Sorry, Quebec* (you’re just not fanatical enough to change your language to suit our fan-unfriendly contest)

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Photos from NHL Stanley Cup security chief Paul Pritchart’s Twitter account @keeperofthecup
The Kings’ Simon Gagne (above, in white shirt) is surrounded by security as he begins his day with the Stanley Cup in Sainte-Foy, Quebec, on Friday. A day earlier, goalie Jonathan Bernier, below right, joined the Cup for a car ride while in Laval, Quebec.

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The Kings’ Jonathan Bernier and Simon Gagne have had their days with the Stanley Cup, taking it to family gatherings and public places around their native Quebec on Thursday and Friday, allowing fans could see the end result of how these contributed to an NHL championship (linked here).

The simple point being, there are fans in Quebec who care about such things.

ESPN and StubHub must realize that, but for now, it’s not all that vital.

The all-sports network and the resale ticket business announced this week that they have teammed up to create something called The Hall of Fans. They describe this place in a press release as “the first independent institution celebrating sports fandom across the country. The newly created institution will induct its first three fans after a nationwide campaign to identify the most remarkable, inspiring and dedicated fans. The three honorees will be inducted into a permanent Hall of Fans exhibit on ESPN’s Bristol, Conn.-based campus in September.”

Next paragraph: “The Hall of Fans is open to fans of any sport who live in the United States and Canada.* ”

Note the asterisk. At the bottom of the release, it says: ” * Excluding Quebec.”

Now what did those crazy Nordique-loving fools and the home turf for all that’s Montreal, supporting 7.9 million residents living in the country’s largest providence (by area) do this time?

Insist on speaking French.

According to an ESPN spokesperson, whose name we will not disclose to prevent embarassment, we got this response when we inquired why Quebeckers are singled out as non-fans: “We were eager to get the contest up and running, so Quebec was excluded for now. We just weren’t ready to run the contest in multiple languages. As the institution expands, we certainly hope to cast a wider net to honor more fans in the future. If I can answer any other questions, please let me know.”

For starters, how about: Could no one find an English-to-French conversion table in time?

The release continues: “To be considered, fans must submit an essay explaining why they deserve a spot in The Hall of Fans at TheHallofFans.com. Fans may also submit complementary photographs and video material to support their case.” Applications are due August 1. Voting of the top 10 finalists will take place from Aug. 21-31.

The theme of the contest is “Many are Called; Three are Chosen.”

And one giant providence is excluded. StubHub execs might remember that when Canadiens’ fans are looking to unload their season seats after another dismal performance.

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