I don’t like hockey.
You heard me.
I’ve just dissed our national pastime.
Go ahead, grab your pitchforks and torches. Bring on the angry comments. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if ol’ Dead Eyes himself, drops by our house tomorrow to collect my passport and revoke my Canadian citizenship.
This bold declaration comes on the heels of lasts nights shameful display of collective effervescence in Vancouver. If you missed the news today, let me fill you in: Vancouver lost a hockey game, so a bunch of hosers sacked and pillaged the city. Stories like this just add to my growing list of reasons why I loathe hockey.
Here are some of the others:
It seems every year a player suffers a debilitating injury on the ice, often the result of a unnecessary scuffle. Sometimes it’s a professional, sometimes it a local kid. In either case, it brings up the same debate over and over again. Should fighting be allowed in hockey? Technically, it’s not permitted and fighting has nothing to do with the overall objective of the game, but many argue it adds to the entertainment value. I find it troubling that so many people think that hockey needs violence. Personally, I think it’s uncivilized. It creates and unsportsmanlike culture that starts with the professionals and trickles down to the recreational levels. Is this really what we want to be teaching our kids?
Hockey seems to be one of those sports that really lends itself to armchair athleticism. I’m not talking about the average hockey fan. I am talking about the die-hard enthusiast. We all know at least one of these guys, but there are millions out there. This guy hasn’t set foot on an ice rink in decades, yet he lives and breathes the sport. He can’t remember his wedding anniversary but can rattle off countless hockey statistics and analyses every game with meticulous detail. His favourite movie is Slap Shot. He buys memorabilia (as investments) and owns a lucky jersey. His allegiance to his local team is unwavering and his social engagements are scheduled around televised events. When his team wins, he exclaims,”WE DID IT!!!” As though being perched on a bar stool, chugging beer and stuffing his face with hot wings during the game somehow contributed to the team’s success.
I hate that guy.
Two words: Don. Cherry.
Don Cherry is the man evolution left behind. Whenever I hear him referred to as a Canadian icon, it makes me want to emigrate.
I used to work in hospitality, and for a while I worked at a hotel that booked a lot of youth sports teams during the winter months. Hockey parents were, by far, the worst guests. Every weekend, the teams were different, but the arguments were the same. No, you can’t check in six hours early, your room is still occupied by last night’s guest. No, your kids can’t play hockey in the corridors with rubber balls and mini sticks, and no, you’re not getting the sticks back until you check out. Also, no, you can’t leave your pre-teen boys unsupervised while you go to the comedy club across the street, and finally, yes, you are financially responsible for the damage as well as the charges for the porn they watched while you were out.
I dreaded those weekends.
That’s all for now.
I’m off to pack up my worldly possessions and find a place where I can find exile. I’m looking for a warm, tropical nation where the national sport is Bunny Dressage or Lazy River Tubing – pastimes where people don’t get so excitable.