Monday, February 22, 2010

About last night...

I have to be honest: I hope Don Cherry cried himself to sleep clutching his teddy bear, gently rocking back and forth in a stupor of sorrow. I honestly hope he did, because that's what happens to the exceedingly arrogant in all the movies with happy endings.

Of course, my enthusiasm is primarily centered on the fact that I am cheering for my own country, for the team's success is a reflection on our nation. Their victories bring greater honor and glory to the United States of America.

Whatever.

Why is it we cheer so much, not for, but against?
It's been very easy for the Republicans in our country to achieve their ends, because they have been solidly against every policy of the Commander in Chief. It doesn't matter what they're FOR, because after all, many of the policies they oppose they actually used to support, or even originated. No, they are against a person, and therefore against all he supports. This is what is called ad hominem. We don't like the man, therefore we are against anything and everything he suggests.

I am not above this. I was elated that New Orleans won the Super Bowl, not because it was a wonderful event for a city that has suffered so much, not because they were a great underdog with a long history of underdoggedness, but because Peyton Manning lost. Outside of Fenway Park they sell "I hate Peyton Manning" t-shirts. (Understand that New England Patriots fans despise manning almost as much as they hate the Yankees.) To see Peyton Manning lose the Super Bowl was almost as good as watching the Pats win it. Maybe even better.

And in baseball, there are a great number of self-described Red Sox fans who define themselves not by how much they love the Sawx, but by how much they hate the Yankees. They will tell you of "ABBY": AnyBody But the Yankees. In truth, these fans are not really Red Sox fans. They could be Milwaukee Brewers fans and it would be all the same. They are Yankees Haters. THAT is their team, and those are their fellow fans. Yankees Haters.

And so I have had to be very careful in gauging my feelings about USA's victory over Canada. I like a lot of what Don Cherry has to say about the Instigator rule, and some other points, but I despise his overt racism and xenophobia. His arrogance is infuriating. Sorry Don, but Canada is NOT the best hockey team in the world. Canadians have no monopoly that precludes all other nations from enjoying the sport. There has been no injunction issued to prevent Swedish or Slovakian players from participating in the free market of the NHL where the best players in the world are rewarded for being the best.

It's too bad that my opposition to team Canada stems largely from one man. Its the sort of irrational political bullshit that makes normal folks hate the Montreal Canadiens. But it also comes from Sidney Crosby, about whom I've written extensively. He needs to be brought back to earth, and his anointment as the "Most Marketable Player in the NHL" by Jeremy Roenick and countless others is out of touch with reality.

Beyond that, it's not just that I dislike their players (save one) or the worst of their frothy-mouthed jingoistic supporters. Honestly, the team is not all that great.
Canada has good players, but is not a great team. We are wrong to call them great before they have even played together, and before they have won in convincing fashion.
So far, Canada has beaten a vastly inferior Norwegian team, won a squeaker against a good, but still inferior Swiss team in a shootout, and lost to the US. And the truth is, I suspected this was what we would see. But to lots of other people, Canada was infallible. I have talked to some Canadians here on my campus who had no doubt that they would win Gold, and never even be challenged in the process.
Time for a wakeup call, Canada. Time to face the reality that this team is not head and shoulders above its competition. I feel vindicated, as do a lot of others. If and when Canada comes together to become a great team and starts actually dominating, then I'll tip my hat, call them what they are and enjoy the show. But until then I will satisfy myself with "I told you so."

Oh, and Go USA!

2 comments:

diego.j.kane said...

I think you are misunderstanding Canadians. We don't expect gold, but we damn well want it.

And keep in mind that regardless which team hass shown more potential, anything can happen. Hockey is a game built up by thousands of split second decisions by many different players, so it is entirely plausible to say the game could go either way.

I do agree Canada is looking shaky, and will not be surprised if the US wins, but you never really know.

I went to the February 2nd match between the Canucks and Canadiens, and while I expected the Canucks to win, I was hoping Montreal would give them a run for their money (Having lost to the Canucks 7-1 in the previous meeting).

In one game, Jaroslav Halak made a name for himself, stopping 45/47 shots and leading the Canadiens to a 3-2 victory in regulation. While the odds were stacked heavily against the Canadiens, you can never really predict who will catch fire and who will have a cold streak.

Don Cherry is an airhead. He's a stain on the Canadian flag.

As for tomorrow's game, may the best team win. It really doesn't matter to me. I'd like to see Canada win, but I'm not about to put my life on hold to grieve if we lose. It's just not that big of a deal to me.

-D Kane, 18, Vancouver
15 Years playing the game.

Habsfan1993 said...

Thanks for stopping by, Kane!
At least we agree on Don Cherry being an idiot.

I'll have more on the game today, but for now let me say congrats to the Canadians on the gold.