I know I’ve griped about lack of decent hockey coverage in the states on a number of occasions in the past, and I’m sure that 99.9999% of you could give a rats arse about this but as I’ve also said in the past, it’s my blog and you can find a sharp stick and sit and spin if you don’t like what I blather on about.
Anyways, back to me.
I never truly realized just how much I missed the seeing hockey games until the Oilers / Detroit game came on the TV tonight. I’m not the biggest hockey fan on the planet to begin with but I do enjoy watching a game now and then. And I will be fair and say that there are hockey games on tv in Texas so it’s not like I haven’t had a anything to watch for the past year (not that I’d want to watch the Stars to begin with but that’s a horse of a different colour and the basis for another rant entirely). It wasn’t the fact that it was on tv, though I really enjoyed listening to Ron & Don and the rest of the CBC crew again.
My realization about how much I missed it came solely from the cultural identity that surrounds the sport. Hockey is very much an integral part of who we are as Canadians even the ones that don’t care for the sport. To the general populace in the states (specifically the south) it’s just another sport that tends to take a back seat to the holy trinity of Football, Baseball & Basketball. Here, people look forward to games. They rearrange work schedules if possible to see the games (sorry Colin). They are genuinely excited about their team making the playoffs and there is a noticable positive vibe that pervades a city when the team is doing well. Even if, as an individual, you’re not a hockey fan, the glow coming from those that are can cheer you and give an unconscious moral boost.
Now I’m not trying to make this a Canada is better than the states rant <sotto voce> It is 😛 </sotto voce> I’m just commenting on why I missed hockey here. It wasn’t the coverage. It wasn’t the teams. It simply was the social and cultural impact that the sport has on us as Canadians. It’s almost as if it’s a Force of Nature. Hrrm, I wonder if all it takes to win the cup these days is 4 green and 2 colourless?
Anyhow… the Oil won tonight, as did the Sens and Flames and that’s all that really matters in the grand scheme of things. Here’s hoping that Lord Stanley’s Cup doesn’t summer south of the 49th!
*wanders off bemusedly while humming random verses from The Arrogant Worms “We Like Hockey” and Stompin’ Tom’s “The Good Ol’ Hockey Game”*