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Now we’re the bad guys: boorish Canadian hockey fans leave Buffalonians unimpressed and under-tipped

During the World Junior Hockey Competition in Buffalo earlier this month, things got a bit out of hand—and we’re not just talking about the winning Russian hockey team, either. Apparently, even we normally modest, likable Canucks went a bit crazy with the late-hour bars and the hot wings. It got so bad that Donn Esmonde, a Buffalo News columnist, put his pen to paper to bash us.

I am not sure if it was the insufferable sense of hockey superiority, or the pre-and post-game beers, but this tournament brought out the inner lout in a lot of Canadians. Arrogant, loud, drunk, obnoxious — if I didn’t know better, I would have thought that they were, well, Americans.

From the guy arrested for punching an American fan at the USA-Canada game, to the sea of red that adopted any team that the USA played, to the drunken red-clad louts at the New Year’s Eve ball drop (staggering, middle-aged, red-clad lady I saw clutching a half-empty bottle of vodka, this means you), to the legions of lousy tippers at bars and restaurants — a lot of Canadians wore out their welcome long before Russia shattered their gold medal dreams. Believe me, there were not a lot of Buffalonians crying over that outcome.

Lousy tips? That doesn’t sound like us. No, wait, Esmonde’s got our number right there. Clearly, Canadians need to learn how to blend in with the locals better—drink worse beer, come home with bronze and leave a decent gratuity at the end of it all.

Some Toronto writers are responding with more of a “no, you suck!” attitude. The Star’s Cathal Kelly writes, “One of your own players—Ducks prospect and Team U.S.A. forward Emerson Etem—called Buffalo a ‘ghost town’ and ‘the worst city ever.’  And you’re angry at us? Seriously?” Of course, if we lived in the “worst city ever”—and more than a few Canadians think we do—we’d be angry at outsiders coming in and making a mess of things.

Dear Buffalo: we’ll make it better when UFC comes to Toronto. Buffalonians can come here, drink our superior beer and tip our servers more generously. We dare you.

• Disillusioned by northern neighbors [Buffalo News]
• Kelly: Canadian world junior fans criticized in Buffalo [Toronto Star]

(Image: Doug Kerr)