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A Habs Fan's Survival Guide (Part 2): Making Friends in Leafs Nation

Saturday, December 10, 2011

by Dayes, (

Chapter Two – The Company We Keep

You’d think it’d be a lonely life here in Leafs Nation as a Habs fan, but not so. I’ve lived in Toronto approximately five times longer than I lived in Montreal (but Montreal is still my hometown), but I can say I definitely have no shortage of friends.

So how does a Habs fan survive in Leafs Nation? In Chapter One, I describe my means of dealing with mouthy strangers. But you can only dish it out for so long. Eventually, you have to make friends. Here are a few basic guidelines on how to maintain a healthy social life in the Tdot.

Leafs-Habs diplomacy 101
If you are always around diehard Leafs fans, I strongly suggest you add a fine tuning control knob to your expression of Habs love. I’m not saying you should censor yourself (especially since Chapter One was all about not censoring yourself). But I am saying that you don’t have to be obnoxious and in-your-face about it when you’re around die-hard Leafs fans, especially since you are in enemy territory. Make friends with them based on other similar interests/common ground (food is usually a good one – more on that later) and limit your trash talk to when you watch games together.

Toronto is a great food city. There are so many options in all price ranges and all cuisines. BUT there are two things that Toronto does NOT have that we Montrealers can use to bribe Leafs fans into submission. Very few of them are ever able to resist the gloriousness that is Montreal smoked meat and Montreal bagels. Everyone knows my family worships at Schwartz’s Deli, but Torontonians can’t be so selective.

They’ll take what they can get. And the places in Toronto that claim to serve Montreal smoked meat or Montreal-style bagels are just so substandard, that no one has ever rejected my offer to bring back food from Montreal. Who wouldn’t want to be friends with someone who has regular access to Montreal smoked meat and bagels? I know you’re going to say vegetarians and those with gluten sensitivities, but I have another tactic for them.

Everyone wants to be like you
You need to be fun to hang out with. I don’t care what team you love, if you’re not fun, I don’t want to hang out with you. BUT, if you’re a lot of fun, even *Leafs fans* will want to hang out with you. They’ll be willing to suffer the cost of admission, which is trash talking the Leafs. Be the life of the party. If you’re the most awesome person they know, they won’t care that you’re a Habs fan. In fact, some of them can be converted.

But don’t tell them I said that.

Make friends with other Habs fans
This obviously seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. It’s not because Habs fans are hiding, but there are just *so* many people from all over, that sometimes you find yourself surrounded by people who love a non-hockey sport (I know, shocking, eh?). However, do not despair. The birth of Twitter and other social media has made finding people with similar interests so much easier that all you need to do to find awesome Habs fans is come out to a Habs Tweetup. I have Habs fan friends that I met prior to Twitter, but meeting many diehard fans has become much easier. So come out to our next Toronto Habs Tweetup event!! You won’t regret it!!

Follow Dayes on Twitter: @cokeaddict


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