Michel Bergeron And L’Antichambre. Is This Good Stuff?

bergeron

All those years of seeing Montreal and the Quebec Nordiques pound each other into oblivion. All those fights and bench-clearing brawls, the see-saw battles, blood, passion, rivalry, and last minute game-winning goals from both sides. And all those camera shots at the Nordiques bench of a fiery, complaining, steaming, out-of-control Quebec coach named Michel Bergeron.

Now I see Bergeron is one of the regulars on the RDS sports talk show called L’Antichambre, which brings me to these questions:

Is Bergeron a fiery, out-of-control hockey analyst?

Is this show interesting and to be taken seriously?

Is this show full of blowhards? Like Bergeron was when he was coaching?

Is this show full of moose poop and it’s time to change the channel?

18 thoughts on “Michel Bergeron And L’Antichambre. Is This Good Stuff?”

  1. Dennis;I watched that show a few times(well tried to watch it ,I wish I knew french)and Michel didn’t seem out of hand ,maybe I didnt watch it into the third period when he was behind by a comment or two.I remember when he coached the Nords,I;wonder if all minor hockey coaching clinics told their students not to talk to refferees the way he did,actually the way most coaches talk to the refs now.

  2. Derry. I always thought he was either going to have a heart attack at the bench or just completly lose his mind. It was always so great when the Habs beat the Nordiques so Bergeron would be disappointed and up set. He sured showed his emotions. I don’t speak French either but I’m curious about this show.

  3. Hello Dennis,

    Great blog by the way. I have been watching l’antichambre since it’s beginning. Actually, Bergeron has toned down quite a bit since his days as a coach. He, like Jacques Demers have become somewhat iconics within the french sports media in Montreal mostly based on their past. He is quite critical of JM already and has stated that JM is basically stiffling the Habs offensive players with his system. If you like hockey and the Habs in particular, this show in itself is worth watching although they seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time speculating as to why such and such player is not producing. Bergy as he is affectionally called by pretty much everyone in “la belle province” is still bitter at never having won the Stanley Cup, being traded (as a coach I might add) and never offered the job in Montreal. He is getting more relaxed as he is getting older and that is a good thing since he has had heart problems a few years ago.

    Another sports show (habs of course) is called L’Attaque a 5. The show airs from Monday to Friday at 22:30hrs Quebec time. Again, it is in french and yes they are talking about the habs pretty much steadily. It is somewhat similar to L’antichambre but with a slightly different format and mostly top notch french sports journalist from Quebec. Make no wonder habs fans are just nuts about the team. There is so much coverage that we feel like we know the players personally.

    P.S. I am not sure why there is no shows like that in Toronto. I am sure that “Leafs Nations” would tune in religiously. Go figure.

    Cheers

  4. Andre – Thanks very much for this. It’s very interesting. I’ve tried several times over the years to learn French but have only gotten just the very basics of it. It’s too bad because I’d enjoy these Habs programs and I’ve always had a love for Quebec. I feel I’m missing out on a lot. Bergeron was such a fiery guy as coach. Good for him for toning it down. I’m sure it’s much healthier.

  5. This show is basically just the french version of TSN’s Off The Record with Michael Landsberg, where guys talk about hockey.
    But i find that L’Antichambre is a little more civilized and there are alot less occasions where everybody talks over each other.

    Quebecors more civilized than other Canadians? Go figure.

  6. haha, wow, Sorry Andre, I stole your “Go figure” i didn’t see it until i finished writing, crazy coincidence?

  7. L’anti-CH is a show full of washed-up hasbeens, maudlin bigots and pro-hockey wannabes that spend time screaming over each other. L’attaqueà5 is even worse. The best thing for these sports television shows is the return of their Nordiques so they can all hightail it back to their pure wool roots … and before anyone starts yipping, I’m French-Canadian and live in Québec.

  8. i don’t remember Antichambre being annoying.
    But i guess i should’ve watched it more often. From what i’ve seen it isn’t as annoying as Off The Record.

  9. what moeman said. Except for Jacques demers, cause he lives in the same town as me, and my friend washes his golf clubs. It’s just a bunch of guys wishing they could be coach of an nhl team, but no one wants to hire them.

