Monday, August 16, 2010

Blowhard Sportswriter Strikes Again

Once again, La Presse sportswriter Rejean Tremblay has waded into the language debate, attacking the Montreal Canadiens for the lack of English players. Tremblay and others of his ilk believe that the team should make a special effort to hire Francophones, so "that they can better represent the fan base of Quebec."
If you read French, find the original article HERE.

The article takes on the familiar snarky tone that is the hallmark of the frustrated curmudgeon.
He's someone who reminds me of that stereotypical caricature of the ageing southern cracker racist, sitting on the front porch, whittling on a piece of wood with his knife and cursing out the 'niggas' to anyone who passes by.

There's a special venom in his words, a nasty sarcasm that is reminiscent of the late great, Pierre Falardeau, an anglo hater 'extrodinaire.'

Mr. Tremblay peddles the fantasy that the Canadiens can lean towards Francophone players without affecting quality. He is a big booster of the  'Savard Doctrine,' the practice perfected by the ex-General Manager of the Habs, Serge Savard, that holds that when given a choice between two players of equal talent, the team should always select the Francophone.

Now last year Tremblay wrote an article about a book written by Bob Sirois, whereby the ex-NHLer accused the league of systematically discriminating against francophones. NO FAIR!

But let us consider Mr. Tremblay's position.
According to his logic, it is perfectly reasonable to promote a francophone player over an equally talented anglophone in Montreal, but it is discrimination when the Toronto Maple Leafs choose an anglophone over an equally talented francophone.

That is what I call Quebec logic!

The real problem is that there is no such thing as equally talented players, the idea that such a situation presents itself is fantasy.

This week we witnessed a real live example of the so-called 'Savard doctrine.' It happened at the Rogers Cup tennis tournament in Montreal featuring the world's best female tennis players.

In his blog, Sex, Sports & Rock and Roll sportswriter Benoit Rioux wrote a piece entitled "Décision anti-anglophone?" LINK(fr)
"Vallery Tetreault got a wild card pass into the main draw for the first time in Montreal.Although happy, she recognized that her invitation had the opposite effect on her good friend,  Sharon Fichman, who must now go through qualifying rounds.
The Ontarian, Fichman, 145th in the world, is actually ranked higher than Tétreault (170th.) Nevertheless, the tournament  preferred to go with the Quebecker.
Imagine if the opposite had occurred and a lower-ranked Ontarian would have been advanced ahead of a Quebecker because the tournament was held in Toronto.
Some of us have would have screamed at the injustice launched against we francophones. We would probably talk about "country club" and Denis Coderre would probably have Twitter on the case ..."
Kudos to Mr. Rioux for defending right from wrong, not French versus English.
I bet you never read about this article, because these type of opinion pieces are never published outside Quebec, it's too bad.

Surprisingly, most of the comments under the article supported the tournament's decisions. Perhaps they are also big fans of Tremblay's newspaper column.

In English we call it a double standard. It's more eloquent in French;

Deux Poids - Deux mesures. It's the Quebec way.


  1. Mississauga Guy here!

    The Habs, my team for the last 41 years and counting, has never been 100% French and never will be. Same goes for the 34-year history of the Quebec Nordiques, and if that Quebec City club is ever resurrected in the NHL, it never will be.

    Sam Pollock was quite the manipulator in his GM days with the Habs, and managed to get a special deal where the Habs got first pick on two home-grown talents (Franco Québécois) before the entry drafts back then got started. Even with this advantage, the team was never 100% Francophone; in fact, it was more advantageous to draft American college players because they'd have much more time to develop before being called to the NHL. With junior league draftees, they had to be called up to the "big" club within two seasons or re-enter the draft and/or become free agents. The Habs were big drafters of U.S. college players, including, but not limited to, the late Bill Nyrop, Bill Baker, Alfie Turcotte, Tom Kurvers, Chris Chelios, Rod Langway, Craig Ludwig, Matthew Schneider, John LeClair and Rick Chartraw. Langway, one of the best of the bunch, wanted out of Quebec because of the outrageous taxes. Washington stole this voted most valuable defensemen because he couldn't watch over half his money going down a black hole called the Quebec government!

