Round 2 begins tonight

The last time Habs fans showed a distinct lack of class, by booing the U.S. national anthem at the Bell Centre (news reports suggest in 2003, but I think there was an incident more recent), the media took notice and showed its disgust. Letters to the editor were written, and the next time the Bell Centre hosted a U.S. team, the crowd cheered loudly as the Star Spangled Banner was played. It was a bit corny, but it got the message across that we were sorry, and most of us were better than that.

Expect a similar kind of overreaction tonight as the Canadiens host the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinal tonight, from the police who will no doubt be present in higher numbers; from the media who will actually be present this time (besides just RadCan and TVA/LCN); and from the fans who won’t stand and cheer “Go Habs Go” as police cars are burned.

So don’t expect any riots tonight, win or lose. Just a lot of respectful cheering. (What police will do about moving violations and dangerous-but-only-to-you stupidity like running up and down on the roof of a moving bus is another question)

But in the unlikely event that things do get out of hand again, a few pointers:

  1. Don’t even consider the prospect of vigilante justice. You’re just going to get yourself seriously hurt. You might even start a massive drunken brawl that will result in serious injuries for dozens of people.
  2. Don’t go up to vandals and take pictures of their faces to show the cops later. Even in their drunken state, they’ll realize what you’re doing and attack you.
  3. If you see vandalism and/or violence taking place, don’t stand there and take pictures, go to the nearest police officer and tell him/her what’s going on. Then leave the area so you don’t become part of the problem.
  4. Have respect for the authorities. I’m sure most of them would love to be sitting at home or at a bar cheering on their team, but instead they have to miss the game and refrain from celebrating because a few drunken idiots can’t exercise some self-control.
  5. Clean up after yourselves. And clean up after others. Litter is bad, and it makes us look bad.

3 thoughts on “Round 2 begins tonight

  1. DAVE ID

    Please you we’re offended at people booing the American anthem back in 2003? I think people were more likely offended by America’s then soon-to-be (and very predictable-not-even-in-retrospect) debacle in Iraq. And debacle is a light word for it. So booing the anthem, pfff, small potatoes American’s should have been offended by what their president and government was doing more than the ever vocal Montrealer booing an anthem. It’s not like we burned down their white house again ;)

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