Well, tonight's the night. Team Canada vs. Team USA on the hockey rink. I think most of this country is shutting down around 6:30 (Eastern time…) tonight.
In fact… the Globe and Mail (one of Canada's national newspapers) had this headline today:
Super Sunday Arrives In Vancouver
Well, isn't that the truth.
In attempt to alleviate public drunkeness (what hockey fans drink?) liquor stores in the Vancouver city centre were asked to close early last night, and this may be repeated tonight… Public drinking isn't allowed, but it certainly seems popular in downtown Vancouver during these Olympic games… it's expected more than 200,000 rowdy (what hockey fans are rowdy?) are going to be on the streets during the game tonight. I hope everything goes well.
I was at the grocery store yesterday and overheard 3 separate conversations regarding tonight's game. Without exaggeration, every other person had on some type of Team Canada gear! I can't believe how much everyone is into the Olympics this year… we are passionate fans!
I'll tell you, I'll enjoy watching the game tonight more than I've enjoyed watching marathon sessions of curling (why does it seem that curling is always on? and one of the female curling commentators is comes off as a total know it all curling snob… anyways). I'll already bitten all my finger nails off, so I imagine there will be a lot of hair pulling and dramatic moments of flailing and rolling off the couch in agony. We'll have a uniquely non-Canadian perspective, as William and I have no choice but to watch the American coverage of the game…
I think I'll keep note of William's comments during the game…
Whew! The Canadian Olympic Men's hockey team beat the Swiss in a shoot out last night. What a nail biter! Wow, it was stressful. I should have made a written record of what William was yelling at the TV. He was passionate and animated. Not because we're Canadian hockey snobs… because we love hockey… The next game that will cause racing hearts and sweaty palms is on Sunday evening… CAN vs. USA… yikes. I feel nauseated just thinking about it.
It's nearly the week-end, but William is on call and has to work tomorrow (not because his wife is a lazy ass with no job, but because his company is busy…) so we're going to be laying low this week-end.
I had the Worst Dream Ever last night! I was tricked into being admitted into rehab. In my dream I kept saying, 'I don't have a problem with alcohol!' and they kept saying, 'That's what everyone says…' It was terrible, (not the not drinking part, haha) and so real – I felt completely powerless.
Kiks, JD Barb and I went indoor golfing a couple of days ago. It was so much fun, and I'm itching for the season to start! Can't wait!
On the week-end I was listening to the Detroit sports talk station on the radio. The show host was stating in no uncertain terms that he was cheering (of course) for a Mens Team USA victory in Olympic hockey, but more importantly he was cheering for a Canadian loss. He stated that he was sick and tired of 'Canadian Hockey Snobbery' and was asking Americans to call in if they felt the same way, (because a lot of Canadians do call into that show). He also commented that 'Canadians think they own the game, think they know everything about hockey, and no one else's opinion matters'.
Well, that is just stupid, stupid, stupid.
The thing is… Canadians LOVE hockey. It's that simple. We don't own the game. We don't think we know everything (okay, maybe Don Cherry does… or at least thinks he does…). We just love hockey.
We grow up playing hockey (my brothers didn't, as they were 'farm kids', who never stepped in an arena, but we still had skates, pucks and sticks to be played with out on the large ice patches in the field…). In general, we grow up in arenas. Not growing up in a hockey family per se, I was introduced to the game in highschool following our team (who won all Ontario btw), and the local Junior C team.
My friends play hockey, and my friends' kids play hockey, either in homemade backyard rinks (they are EVERYWHERE) or in an organized league. Kids here learn to skate between the ages of 2-4. From stoller to rink. Every town has an arena. Every town has travel hockey teams. Facebook comments are dominated in the winter months by parents conveying their kids' scores and tournament results. Parent's wear their kid's team clothes. They hold fundraisers throughout the year, raising money for equipment and tournaments.
We watch hockey. Have you ever seen 4 or 5 year olds play hockey? I'll tell you it's the cutest thing you could ever see. We watch Hockey Night in Canada (which continually has the highest ratings of any Canadian show). We watch the NHL and talk about play off hopes and dreams around the dinner table. We watch Womens Team Canada hockey, regardless of who they are playing…
Oh, and we love our Canadian Juniors.
Canada has just over 33 million people. 13 million Canadian households tuned into watch the Canadian Juniors on New Year's Eve. If by chance, a Canadian didn't watch it, we certainly read about it… the loss to the US was on the front page of every local and national newspaper.
This Olympic game is the most important to us. By far. Why? Because we love hockey. Mens Team Canada has only won 1 gold medal… and that was in 2002…ending our 50 year dry spell…. how can we be snobs about that?
We know when the bronze medal game is. We know when the gold medal game is. We know who is playing when, and we'll watch. Why? Because – we love hockey!
First of all, obviously, I'm not a fashionista. I do however like the sporty fashions of the Olympics. The fashion is a thing of pride. What we are wearing is showing the world who we are, and God knows us Canadians don't want to be too flamboyant, or well, ignored. You may not realize this, but Canada is known to be a leader in Winter Olympic fashion… From CTV Olympics, I quote…
Deanna Devitt, department head of fashion design at the University of the Fraser Valley, said Canada has become a trendsetter in Games apparel by being on the pulse of fashion, while creating well-balanced designs that make strong use of the Maple Leaf and the red and white…
But perhaps the most recognized piece of Canadian Olympic apparel is the poor boy cap designed by Roots for the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano…
The red beret emblazoned with 'Canada' in bold white lettering became a sensation at home and abroad, with more than 500,000 caps sold and worn by the likes of Prince William and hip-hop mogul P. Diddy…
"The Canadian brand is so strong that I think the pieces that really represent the Canadian brand well sit well with Canadians, and Canadians wear them and that, in turn, shows support for the athletes."
