I don't need a study to tell me the Habs are a religion, I put hockey as my religion on my Facebook page, I am changing it tonight to the Habs. We could have a holy trinity, Koivu = God, Price = Jesus, The Rocket = Holy Spirit. The retired jerseys could be the apostles. Cool idea for a course though.
We could say the the CH is a cult of sportifs (Culte de l'acte sportif) wich i follow... but a religion? Ther's absolutly no mysticism nor dogmatism, no revelations nor moral guidelines and absolutly no higher being. The only thing that links it to the word "religion" is the fact that religion, as a word (étymologiquement), means "to get together".
And Wittgenstein is not à propos, since there is no discours nor any proposition in question.
1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs. - Couldnt't of been said better
2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion, the Canadien religion
3. the body of persons adhering to a particular set of beliefs and practices: a world council of religions. - Jesus Price
4. the life or state of a monk, nun, Hab player etc.: to enter religion, to cheer on the Habs.
5. the practice of religious beliefs; ritual observance of faith, cheering the Habs on.
6. something one believes in and follows devotedly; a point or matter of ethics or conscience: Watching the Habs Live or on TV everytime they play.
7. religions, Archaic. religious rites,.
8. Archaic. strict faithfulness; devotion: a religion to one's vow, die hard Habs fans.
Jesus Price - Our savior!
Le Cardinal Gainey
L'Oratoir Centre Bell - Hey 21,273 people go there, Name me 1 other church other then the Vatican that can do that?
Thousand... even Millions who follow it regularly.
Similar results were derived in the study conducted in UK about the behaviour of fans of Premier League Football (soccer) teams.
The research indicated that the behaviour of the fans resembles that of religious fundamentalists. Naturally in England football is connected to violent riots, huliganism and other more than noble activities, but I would assume that some of the found similarities would apply also to hockey fans.
After all, the hate of rivals, blind belief on your own team do have some characterictics that are common with fundamental religious beliefs.