. Very cool. So, you're right, I was certainly misinformed.

2) Good for you that "The Rocket" wasn't the first time you were told about what Richard and francophones were going through in that era. However, you, like I did, must have heard it from a second hand source. Maybe even some form of media. My point is, I don't have access to Saku Koivu to know that he speaks French to little kids in hospitals. The media does. And when the media has been telling me that he doesn't speak French, I'm inclined to believe it, as many other do as well. So while Saku may think he is doing a good thing by shunning annoying French media, he's actually doing a disservice to himself and his legacy as captain of the Canadiens. He should set the record straight. Only good can come from it.

3) You never got around to discussing your idea of what it is to embrace the cultural significance of being the captain of the Habs. I'm interested if you're willing to indulge us.

Marco said...

hello Andie...please remember one thing...When in Rome do as the Romans...when Saku was named the captain of the team he knew that one of his responsibilities was to be able to communicate with those who do help pay his salary...the majority being of the French language!!! Being reluctant to say a few words in public to the French speaking fans shows a lack of class...creates a distance with the the fact that the teams track record with Saku as a captain in the last 10 years is very weak makes for him a candidate to br for your comment of why so many young people are leaving the province...please tell them not to look back once they are gone...

Andie Bennett said...

Hi Niraj,
Thanks for posting again! I enjoy respectful debate. I agree with you the media (and Canadiens marketing) do Koivu a disservice by not giving more exposure to Koivu speaking French.
What I was referring to regarding cultural significance is the pride with which Koivu wears the CH, the respect to the franchise- ie being one of the only Habs to visit Dickie Moore in hospital, the determination to win and try and return the Habs to their former glory and encouraging his family to embrace the city; ex claiming his kids speak better French then Finnish. I personally wouldn't want anyone else to captain the team I don't care how fluently they speak French. Hes a hockey player, not a politician, not a high school teacher a hockey player. Thats his job. The people out there pining for the days of the Flying Frenchman need to wake up and realize that expansion happened. again. And for the folks that don't understand Koivu in English and feel a "distance" from their captain...well I hope you are quite happy in your little corner of MTL. Other wise you might want to work on your English. I don't believe for a second that the majority of the Francophone fans have a hard time understanding Koivu..some of them just have more of an axe to grind than others.

Niraj said...

Hi Andie,

We agree that Saku is definitely the heart and soul of this team, for all the points you mentioned. We also agree in that the captain of any team should be chosen for his/her on-ice and character merits beyond anything else. I just feel that when you become the captain of the Habs, you have a lot more to live up to than the captain of any other team in the league. Recognizing and understanding the culture of the franchise and of the city is one of those responsibilities. Now that I know Saku has, I love him even more... well, love might be a bit strong, but you know what I mean :-).

Btw, a few weeks back Stock and Maranarro (sp?) had a discussion about this. From that discussion, they made it sound like Koivu doesn't speak any French. If they were as informed as you seem to be, we never would have had this debate. Not that that's a bad thing, but I'm a bit annoyed that I was misled to believe something that's not true. If you don't mind, forward this part of my comment to them. They should know better.

Lastly, if a debate isn't conducted with respect on both sides, it gets personal. Once it gets personal, no one listens. Once no one listens, it's no longer a debate. I'm sorry you've had to endure ignorant comments in the past and surely you expect to receive more in the future. Next time, just don't respond to them. Not that you need it, but your fans will come to your defense. Nothing's more satisfying than watching your online peeps defend you.


geo said...

Aside from the good points that have already been made about Saku's french I would like to add that Saku's english isn't even all that hot. Some people don't learn language all that well.

A certain segment of Quebecers spend so much time and energy nitpicking these issues, I find this very frustrating. I can't help but think what could be acheived if that time and energy were spent promoting Quebec culture instead of policing it.