Archive for the 'Sports' Category

“Mom, I got my picture in the paper”

June 16, 2011

I hope the police find this gentleman:

The streets of Vancouver erupted into riots last night after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins. My sister had to drive through the city after the game, and she says it was scary. Judging from these photos, I can see what she means. Idiots.

On top of the inherent criminality of the riots, it is a pity that they overshadow the night’s positive news: the Stanley Cup was won by the most deserving team. Congratulations to the Boston Bruins!

Sweet victory

March 1, 2010

Last week I wrote a post in which I lamented the poor performance of Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team, and, more generally, cast aspersions at the “Own the Podium” program which was supposed to make us the winning-est country at these games.  Today I get to eat crow.

The men’s hockey final yesterday was a nail-biter, but it had a happy conclusion: team USA died a sudden death at the hands of our young phenom Sidney Crosby.  Crosby had been silent for much of the tournament, but he certainly knew when to speak up.  The Americans played a valiant game, tying the score in the dying seconds and sending it to a white-knuckled overtime period, and they deserve a lot of credit.  Still, I am happy that we won.

I watched the game online in real-time (or, as I found out, in “real-time”).  To the extent that I have watched any events in these games, I have watched them online, but watching this game was different in several respects.  First, as the game progressed the quality deteriorated until, by the time the overtime period began, it was like watching a fuzzy, low-budget, stop-animation film.  I assume this was due to high demand on their servers, and it was quite amusing.  Second, evidently the “live” internet feed lags several minutes behind the live television feed.   My game-watching was interrupted several times by shouts and cheers and the clanging of cow-bells from neighbouring apartments.  Then, a few minutes later, Canada would score.  This took some of the suspense out of the game but it was also amusing.

As for the “Own the Podium” program, Canada did not win the highest number of medals — that honour went to the USA — but we did win the highest number of gold medals, and we came in third place in the overall medal standings, which is certainly very respectable.  Congratulations to all our athletes!  It was an exciting few weeks in this sleepy northern land.

UPDATE: When the big hockey game was over, I put our little one to bed and then curled up myself, unaware that our nation’s cities were being flooded with festive celebrations.  Nick Milne fills in some of the details.

Provide the podium

February 23, 2010

Five years ago the Canadian Olympic Committee launched a $110 -million program called “Own the Podium”.  The goal of the program was to help Canadian athletes top the medal standings at these Winter Games.  Today is day 12 of 17 at the Olympic competitions, and Canada has 10 medals.   We are in fourth place, behind Russia, Norway, Germany, and the United States.  The United States has 25 medals.

But there is only one medal that really counts, and that is the gold medal in men’s hockey.  And so as if it weren’t enough that our Yankee friends are collecting so many medals, they also had to go and beat our hockey team on the weekend.  Not very sportsmanlike of them.  Americans probably have a hard time understanding how demoralizing it is for Canada to lose to the United States at hockey.  About 2 in 3 Canadians watched the game in which our boys went down to defeat.  The loss was announced on the front page of every major newspaper in the country.  Before the game, caribou were ritually slaughtered across the nation, and baby seals were clubbed on both coastlines.  It was not enough.  We still have a remote chance at a medal, but should we fail the picture will not be pretty.  The federal government will probably declare some sort of multicultural day of mourning.  Horrors.

If you watched the fateful game on Sunday, as I did, you know that in fact the Canadian team played well, and for most of the game was all over the Americans.  The US won the game because of their goaltending, and we lost because of ours.  I could not believe my eyes when Martin Brodeur went out for timbits and a double-double during game-play.

If we beat Germany tonight, and if we beat the Russians tomorrow, it is still possible that we will play the Americans again before this tournament is over.  Or we could go down in ignominious defeat, leaving the podium and the gold medal to the good old U.S. of A.

If worst comes to worst, we can always take solace in the fact that we won the War of 1812.  Nobody can take that away from us.

Sunday night Olympic spirit

February 14, 2010

The winter Olympics began this week in Vancouver.  I watched the opening ceremony, which presented a series of vignettes celebrating Canadian history and culture.  (I learned that Canadian culture is principally rooted in landscape, weather, and political correctness.)  Some of the segments had a regional focus, and my sentimental favourite was the one for Toronto: a crowd of leather-clad, tatooed dancers were milling about and then a car drove onto the field, horn blazing and digitus medius raised in triumph, and ran over a few of them.  That’s us, alright.

Anyway, I thought it might help me to get into the Olympic spirit if I watched some highlights from Olympic competitions gone past.  If you are also in need of an Olympic-spirit booster, check this out:

My Superbowl

February 8, 2010

A friend approached me after Mass, and the following conversation ensued.

Friend: Are you going to watch the football game today?

Me: What football game?

Friend: [silence]

Me: [hopefully] Is it the Grey Cup?

Friend: No, it’s the NFL.

Me: Oh, of course! [Pause] What’s the name of their championship game again?

Friend: The Superbowl.

Me: Right.  I knew that.

At this point I realized that I needed to do something to redeem myself, so I pressed forward.

Me: Who is playing?

Friend: The Colts and the Saints.

Me: Well, since I’m a Catholic I guess I had better cheer for the Saints.

I didn’t watch the game, but I see that I guessed well.  Congratulations to the New Orleans Saints.