Sunday, February 28, 2010

Golden

A complete nail-biter, won in sudden-death overtime by a goal scored by our own "Sid the Kid" Crosby (that's him, second from the right) of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. (All of Atlantic Canada claims him as our own. We're chummy like that.)

As of this writing, traffic in downtown Vancouver is totally shut down due to crowds in the street. Yonge and Dundas in Toronto is a mob scene, and traffic is shut down in a large portion of that city too. What I wouldn't give to be on George Street in St. John's right now.

All I can say is, it's a good thing we won this squeaker. I shudder to think of the collective national nervous breakdown that would've followed a loss.

We've had a great games. More gold medals than any single country in a winter Olympics. Many incredible stories from many incredible athletes.

But there can be no doubt about it - this is what mattered. Hockey is our national religion, and we practice it devoutly. They were playing for our national pride. Some said they were playing for our national psyche. There have been thousands of articles and tv stories and blog posts leading up to this game, analyzing it, predicting it, musing on what it means.

The women were under the same pressure, and delivered. (The ONLY women's Olympic hockey team, by the way, whose head coach is a woman.) Tonight, all the pressure in the world was on the men. And they did it, too.

The US team played very well, all Olympics long (hell, they beat us - and deservedly so - in our first match-up, which gave the Canadian team some much-needed time and practice to gel), and happily for them, hockey means very little to the US, so they won't bear too much disappointment. They certainly won't bear the kind of disappointment and angst and soul-searching the Canadian men would have, had they lost.

So I think this one turned out just right.

I started off extremely skeptical about these games, but I've come around. They're still too expensive, too commercialized, and too environmentally irresponsible - but there can be no doubt that these particular games have been the kind of bonding experience that is all too rare and very valuable in a country as huge and diverse as Canada. And that's a good thing.

An update: Roger Ebert just posted this to his Twitter account:
@ebertchicago: Notice: The nation of Canada will resume limited functions in about an hour. Full service is expected by sometime Tuesday.

ronnie

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5 Comments:

Blogger Sherwood Harrington said...

I just hope that all of the Sharks in that game can come back together as a team right quick. And that Nabokov hasn't been disappeared at Putin's orders.

Odd thing I just noticed a few minutes ago: of the 23 players on the USA roster, 6 have Ryan as their first name, one has Ryan as his last name, and there's a Brian there to boot.

That must have been one confusing locker room.

Congrats!

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

Heck, I probably would have felt guilty if the US had won; it would have been like doing donuts on your friend's lawn after he threw a great party. Looking forward to all the hardware on display in SJ, and hope they keep up the good work for the rest of the season!

5:30 AM  
Blogger Dann Todd said...

Congrats to the Canucks for an outstanding gold medal performance!

I hate to burst your bubble, Ronnie, but there are a bunch of States where hockey is taken very seriously, indeed. We have been known to genuflect towards Toronto from time to time. And we certainly know how to kneel when Lord Stanley's cup arrives. [grin]

I noticed that as well, Sherwood. Must have been a really confusing locker room

9:08 AM  
Blogger Brian Fies said...

"Ryan!"
"Yes coach?" "Yes coach?" "Yes coach?" "Yes coach?" "Yes coach?" "Yes coach?" "Yes coach?"
"Not you, Brian!"
"Sorry, coach."

Congrats on the game, I'm happy for you and agree that no other outcome would've been fair, right and just. However, I did watch the spectacular (in all meanings of the word) closing ceremonies and have just two comments:

1. With all affection and respect, what the hell is wrong with you people?

2. SHATNER!!!! I am content.

12:18 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

The USA played amazing hockey and deserve a big congrats. Funny how their coach can't do a thing with the last place Toronto Maple leafs.
Actually not funny at all!

4:56 PM  

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