Wednesday, 21 August 2013

A New Meaning To "Riding The Bus"

In every minor-league sports league, players talk about "riding the bus". It's a rite of passage in moving on to the big leagues where players stay in four-star hotels, have staff that carry their equipment, and have meals prepared for them. Riding the bus is all about learning the professional game on the way up. However, bus drivers in Toronto recently rejected a motion to change their uniforms because they resembled an arch-rival's look far too much. We saw how devastating it can be to a Habs fan when he receives a Maple Leafs jersey in Roch Carriere's Le Chandail. For the same reasons, the Toronto Transit Commission voted down the idea of wearing the colours of the Canadiens while driving buses in Toronto!

"They just don't look good to begin with but the fact that they do reflect the Montreal Canadiens colour scheme has been very dissatisfying to our members here in Toronto," TTC union president Bob Kinnear told CBC's Daybreak Montreal. "I think considering the overwhelming response from the employees, there's going to be some reconsidering." Currently, the TTC wears grey slacks with a light blue shirt when on-duty.

Here's the video from the CBC about this clothing debacle.
Honestly, this entire story made me laugh when I first read it. I get that transit employees in, say, Boston wouldn't be in favor of wearing white shirts with navy pinstripes due to their new uniform's resemblance with the uniforms worn by the New York Yankees. But would there be any outrage if the shirt was red with navy pinstripes? In all honesty, does anyone actually associate the red-and-blue striped golf shirt with the Montreal Canadiens? I see how one could make the stretch that it could be Canadiens' colours, but let's be serious here: if I wear a black-and-gold stripes shirt, I'm automatically a Bruins supporter?

Secondly, the striped uniforms slightly resemble the throwbacks worn by the Canadiens a few years ago, but the Canadiens wear nothing even close to the proposed TTC uniform today. If you remember, the Habs are affectionately known as "les bleus-blancs-et-rouges" - the red, white, and blues - in Quebec. While there may be some white incorporated into the TTC logo, there is absolutely no white on that proposed uniform.

Perhaps the best solution to all of this was the proposal put forth by Tom Mouhteros, a representative of the union representing Montreal bus and metro drivers. He stated that the Montreal bus and metro drivers would happily take the proposed TTC uniforms in exchange for the all-blue uniforms his colleagues have been wearing.

"They can ship them down here," said Tom Mouhteros. "We've been wearing blue. We never complained. All we were missing was the Toronto maple leaf, and we never complained. That's a good point: we supported them for so many years, they can support us."

I'm not sure if Mr. Mouhteros is referring to the TTC or the Montreal Canadiens when he talks about supporting them, but does it really matter? If Montreal's transit workers want the uniforms that Toronto doesn't, why not solve both problems with one stone? Seems fairly elementary to me.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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