Sunday, 7 March 2010

The "What If" Game

The birthday bash was enjoyable last night, if not interesting. As the Los Angeles Kings and Montreal Canadiens battled on TV, there was talk about Canada's Olympic victory and how Crosby was booed in his own building. I understand that American hockey fans don't want that sequence shown over and over when referring to Crosby, so I defended the booing that the Americans handed out. One party-goer suggested that Crosby will still be loved in Pittsburgh once the memories begin to fade, and I truly believe that is the truth. But then the conversation took a different turn.

Both Dany Heatley and Chris Pronger, members of Team Canada at this part year's Olympic Games, have been and still are booed mercilessly in two buildings whenever their respective teams visit. Ottawa fans are still a little angry over Heatley wanting out of the nation's capital, and Edmonton fans have a bad taste in their mouths over the way that Pronger demanded a trade out of that city.

The conversation turned last night when we began talking about who would have been a likely goal-scorer had Crosby's shot been saved. One member of the congregation suggested Dany Heatley, while another said that Pronger needed vindication after a less-than-stellar showing on the ice hockey's biggest worldwide stage.

While both of those suggestions can be debated unto themselves, my question last night was more direct: would Ottawa, spurned by Heatley, welcome him as the country's hero? Would Pronger, who left Edmonton as fast as he could, be celebrated in Edmonton the same way that Crosby was across the nation?

The birthday boy is an unapologetic Heatley fan, and has followed the German-born Canadian sniper since his days at the NCAA's University of Wisconsin. He jokingly suggested that Ottawa should "suck it up", but none of us could truly answer the question as to whether either man would be cheered for his gold medal effort had he scored the overtime goal.

So I pose the question to you, readers, and, in particular, those readers who hail from Edmonton and/or Ottawa. If Dany Heatley or Chris Pronger has scored the overtime game-winning, gold medal-winning goal, would you cheer him out of your sense of nationalism, or would you boo him because of his past actions?

Let me know what you think. I'm very interested in hearing the responses.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!


Peter Santellan said...

Given the choice, I would be more inclined to boo Heatley than Pronger, since the Heatley situation is fresher in the mind.

adr said...

Had Heatley or Pronger scored the gold medal winning goal, I suspect they'd be politely cheered in Edmonton at first, and then booed in subsequent visits.

At least, that's how I'd go about it.

anon said...

I'm so happy Crosby got the game winner. The only other candidate who would have made me happy getting it would have been Toews!
Winnipeg pride, my babies!
Had Heatley gotten it, I would be fine with that. Sure he screwed up the Edmonton thing, but he hasn't done much harm besides that.

Anonymous said...

Not one person in the igloo was booing Crosby I can asssure you. I was at the Devils game when Marty broke the SO record and he got an ovation from the crowd.
People in Pittsburgh are much more educated about the game of hockey than just about any U.S. city.
Most of the people I know were just happy to see a great hockey game.

Interesting article, I won't attempt to speculate on the booing patterns of Canadians.