  2. Editor: “According to him, it is perfectly reasonable to promote a francophone player over an equally talented anglophone in Montreal, but it is discrimination when the Toronto Maple Leafs choose an anglophone over an equally talented francophone.”

    Where did he say that about the Maple Leafs? I re-read the article and didn’t see it.

    But I don’t doubt that he thinks that, or even stated it openly in some other article. If Canadian or American teams applied Tremblay’s logic and “promoted” only Anglophone players (thus discriminated against Francophone players), nationalists like Tremblay would cry wolf. But it’d be ok for Les Canadiens to apply this tactic to promote Francophone players. After all, double standard and hypocrisy are part of every nationalist’s repertoire.

    What strikes me as odd is that LaPresse, not a bad paper overall, lets loose someone like Tremblay, and lets him pollute their otherwise decent sports section.

  3. Unfortunately M. Tremblay made at least two major mistakes in his piece.

    First, he claimed that Lapierre was the only Quebecer in the Canadiens' roster. What about Mathieu Darche? Is he from Mars? Darche is even more montréalais than Lapierre.

    Second, I am more an Alouette than a Canadien fan. I know for sure that the Alouettes are no more French than the Canadiens. With the exception of Larry Smith, everyone involved in the football operations are unilingual anglophones. In fact, most of them are Americans. They indeed do have more Francophones than the Canadiens, but remember that they take the field with 12, instead of 6, players. Also note that there is a Canadian quota in the CFL.

  4. Rejean Tremblay is a loudmouth blowhard and always has been, typical dumb pee-soup. "Its those damn English speakers, the devil, satan and they all speak English. Les enemy, bad English language, bad people, they hold us back, it’s the fault of les angloos again, it always is." ST, “ Fur me, you no, a trute is a trute when a trute is spoken. So hum bug you nasty angloo, you so bad, we, we French so good.” RJ. Rejean Tremblay, What a metis jack ass.

  5. Je suis d'accord avec Réjean Tremblay, les Canadiens de Montréal sont d'abord et avant tout une équipe qui possède une énorme base de passionnés au Québec. L'équipe se doit de valoriser les joueurs québécois ! De toute façon, depuis qu'il y a une ''professionnalisation''du sport, les joueurs n'en veulent qu'à leur portefeuille. C'est quand même méprisant de voir à quel point, l'organisation ne tente de séduire que les anglophones alors que l'immense majorité de leurs supporters sont des francophones. Regardez la musique: Loco Locass- Le but. La chanson jouait partout à la radio, l'organisation n'a jamais voulue la passer durant les joutes. Il y a toujours des limites à se faire imposer des choix par les autres... Maîtres chez nous !

  6. To Mr. Editor: Anonymous August 16, 2010 11:12 AM always treated people of ''metis jack ass'', it think it was clear that not insulting an ethnic caracter was a rule for this blogue ?

  7. To Anonymous @11:12AM re: complaint from Anonymous @1:45PM

    I appreciate your opinions but again ask you not to use pejoratives. THEY ARE UNNECESSARY! That's the last post that will be printed using the term "metis-jack ass" or "French-metis"or any derivative.
    Nobody objects to you calling Mr. Tremblay a "jackass" even those who support him. The other stuff diminishes your comment.

    Please continue to post, but hey, make an effort....I'm asking politely, but no more.

  8. Wow mitre chez nous quel bon petit villageois que vous faites, un vrai de vrai duplssisste, c'est assez les soutanes.

  9. Mississauga Guy here. I noticed the Métis moniker again. Actually, it doesn't bother me so much, but sadly it points out the ignorance of this respondant because Métis, from what I read, were one First Nations parent and one parent of European roots, and not exclusively of French European roots. There were Scottish Métis as well.

    It's obviously being used as a negative connotation, and while I'm not in any way, shape or form going to dictate what the editor of this blog should do, it is food for thought.

