No, I'm not talking about a political party or some radical group on the fringes of Canadian society: I'm talking about a megalomaniacal Habs fan.
While attending an academic conference recently, I met a professor from Dubai who was an avid sports fan (if we can rightfully consider soccer a sport rather than a re-enactment of Sisyphus' eternal punishment).
I naturally forced the conversation away from the seemingly pointless ball-kickery of soccer to the more dynamic game of hockey. At which point in the conversation, the professor shocked me by explaining that (in his understanding) Canada has only one real hockey team. Although locals will cheer for the team playing in their city, the rest of Canada cheers for the Montreal Canadiens.
That's right: some Habs fanatic is trying to repaint Canadian history and identity in bleu, blanc, et rouge.
Had this conference taken place in Montreal, I might have understood the misunderstanding. But we were speaking less than a kilometer away from the ACC where I'm sure the ghost of Conn Smythe--disturbed from his grave by my colleague's profane statement--stalked the empty arena, bewailing this insult like a banshee and howling like a Fury for vengeance at this blasphemy spoken so near to the sanctum sanctorum of Toronto sports.
And it shouldn't just be Leafs fans who are ready to pillory the Montreal malefactor. Surely the various nations or armies of Canucks, Oilers, Flames, Jets, and Sens fans should mobilize and march in protest of this effort to redraw the hockey-ographic map of Canada. If we fail to oppose those who would decide for whom we, as a nation of sports nations, cheer, then a dystopian future assuredly awaits us (pictured below).
Behold the end of Canada and the dawn of Haberia!
In Haberia, all other Canadian teams have been abolished except for the Leafs. As their age-old nemesis, the Habs have allowed the Leafs and their fans to live out their days in the extreme northern climes of Canada where they are cordoned off into penal colonies nicknamed (after Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's influential book) "The Gulag Arch-Lupulago."
In order to fight this insidiously approaching future, we must resort to iconophilia. While past dynasties asserted their rule by smashing icons of the previous rulers, hockey fans must do the opposite and spread the heraldry of their teams wherever they can. Celebrate your team's every victory over the Canadiens as though it's Independence Day, carve effigies of your favourite players into the mountains, , pledge allegiance to your team's flag, set up consulates for your team's fans in other countries--do whatever it takes to stop the Habs' hegemony!
*The awesome pic of Canada divided into hockey teams is taken from hockeygods.com. While I'm grateful for their efforts, I have to point out that they have severely marginalized the Leafs' fanbase and exaggerated the Senators' sphere of influence.