The Vancouver Sun’s Iain Macintyre made a bold statement yesterday:
Nobody hates the Detroit Red Wings and it’s making me sick.
It’s unbelievable the free pass this organization gets compared to nearly all the other top teams in the National Hockey League.
Now, in fairness, he’s completely being sarcastic in that second statement, because he can’t find a reason to hate the Wings. Here’s his best attempt:
Sometime during his seven Norris Trophy acceptance speeches, Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom must have forgotten to thank someone. Henrik Zetterberg once talked with his mouth full. Pavel Datsyuk is dishonest, looking all Curious George and pretending he’s not the best player in the NHL now that Sidney Crosby is out. Todd Bertuzzi still won’t shave, and Wednesday in Vancouver someone threw a tape ball on the floor of the Detroit dressing room. You know, they kill octopus in Detroit.
Funny stuff. Now I agree with him. It should be hard to hate the Red Wings, because they’re simply not hateable. Detroit doesn’t play that dirty style that blackens one soul (e.g. Anaheim). No, they beat teams with talent and hard work, doing things the right way. You can’t hate that. You can hate the fact that they always beat you, but you can’t hate the team themselves.
Hit the jump for why teams DO hate the Wings and why Iain’s attempt to lump the Canucks in the same catagory is very misguided…
Yet contrary to what Iain at the Sun thinks, we all know there’s plenty of hate thrown Detroit’s way. St. Louis and Chicago fans hate everything about the Winged Wheel. As SLGT puts it:
To know know know [Detroit] is to hate hate hate them.
Ignoring his strange stutter problem, the thing that brings St. Louis fans together is their Detroit hate. Same with Chicago. Hell, I think almost every team in the West, minus Vancouver and the other Western Canadian teams, has Detroit down as #1 or 2 on the hate list. We’re everyone’s “biggest rival.” You name it. Columbus, Phoenix, Nashville. Ask any one of their fans which team they hate the most and I bet the most likely answer is Detroit.
But deep down, Blues, Hawks, and other fans know that what they are feeling isn’t hate. No, what they’re feeling is one of the seven deadly sins (no, not sloth, Mr. Hitchcock). That feeling in their inner bowels is envy of the greatest organization in sports. Envy of the 22 years straight of winning that Detroit has experienced. That, in their simple brains, feels like hate.
Iain, however, starts wanting us to feel bad for his little Canucks:
And let’s not get restarted about how everyone hates the Vancouver Canucks more than they hate global warming or the growing inequity between rich and poor or even one of the Kardashians.
St. Louis Blues’ coach Ken Hitchcock explained the dislike for the Canucks — or any other top team — as envy, saying: “If Vancouver wants to be liked, start losing. Everybody will love you.”
Yet, Mr. Iain has it backwards. Teams don’t hate the Canucks because of envy. (Well, maybe Columbus does. Jackets fans are envious of Florida’s “success.” Poor guys.) I know at least 17 teams aren’t envious of the Canucks ZERO Stanley Cup wins in their 42 years of existence.
If anyone hates the Canucks, it’s not because they’ve won. They haven’t won squat. Rather, it’s because of their diving, whining and dirty play. Teams don’t respect or envy that at all. But other than those things, they’ve been doing everything they can to be liked, per Ken Hitchcock’s suggestion, losing consistently for the past 42 years.
So Iain, don’t confuse the two. You’re right. Other teams don’t truly hate the Wings; they’re just envious of them. But don’t try to put the Canucks in the same category. Any hate flowing your way is well deserved, there’s no envy involved.
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