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!