Embrace the Bruins hate


Nov 9, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Bruins left wing Brad Marchand (63) lands on top of Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) during the second period at TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Note to fans: Embrace the Bruins hate!

Hate can be a strong word — unless you’re in the sports world. Reddit user kmhokies35 conducted his latest (un)scientific poll in his search to find the most hated sports teams in the world. This time focusing on the National Hockey League. The result? The world is full of Bruins hate — sort of.

The supposed Bruins hate from all continents east of the Atlantic can be discounted. Much like the hate for the Altanta/Winnipeg franchise in Africa (thanks to one Canadian Reddit user who voted for Atlanta/Winnipeg while claiming to be from Africa).

The hate from North America — while not 100% accurate — is still an indication of how far the Bruins have come. From 2000 to 2009 the Bruins struggled both on the ice and in the stands. The disappointing playoff performances coupled with the years of playoff absences had the Bruins averaging just over 15-thousand fans per home game during that span. That’s roughly 85% capacity. The Bruins were largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of Boston sports and besides a rekindled rivalry with Montreal, the B’s didn’t have a lot of enemies league-wide. Why? Because you need to be relevant in order to have enemies.

How things have changed.

According to the Reddit poll in question, 11 states and most of Canada (with the exception of Albert — who prefer to poo poo the Canucks) are getting their Bruins hate on. You’ll see from the image maps that the majority of hated teams have had consistent success over the years. Blackhawks, Red Wings, Kings, Penguns, Ducks…if you’re successful, fans are jealous, and they hate you. The Chara’s, Crosby’s, Subban’s, Lebron’s and Kobe’s of the world are a testament to that, as well. Of course, the Bruins hate parade will contend that it has more to do with the teams sometimes “over the line” physicality. Agitators like Marchand and Lucic — coupled with the largest player in NHL history, certainly make for an intriguing bunch of super villains.. But what’s a villain that doesn’t at least pose a threat to your cause? It’s the same reason the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles never feared Bebop and Rocksteady; or the Power Rangers didn’t even bother to get out of their street clothes to defeat the Putty Patrollers.

Many Bruins fans have been quick to jump to their teams defence and state the obvious inaccuracies of the poll (which is prevalent in almost any online poll), which it’s understood, albeit misguided.

Embrace the Bruins hate! Ask Yankees, Patriots and Man United fans. It’s a badge of honour and it should be worn proudly. In sports, there’s nothing worse than being irrelevant. The Bruins are far from it.