    BTW, the only Alouette I've seen who is Francophone on the team is some fellow named Proulx. I understand he's a lawyer by day. I imagine there are a few Francophones on teams outside of the Als, at least some of the names are certainly French ( American Tom Cousineau who was wooed to the Als for a short time in the early 1980s).

    Another BTW: What about the Americans and their Quebec-born parents? Bob Sauvé's son was born in Buffalo when his dad played for the Sabres. Same for Zack Parisé. His dad, Jean-Paul, I was writing this, I forgot J-P was born in Smooth Rock Falls, ON. I guess he's just another «vendu», a sell-out because he was a Franco Ontarian. Guy Hébert was a goalie for the Anaheim Ducks at one time, and I saw him dress for Team USA during a World Cup tournament. How does Monsieur Tremblay label that ilk?

    Hmmm...when Lucien Bouchard was busy dissing Canada in Ottawa, he made damn sure both his sons were born in a Hull, QC hospital, not an Ottawa hospital lest they be labelled by the separatists as a «vendu»! Oooooohhhhh...!

    Oooops...another faux pas...I wrote English town name in Quebec. It's now Gatineau, the French name of the three towns was chosen for the Outaouais maga city (Hull? Aylmer? Jamais, jamais, jamais)!

  10. I was going to argue that the population of quebec was concentrated in the rural areas, and therefore justified the small minded hick mentality, which, I guess, is to be expected in such a demographic...

    With some minor research my initial theory was proven faulty;

    Population of the province of Quebec: ~7,886,108
    Population of Montreal: ~3,635,571

    Let's give Quebec City the benefit of the doubt in considering it as real city;
    Population of Quebec City: ~715,515

    That means ~4,351,086 quebecer's out of ~7,886,108 are from a "big" city (about 55%), not bad I guess...

    Let's consider for a moment other "huge" sports teams/cities;

    The Dallas Cowboy's, America's football team, has a current roster of 82 listed player, of which 10 were products of a texas state universities, (for whatever that's worth)... (

    New York Yankees: 25 man roster, Alex Rodriguez is the only NYC native... born of Dominican Republic parents... hardly a Pure Laine New Yorker, wouldn't you say... ?

    Real Madrid; a soccer team known around the world, and the pride of any self respecting madrid resident has a 25 man roster, 3 of which are from Madrid.

    Inter Milan; a huge name in international Soccer and one of the top three clubs in Italy. Inter Milan was crowned Champions league Champions this past season (the stanley cup of club soccer) while fielding 0 Italian players.

    I've never read of heard of any journalist complain that there weren't enough Good Ole boys on these teams.

    Can you see where I'm going with this?

    Conclusion regarding the Quebecois mentality, I'll let you draw your own...

  11. For Mississauga Guy:

    You do not know much about Canadian football, do you? There are many, many Francophone players in the CFL. One of the reason is because Quebec has been such a power house for football. In fact, Universite Laval is one dominating name in CIS football. They won 4 championships in the last 10 and they won all the championship matches that they played.

    Mathieu Proulx is one of the most prominent Francophone players in the Alouettes. One can argue that the other one is Etienne Boulay. Proulx does not practice law by day. He does that in the off-season. Other than Proulx and Boulay, Francophone players in their roster are: Martin Bedard, Luc Brodeur-Jourdain, Marc-Olivier Brouillette, Eric Deslauriers and Danny Desriveaux. There is also Paul Lambert, a bilingual anglo Montrealer.

  12. Hi Troy! Mississauga Guy here. To answer your question, no I am not a big follower of the CFL, or football altogether. Yes, I know Laval U has done very well on the college circuit having won a few championships. Good to see something other than hockey being played in Quebec (a justifiable crack with a ML baseball team slipping away through their fingers, and the spectatorship at Als games being practically all non-Francophone). Ownership of the Als has NEVER been in «pur laine» hands.

  13. If you think that M. Tremblay's piece is ludicrous, I present you M. Georges Le Gal and his "recommendations".

    Please somebody tell him that the Habs are a professional sport team, not a community cultural NGO. Its targets are to win Championships and to gain profits.