The Impact midfielder has embraced this city with a smile
In a city where the Montreal Canadiens are the number one sports franchise, where people live, breathe, and dream about the bleu, blanc et rouge, so much so that hockey is considered a religion more than a sport, sometimes the city’s other teams, and their athletes, can get overlooked.
In a city with so much past sports success (the Habs have won a record 24 Stanley Cups since 1909), there is always so much fan pressure to win. With the 24/7 hype that surrounds the Canadiens, some fans often fail to notice the work of some of Montreal’s finest athletes that don’t play for the Habs.
One perfect example is Jeb Brovsky, a defender for the Montreal Impact. If you’re asking, Jeb who? then the point has been proven. The Lakewood, Colo., native came to Montreal in 2011 when the Impact picked him in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Expansion Draft from the Vancouver Whitecaps. When you look at Brovsky’s work and what he has done for this city, for the game of soccer and for kids around the world, it cannot and should not be overlooked simply because he’s not a hockey player.
Unlike many hockey players who are reluctant to come to Montreal, Brovsky arrived here with open arms. On his Twitter account, he often tweets in both languages, and according to an article in The Globe and Mail in May 2012, he was doing whatever he could to be more fluent. The effort itself should already have won the hearts of all of Quebec. If he were playing for the Canadiens, he would have received much more praise for the effort.
In the last minutes of a game against the Whitecaps back in May, Brovsky’s nose was broken after he accidentally collided with Vancouver defender Jordan Harvey, as they both were trying to go for a header. Brovsky left the field momentarily with a bloodied face. However, he quickly returned to finish the game, getting much admiration from the team.
“He’s my hero,” MLSSoccer.com reports teammate Hassoun Camara said at the time. “I mean, he strings games together regularly, and at a high level. I’m really proud to play with a player like him. With the mentality he instills in his partners, he’s an example.”
In 2010, Brovsky founded his non-profit organization called Peace Pandemic. He and his wife, Caitlin, have travelled around the world, mainly in Guatemala and India, “to teach leadership and nonviolence through sports camps and to facilitate cross-cultural connections between kids, all who can be future leaders of peace, giving them the chance to make an impact in their own communities,” according to the organization’s official website.
“Peace Pandemic’s mission is to empower youth through peaceful action,” Brovsky said, according to the Peace Pandemic website. “Peace Pandemic (or at least the idea of Peace Pandemic) began when I was younger. I was exposed to violence at a young age; tragedies like the events that occurred at Columbine High School where I grew up, were close to home and I learned some lessons the hard way.”
In November, the 25-year-old was nominated for the MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year Award, given to a player “for his outstanding work within the local and international communities,” according to the Impact official website. The award however, went to Matt Reis of the New England Revolution.
His work with his organization and his attitude coming into Montreal shows what kind of person he is. All athletes do charity work in the city they play in, including the Canadiens, but players like Brovsky should get just as much attention as CH players do. Unfortunately, in a city like Montreal, where the Habs mean everything and anything, it’s hard for that to happen. But if you’re ever looking for inspiration Montreal, just know that instead of looking inside the Bell Centre,you should try going across town at the Saputo Stadium instead.