They say that blood is thicker than water. That when no one else is there for you, you can always count on family.
They also say that there’s no damn way a Boston Bruins fan or someone of the New Jersey Devils persuasion could ever put up with a fan of Les Glorieux. Or visa versa for that matter.
But guess again.
Hockey is many things to many people. To some it’s just a sport, but to others it’s a religion. Some see it as a battlefield, whether it be players that wear the equipment and take to the ice, or fans that don the hometown jersey and take to the bar.
It gets emotions to rise, blood to boil, mouths to curse, and passion to flow.
But it also brings people together.
I would love to tell you that some of my best friends are Habs fans, and that would be true to a point. But reality is, some of my best friends are just plain old hockey fans.
Nearing the end of last season, a certain Facebook site got me talking to a New Jersey gal named Deedee Rodriguez. Sure, she’s a Devils fan, but the more we talked the more I learned to appreciate her love for the game. She was passionate and smart. Beyond smart. She really knows her hockey. We’ve had some incredible conversations about the game over the past months, and despite who we cheer for – we share a passion.
However, let’s get shocking. Facebook has also introduced me to two lads from my arch rival city of Boston. Actually – I should say “rivahl”.
Both Todd Goodwin and William Johnson are pure bread lovers of the Black and Gold. We throw barbs at each other continuously. There’s no shortage of times I remind them of our 24 Stanley Cups, and they never let me live down the spring of 2011.
In the end though, I’ve shared some pretty incredible moments with Todd and William. We’ve talked about books and films, been privy to some family moments like anniversary cruises and new relationships, as well as some touching stories about family.
No doubt, when the puck drops on October 8th, it’ll be every man and woman for his or herself within this hockey family of ours. But there’s a beauty of how it’s brought us together.
I’m looking forward to 82 games of bliss watching my Habs, but I’m also looking forward to the ribbing and competition I’ll have to face from my buddies from Boston and Jersey. We already have bets on the table.
Hockey has brought me some exhilarating moments, some incredible disappointments, and memories that will last a lifetime.
But more importantly, it’s spawned me a new family, and life wouldn’t be quite the same without either them or the game.