Here's something you don't see on the blog very often. A post about sports! Guest-blogger Jason weighs in on the Canada vs. USA match-up at the Olympics on Saturday and has some...shall we say...strong feelings for one of the Canadian players. Not those kind of strong feelings! Get your mind out of the gutter, people.
In the aftermath of the Olympics, that biennial event designed to bring the world together in staunch but healthy competition and international friendship, I’m just going to come out and say it: I hate Sidney Crosby. The centre for the Pittsburgh Penguins has got to be one of the most over-hyped hockey players ever. I mean, he's talented, but he rarely ever delivers for Pittsburgh, usually only providing assists rather than out-in-out goals. He believes his own hype, however, and will now have more reason to believe it because he actually managed to score the final tie-breaking goal over the USA hockey team last night playing for his native Canada.
For the official record, I'm wicked fine with Canada winning as many gold medals as they want. They kind of deserve to have a medal for something other than modesty. Which doesn’t even get a medal because if it there was one, who would wear it?
So wherefore my ire? As a die-hard hockey fan, I somehow cannot get behind the spirit of cooperation that the Olympics are all about the second the puck hits the ice. I think this is because hockey is the only sport I know of where bad sportsmanship is actually encouraged. It’s kind of why I love it, actually. I have the worst cognitive dissonance watching the Olympic hockey matches because while I’m trying to get behind What It All Means, all I really want to do is yell things about the mothers of the opposing team’s players doing amorously inappropriate things with moose. The Olympics is about healthy competition. Hockey is about bloodsport.
And frankly, Canada fascinates me. I grew up in one of the only places in the entire continental United States where you had to drive south (yes, south) to get to Canada. A love for our neighbors to the north is not an easy one to nurture – one who is obsessed with England is an Anglophile, one who loves all things French is a Francophile. Even those with an affinity for the Irish can be called Hibernophiles (Never heard of it, but I like it --Maggie Cats). So far, we’ve yet to come up with a similar concept for those of us who have a predilection for the witty, modest folk who share our borders. Of all the people competing, surely these are the ones that we can all agree not to be angry with because they played hard and fair, right?
Yeah, you’d think that. And then I remember that up until these games, the USA was the only team to ever win the gold in hockey while as the host country for the games. And we did it twice. And Sidney Crosby wasn’t even born the last time it happened. And suddenly I’m right back to the old hockey fan that I have been bred over 30-odd years to be.
Thank God the regular NHL season can now go back to its standard programming and I can go back to insulting players without my brain hurting.