Don't believe that we are a trend setter? Let me give you visuals…
Here is Team USA in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano… I don't know who the maker of these clothes was…
Here is Team Canada in 1998 sporting sweet Roots gear.
In 2002 in Salt Lake City, here is Team USA…
Hmmm…. those hats look familiar! Oh yes, Team Canada was wearing those 4 years back! I think the clothing sponsor was Nike…
Here is Team Canada in 2002…
This year we moved away from the traditional red, and adopted more of a burgundy colour. Note that we are still sporting the same style hats. Again, this was made by Roots (Canadian clothing company started by two guys from Detroit btw).
Here is Team USA in 2006 in Torino, (Torin) Italy:
Wow! Darker red, darker blue just like Team Canada sported 4 years ago… If you replaced the blue with red, this is our Olympic gear from 1998! Oh, and look! It's made by Roots! Copy cats! Here is Team Canada in 2006:
In 2006, we kept with the darker red colour, lengthened the coats a bit, and opted for a more traditional hat style. We looked great, and the long coat was worn by many countries this year.
This year Team USA really went out on their own, getting completely away from the long coat trend, instead sporting a cropped jacket with the Polo logo as large as the Team USA logo. I do like the style and colours (again darker blue and red…) , but I bet there are many Americans walking about with cold butts….
Is that a moose on their touques? I guess there are moose in Alaska… Although known to be a symbol of Canada… I'll let that one slide… Oh, and the touques. Everyone must know that touques are Canadian, right? On home turf, Team Canada decided to sport the traditional touque, and our gear was made by HBC (one of the oldest companies in the world, chartered in 1670 btw…)
And…. have you seen our mitts? They are awesome! There are everywhere! Even on Arnold!
Millions of these mittens have been sold (a lot of the money going to charity of course), and our other HBC fashions are pretty awesome…
Hi Steve Yzerman… no pressure on you at all… People all over Canada are wearing the Olympic gear. I realize that the winter Olympics are probably more important to Canadians than Americans, and I'm certainly not saying that we are better than everyone or anyone… I'm just proud, that's all.
Oh, in my opinion failing miserably in Olympic fashion this year, was Germany. Yikes!
I'm quite proud to be Canadian, and I think that NBC has done an excellent job in their Winter Olympic coverage showing the world (okay, at least Americans) who we are. I thought the opening ceremonies were excellent and a good representation of what's going on in Canada.
It is funny, because it's very true that so much of who we are can be described as who we are not.
Okay, that was a beer commmercial (Remember – the best Canada has to offer?), but pretty informative nonetheless.
It's funny that our Prime Minister has asked Canadians to spontaneously display our pride, and we'll apologize for it later. We are a little reserved, but this is me being patriotic (that sounds American!).
More moments of pride and Olympic observations to come.
This morning I've busted my butt and cleaned the house (as per usual on Friday morning). I did not wash the floors and I do feel a slight guilt about that. Weird. Next week is Super Bowl – I'll have to wash the floor then for sure. Even with that brilliant reasoning, I still feel guilty. Weird.
I ventured into Essex. I hit the variety store to cash in a get another lottery ticket. Hopefully it will be a dollar well spent. Probably not.
I went to The Beer Store to return empties, a lot of empties. A beer supplier was in there and said, 'Musta been some party'. I felt a little judged, but whatever. I just replied, 'our friends drink a lot. I think they have a problem.' I then wished I was more clever.
In the beer store I saw their promotion for Canadian: '28 for the price of 24', but even more tempting was the free Team Canada apparel inside the case. With the returns, the case was only $23, so who could resist? I ripped open the case as soon as it was in the safety of my trunk, chanting, 'no touque, no touque, no touque' (I wanted one of the long sleeved tees, I have tee envy of Kiki's recent score), and oh, hey, a touque. It's actually pretty sweet. We used to have a black one (this one is red), but I think it's in the land of lost socks.
I noticed on the case, the slogan for the beer was, 'The best Canada has to offer'. Really? I thought, that's the best? What about our contributions in World War 2? What about Pam Anderson? Didn't Canadians invent baseball? What about Trivial Pursuit? Smarties? Insulin? The Wonder Bra? The Jolly Jumper? I guess the makers of Canadian are right. The beer is pretty darned tasty. (For more Canadian invention, see this site).
In the parking lot of the grocery store I parted with a bag of misfit sweaters, donating them to St. Vincent De Paul. I also unloaded a bag of plastic bags from Christmas. Ahh… I feel a 'Hoarder's' inspired purge coming on!
I purchased a few random grocery items (salsa, taco sauce, chips, frozen uncooked shrimp, and jalapeno peppers: I'm sure you're glad you now know), and headed home, where I spoke to William, checked FB (nothing exciting), and paid some bills.
Now? Maybe a little lunch. Maybe a little time on the couch watching 'Real Housewives'. Tonight – no steak night, date night – that's tomorrow (YEAH!), maybe a movie, maybe a game with William. But one thing for sure: Life is good.