    It’s sort of like OTR, but the guest are usually related to hockey, not a former baseball colour commentator, who don’t have any idea what they are talking about. (not that the guys on AC do)

  10. I’m a snob, so I watch the third hockey-centric french tv show: Radio-Canada’s La Zone. I don’t like gong/freakshows, which means I’m not terribly fond of l’Antichambre an absolutely irked by l’Attaque à 5.

    What I love about La Zone is that they don’t have the same guys on… Eric Desjardins (he is an incredibly interesting analyst) is on from time to time, Enrico Ciccone (!) is a regular, guys like Éric Fichaud (yup, that guy) and Jocelyn Thibault are on too. And, when the Blue Jackets where out of the playoffs, they’d get Pascal Leclaire on the show; the kid is an absolute riot, funny and intelligent. Now that he is in Ottawa, not sur we’ll see him again tough.

    So, plenty of practice for your french, people :).

  11. Olivier, thanks for all of this. Interesting stuff, and like I said, I’ve tried many times to become bilingual but I guess I’m a little brain-dead this way. Always wanted to, though. I need to live in Montreal – it would help a lot.

  12. When you look up the word passionate in the dictionary you will see Bergy’s picture. I love the guy. He puts so much emotion into everything he says and does. But like others have said, he has mellowed somewhat. There are others on the panel – notably the one they call “Le Baron” who do the odd flip-out on air. But Bergy along with Jaques Demers are the wise old sages of the lot. They do provide insight into the inner workings of the CH including rumors, gossip and provide constructive and, at times, destructive criticism of the coach and manager.

    I too have found that French hockey along with the late night “vue de fesses” have improved my proficiency in the language tremendously.

    Vive le Quebec!

    Sidenote – Eyes on the Prize has put together an amazing statistical comparison of Price vs Halak. Check it out:

    http://www.habseyesontheprize.com/2009/11/9/1120413/price-halak-the-stats-october-2009

  13. Your quite welcome Dennis,

    As you can see from other posters (French boys) both L’Antichambre and L’attaque a 5 are either liked or disliked. In my humble opinion, Olivier is quite right that La Zone which I forgot to mention in my previous post is quite subdued compared to the other 2 shows. The only thing about the La Zone that irkes me is the host Michel Villeneuve. He is quite sarcastic and a true bandwagon guy. I do agree with Olivier that the guests are very good and provide excellent insight.

    As you can see, lots of Habs coverage in la belle province.

    All the best to all.

  14. Full of blowhards and moose poop. Change the channel. Unless you want to see the nightly praise of Gui Latendresse and his highlight reel of nothing whilst bashing Andrei Kostitsyn.

  15. Dennis, don’t be so hard on yourself and your French. I have a hard time understanding them too and my French isn’t too bad (not too good either). They talk too fast and with too much accent for me. There’s probably a Murphy’s law about the more boring the topic, the easier it is to understand.

  16. Christopher is onto something. Using sports shows to break in a new language is indeed a bad idea, now that I think about it. I know when I was young, living in Quebec city (that is a completely unilingual french city), one of our neighbours gave me an excellent advice when I told him I wanted to speak english. Baiscally, he said: “you like cars? buy Car & Driver or Motortrend and read with a dictionnary. Once you feel comfortable doing so, pick up a novel, or a magasine with longer articles. But keep reading. At some point, you’ll start understanding what they say on tv”.

    Coupled with the classes we had in schoolk, it worked. My point is: reading is the easiest way to approach french, so picking up a good blog or journalist is an excellent way of starting. For those of you who are into the habs, I suggest La Presse’s Mathias Brunet. Always interesting and mostly brings an angle we seldomly hear about.

    His blog is here:

    http://blogues.cyberpresse.ca/lnh/

  17. Olivier – I can read French much better than I can understand. It’s like Christopher says – often it’s just too fast. But I was also a terrible student in school in most subjuects, and I honestly think I have some kind of learning disability. Kids on the other hand are a different story. We were in Russia a couple of years ago and we were playing with my wife’s three year old granddaughter, who must have obviously overheard my wife speaking English. Because all of a sudden, she said a sentence in English, right out of the blue. It was amazing.

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