May 30, 2011

In Response to Jackie's Hockey Post...

(Since I can not comment on your blog personally, for obvious reasons, I chose this method because I believe that your blog post is an important topic and deserves to be discussed.)


"I really don’t get this whole “is Vancouver Canada’s team?” debate. I’m quite sure that this has nothing to do with hockey, whatsoever. People have pointed out that it is a result of envy of our city and the ongoing debate of whose city is the best to live in. Who gives a shit? This kind of crap does nothing to promote the sport within our own country and dare I say it, this behaviour is very un-Canadian. Canada only has 6 teams, with a possible 7th with the return of the Jets. I would think that from year to year, the odds of a Canadian team making it to the Stanley Cup finals is pretty low, so if people want the cup back in Canada, they had better get the hell on board, because who knows when it will happen again. This past season looked like this for Canadian teams:

Eastern Division:
6th – Montreal
10th – Toronto
13th – Ottawa
Western Division:
1st - Vancouver
10th – Calgary
15th – Edmonton

The way I see it, if Montreal can avoid the plague of injuries they suffered in this last season and acquire some more firepower for their forward line, they have a good chance of doing very well next year. The remaining teams, especially Edmonton, will likely be going into a season or two of re-building, unless a miracle happens. Edmonton has had “lunch-bucket” teams come out of nowhere, in the past, but the conditions must be perfect. If Vancouver can keep their roster intact after this season…there will no-doubt be some salary negotiating going on regardless of the outcome of the final…they may just ride this wave into next season, but things aren’t the way they used to be. It now seems to be a rarity for teams to repeat greatness in consecutive seasons. So, Canucks fans soak it up and enjoy it, because it may be another 17 years before this happens again. And, the rest of Canada, I’ve travelled all across this amazing county of ours and I can honestly say that, yes, Vancouver is the most beautiful city in Canada, which is why everyone on this planet seems to be immigrating here. But we do LOVE hockey and we do LOVE Canada, so hop aboard or shut up about it. You’re embarrassing yourselves ;-)"


The roster shows 22 Canadian players on the Bruins, compared to only 16 for the Canucks, is that correct? Last I heard, Edmonton Oilers actually had the most Canadian players of any team in the NHL, so should we not be cheering for them if the motivation is to "keep it Canadian"? I don't even know if keeping the cup in Canada would equate to keeping it Canadian at this point, but I have heard this argument often.

As for hopping aboard, would Sharks fans root for the Kings to keep it in California? Would a Jets fan start rooting for the Giants if their team was eliminated? Would Manchester United fans suddenly start rooting for Manchester City? Would the Raider fan abandon ship and become a Charger fan when their team started failing?
It would strike me as extremely band wagon-y to start rooting for a team you have riled against all season out of a desperation to keep another team from winning.
I just can't bring myself to root for the Canucks, and I'm from BC. I grew up sitting on the laps of the great Oilers (Gretzky included) and so they will always (even as they slowly draft-pick themselves into embarrassment) have a place in my heart. That said, I have grown an appreciation for Boston since Greg is such a fan and it is sweet that they have made it so far. Otherwise, I must say, I wouldn't be nearly as invested in the finals this year.

All of that aside, rivalry makes sports entertaining, but sometimes I feel people take the rivalry to the point of actual hatred and aggression, and that is disappointing. When the game is over, drop your swords... there are much better ways* to spend this glorious summer.

Hockey is Canada's sport. It would do us a huge disservice to have the Run for the Cup tear us apart.
xo Sheen




Anonymous said...

We can argue all day about which team is the most "Canadian", but that was not my point at all. In the past, if only one Canadian-based team was left in the playoffs, traditionally, other cities in Canada would, for the most part, support that one remaining team. This doesn't seem to happen anymore, for some reason. This is likely where this whole debate has originated from.

I'm sure it would be the same scenario if Toronto was in Vancouver's place right now. People shift their support to other teams in the post-season all the time, in all sports, if their team doesn't make it through. These people are fans of sport and are not necessarily bound to one team and one team only. They may not love the remaining teams as much as theirs, but they are still fans. Can you imagine if people in Europe stopped watching the Champion's league because their team lost? Without people watching and supporting, there would be no tournament.

It IS ridiculous how so many people take the rivalry so seriously and actually fight because of it. I'm all for the fun of ribbing people from other cities and I think it's healthy because that means people are passionate about the game, but the ones who boycott the playoffs because their team didn't make the cut are not doing any good by crying about it and hating everyone else. it's just silly.

I enjoy what sport does for a city and I admire the players, regardless of the team, who make it this far because it is a GRIND. I enjoy not only the physical battles, but the mental battles that take place as well. All I am trying to say is that I am a sports fan. If Edmonton was in this position instead of Vancouver, I would be cheering for them because, personally, the cup coming back to Canada is not just for the team, it's for the people in Canada who love hockey and see it as "our game". We've gotten away from that mentality, for some reason.

I am a fan of both the Habs and the Canucks. If they ended up in the finals together, I would be happy that both teams made it through and I would just enjoy the game, as it is being played. It's not just about who ends up winning the cup, it's about the game itself - the skills, the drama, the unbelievable saves, the fights, the triple-overtimes, etc.

Anyway, we could go on and on all day, but we shouldn't because it's 20 fucking degrees outside and we live in Canada, the most beautiful place in the world.

Thanks for the reply, sweetie:-)
Good talk!


The blog post, in its entirety:

Bee said...

Greg's brother James is a San Jose fan (I know- what? I think he was adopted...) and when he & Philip had a bet, Philip ended up having to change his facebook profile to one of a smiling James and Philip in a Sharks jersey.
It was ridiculously funny, as it should be. FUN.

Did I ever tell the story of my friend Alex, a Leafs fan, almost ending our friendship (not kidding) when he saw me cheering on the Habs? I don't like nor dislike the team, really, but LePage is a fan and I thought the rivalry was funny.
It was not funny. He was PISSED. "If you cheer on the Habs, I don't think we can remain friends..." WHAT?

When hockey stops being the sport that brings Canada together and starts being a cause for dissension, I get ornery.
C'mon, Guys.
That being said, rivalry IS fun. Dude, I trash talk playing lawn bowling. If there was no competition, there would be no sport. My entire Canucks argument is "Jesus, we can't let them win- we'll never hear the end of it..."
But to hear that people are actually boycotting the finals is disheartening. That is gross and juvenile. If you aren't interested because your team is out, I get it. But boycotting it? It's not animal slaughter.


Hockey aside, how do you like the new & improved Janice Dickinson? Yeah?
Yummy, hey?
You're welcome.

Anonymous said...

Haha, poor Alex. I"m sure he was just temporarily insane and has since snapped out of it...has he?

I think Janice Dickenson would eat her children, if she had any. She scares me a little, I'm not gonna lie. *shudder*

PS: I've never met a San Jose fan who wasn't from San Jose, so good for James! He is unique ;-)


Bee said...

Re: Alex, I am not sure. He moved back to Toronto to pursue music. I doubt it, since he is back in Leafs territory.

And the pub usually doesn't know what to do with itself when Greg and James watch hockey there.
"Bruins? Sharks?? What city am I in...?" =)