This is my first blog J I hope it's read and enjoyed…
I assume I'm writing this to myself mostly, as I'm a bit 'alone' in the experience I'm about to share… But mostly, I want to share this with people, and try to emphasize how and what feels like, a Montreal Canadiens' fan, abroad.
So my name is Moshe, I'm 33 years old. I live in Israel, just 30km north of Tel Aviv. I'm married to Keren and expecting my first son this summer J. I'm an only child…
My relationship with the Montreal Canadiens lies in the 5 years I spent in Montreal with my parents between 1989 and 1994. We moved to Montreal from Israel for a business initiative my father was leading. Just like every other person in Montreal, Quebec or Canada, hockey became very quickly something that was a big part of my life. The 'love at first sight with hockey' started with some guidance from my uncle, who lived in Montreal for 30 years already at the time, and went on to an independent 'relationship' very quickly. And when you say hockey in Canada, not to mention Quebec, you usually mean the Montreal Canadiens.
Being already accustomed to being a diehard fan of a team at the age of 12 (I followed closely Maccabi Tel Aviv, Israel and one of Europe's elite basketball teams since the 70s'), finding kind of my own identity within the game of hockey and the Montreal Canadiens was very natural. Quickly, while adapting to the new country, language, school, friends etc., I found myself building this bond with the team, a bond only people who admire and 'need' sport during their lives can understand.
From the first games I saw, during the 1989 season, the link to the team, its colors, players, the history, the arena (the historic Forum) was immediate. It was like it was calling me to come closer, learn more about the past, the heroes, the cups, dive into the details and statistics… and I did.
A month into the season (one following a devastating lost to Calgary in the Stanley cup finals in 88-89), I was in to it. I knew all the names, the schedule, had my plan of games I wanted to go see in person and a plan on how to share this new love with my parents, so they could learn how to live with this new 'entity' in the house (obviously, the posters, the equipment, the cloths etc.) and the silence and privacy I requested while watching the games.
If you ever had 'your team', you know what I mean. The expectation for every game, a lead, a deficit, the goals, the joy, heartbreaking losses…it was my life. This new 'discovery', was my shelter from a very difficult first 6-12 months in Montreal. The new language (I spoke fluent French, but couldn't write or read it when the school year began), the winter, the new friends – everything was tough on me and my parents, but I had my hockey games, I had my Canadiens. I had TSN and RDS leading me up to the games and after them – the specific 'thing' I needed not to feel too bad about the difficulties I encountered. I finished my first school year with excellent notes and 'social success' after a rough start. Looking back, I really don't know I could I have done it without those 'moments' with my Canadiens.
For a first blog…it think this is enough J
I'll share my experience of the 5 season I went through in Montreal, leading to our return to Israel, and how I found one of my first loves again, just recently, and got back to loving her as if it was the first time…