Dave Barnes had just got back from home from his summer vacation and was feeling the post-holidays blues. Mowing his lawn in Happy Valley-Goose Bay wasn’t quite the same as being a tourist in a city like Montreal. So, Barnes decided to lighten things up by doing something different with his lawn. And the hockey fan got some inspiration from his recent trip.
“I guess that got the motivation in me, because when you go to Montreal, you see their colours everywhere. They’re very proud of the Canadiens.”
“So, when I came back, I was mowing the lawn and I kind of had summertime blues- coming back to reality and I decided to change things up to try and change my mind.”
After his girlfriend, Jeannie, left their duplex for a walk, Barnes got to work and showed off his fandom for the whole neighbourhood to see by mowing a 30x 5o design of the famous Canadiens logo on his lawn. Luckily his girlfriend is also a Habs fan, so Barnes didn’t get into any trouble for his impulsive decision.
“She didn’t say anything, so that was a good sign in my opinion,” laughed Barnes.
Barnes has been a Habs fan all his life, something he attributes to his grandmother. He can remember being nine years old and watching the Canadiens win the 1993 Stanley Cup- a feat that included ten overtime wins during the playoff run. Like most Montreal fans during that time, Patrick Roy was Barnes’ favourite player.
The 35-year-old was proud enough of his work to share a photo of his lawn on a Facebook page for Canadiens fans. What happened next was totally unexpected.
“The next morning, I got a message from the editor of the Canadiens (website). He asked if he could get in touch and it just went from there.”
Barnes was further surprised when he saw all the platforms his picture and story was featured on the next day. It appeared on the Montreal Canadiens app, NHL.com, and a Montreal Canadiens newspaper.
“It got a lot more publicity then I thought it would,” he remarked.
As any hockey fan would know, Habs fans love to taunt Leafs fans and vice versa. So, Barnes was fully expecting to receive his fair share of taunts when his lawn went viral. Instead, he was pleasantly surprised that everyone seemed to respect his craftsmanship.
“I was expecting a mixed reaction, but in general it’s been mostly positive- even from Leafs fans, I was expecting more harassment that’s for sure.”