The mantra that the Canadiens have to become more French is not only the obscure ravings of a rabid fringe element, the issue is also a topic in the mainstream press. Spear-headed by La Presse blowhard Rejean Tremblay, a clamour has gone up for an affirmative action program targeting the ranks of the players and management, in order to insure that more francophones are on the team.
The latest salvo, launched last week, is entitled "CH Abuse Quebeckers," another mean-spirited attack which has morphed from a sports piece into a language harangue, complete with those familiar hackneyed phrases that are the stock in trade of the paranoid language militant constituency.
"Quebec bashing" "colonizer" "respect" "abuse" 'arrogance' and "contempt"
We've all heard it before, but not in the sports section.....(sigh!...)
I've already commented on the many sneering and contemptuous attacks on Anglos penned by the nasty and self-satisfied, Rejean Tremblay. You can read a couple of pieces, here and here.
With the team counting just two or three francophones among starters, the hysteria has risen to new heights of paranoia.
As a group, Quebec's francophone sportswriters are a bunch of whiny cry babies, howling every time a French speaking player is shipped out of town or dropped from the roster.
Writing on the website created by striking Journal de Montreal journalists, Rue Frontenac sportswriter, Serge Touchette, launched another tirade against the NHL for discriminating against francophone coaches. He cites the example of Mario Tremblay who has accepted a job with RDS after being forced to 'retire' as an assistant coach, after Jacques Lemaire called it a day as coach of the New Jersey Devils. A count of francophone coaches in the NHL confirms that they seem to be doing quite well, thank you very much, but Touchette has a novel complaint. Francophones assistant coaches are not given enough 'second chances' after leaving a job or getting fired.
Try on this convoluted line;
"It would be too easy to blame the NHL coaches of racism against French, but it's reasonable to ask serious questions." LINKWhat???
And note, these are the mainstream media complainers. The Internet is replete with French language militant crazies, who pull no punches.
In a moronic attack piece, on the Mouvement Montreal Francais web site, Montreal head coach Jacques Martin was subject to a vicious rant by a reader who was outraged that he organized a golf tournament outside Quebec.
Hmm.... I wonder if the writer considered that maybe the tournament was held in Rockland because Mr. Martin is a Franco-Ontarian and it is his home town?"Why did this man hold his golf tournament in Rockland, Ontario, Canada. Are we missing golf courses in Quebec, or is it just because some people prefer English Canada??? ....apparently, 'it's fuck you francophones!!' "
Over on vigile.net, prolific resident nutter, George LeGal, puts forward a plan to safeguard French on the Montreal Canadiens, after claiming that there is an 'establishment' plot out of Toronto, hellbent on destroying the French language on the team...(I swear, I'm not making it up) Link(French)
- The positions of president, general manager, head coach, his assistants and Captain must be reserved for Quebeckers only.
- Within two years the team must reach a threshold of 50% +1, Quebec players.
- French must become the working language of the organization, with interpreters for players who don't understand French.
- Players are to be encouraged to learn the language of the organization, the language of the nation- French. To this end, a program of French language and Quebec cultural immersion is to be instituted for players and their families.
- The name, 'Bell Centre' must be changed to a typically Quebecois French name, after having launched a public competition to rename the building.
- Announcements at hockey games shall cease to be bilingual, the same as in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. French should be prevalent.
- The Organization should work with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Quebec and the Quebec government to radically reform the league so that it meets the aspirations of young Quebeckers while producing more players for the NHL, especially for its Quebec based club, the Montreal Canadiens.
Whilst articles like these last two are comical, they are starting to have an overall numbing effect.
Sportswriters are notorious in requiring content to fill their columns and Anglo bashing seems to be the topic 'du jour,' that is filling the bill.
Already, stories are appearing in the press hailing the return of the 'future' Quebec Nordiques as the saviour of the French language in the
Like generals fighting the last war, these sports writers and bloggers are living in the past, believing that while the Canadiens are a lost cause, the Nordiques will resurrect past glories and lead to a glorious renaissance of French in the league.
That ship has long sailed.
In the meantime, Heaven help the Montreal Canadiens if they fall for this nonsense.
So far so good, but cracks are appearing...