Friday, February 09, 2007

How the Puck is Killing the Canuck

Man, we love our hockey don't we?

I mean...really love our hockey.

I mean - given the choice between disbanding the NHL and sacrificing our first born children, most Canadians would probably spending a good 10 minutes weighing their options.

Remember last year's playoffs? If you lived in Alberta I'm sure you do. Better yet, I'm confident that 3 Million Ontarians could have been killed in Canada's largest terrorist attack and that would be relegated on page 2, right after the front page spread about last night's game and right before the 5 page special Edmonton Oiler's pullout section.

Oh, and the riots...lest we forget the riots.

Do you know who benefitted from the NHL strike. Wives. And Children. I shit you not, there was an actual baby boom because hockey nuts had nothing better to do than pay attention to their families.
Relax - I'm not arguing that all hockey fans are violent or neglectfull - that's just the megafans. But hell, it seems that all I see are the mega-fans. You're either a hockey fan or people are wondering if you like to kiss boys.
P.S: I don't really care for the game and I'm very happy kissing my girl.
Long-winded rambling short: Canada is addicted to Hockey - so much so that I'm gonna come right out and say it - Hockey is killing us. Slowly, maybe, but killing us.

Killing us how? Well... culturally. You'd be remiss to think that we're very much different from the states. Our Television, movies, clothes, food, music - a huge chunk of everything we consume culturally (and, I guess physically) is American, but we cling to hockey above all else - like this one sport is the only thing that defines us.

Imagine if this same focus was given to improving our arts - improving our music or just generally retaining some of our top talent so that they don't have to go to the states just to get noticed. Sure, we're really good at staking claim in a Canadian once they've become big down south, but we'll be damned to give them to time of day(or funding) beforehand unless they know how to handle a stick.

And no, I'm not making this up. On a local level, I had a client who was trying to drum up support for Central Alberta's top figure skaters but wasn't making any headway because it had nothing to do with hockey and people were just, well, uninterested.

Mind you, that IS figure skating - so maybe it's a bad example.

Suffice to say - we're loosing good people because we just don't give a damn. I don't have the numbers, and I'd be happy to back down if someone did, but from talking to people for the freelance work, its a big problem.

An exaggeration? Probably. And I know Hockey isnt the problem - it's a great game and it brings us together. So what am I whining about? I guess it's that hockey isn't the only thing we can proud of, but we're running the risk of letting it overshadow everything else we have to offer.

So what can we do? Hells if I know. I'm open to suggestions. I'm certainly not calling for a mass arena burning. And hockey will never go away, nor do I want it too. I'm just saying we should broaden our horizons a bit before we go too overboard.


Creative Freakin' Genius said...

1. Perhaps if we let the figure skaters go at it, there'd be more interest. Nothing like a fistfight on skates. We'd give the figure skaters helmets, of course. We're not complete barbarians, after all.

2. The sheer lack of writers in this country is a glaring example of Canadian Talent heading across the border because they feel they have no choice. Where would they get this idea? From local publishers who are so busy with their foreign clients that they can't even afford a meeting to a writer who lives literally down the street from their office.

3. I find it amusing that Hollywood is overflowing with Canadian Talent and they choose Canadian locations for their films.

I have no idea what else to say. Excellent blog. Most excellent.

Attention Whore said...

You shall be hunted down and burned at the stake for this post my friend. Haha. 9But i do Concur, so we shall burn together...and I Love hockey)

Let me just add in that one of the most successful Canadian movies EVER MADE was not based on hockey...but another great Canadian sport...curling. Men With Brooms is the quintessential Canadian movie. The scene with the beaver traffic jam just friggin kills me!

Scribe of Dreams said...

i agree man, hockey is fun, but we need to spend some time and effort on other things, i mean we only have 6 teams. I hate that its all we talk about and during playoffs, although fun to watch somtimes, it takes over everythings edmontons defense the riots happen everywhere

pikey78oil said...

Bradford...long time reader, first time poster. I am what you would describe as a MEGAFAN. For the Edmonton Oilers to be specific. But does my love for the frozen floor mean that I disregard my family, my obiligations, and my love for the arts. I have an agreement with my wife...I get to watch hockey on the nights that the Oil play, and she gets the rest of my free time. She's happy with that. She doesn't care for hockey, but she knows how much I enjoy it (well not really right now cause the Oilers could suck a golf ball through a garden hose nowadays). And you say it's affecting us culturally. I may agree, but can you tell me what was the last stage play you took in? The last play I went to see was called Deathtrap, in Calgary, done by a community theatre group in February. Maybe I'm missing the point of your argument, but I am a megafan, who also makes time for the arts. I agree that the Arts is disgracefully underfunded, but don't lay the blame at the feet of the NHL. Maybe give your MP a call, whether it be Conservative or even better a Liberal, and let them know that you won't tolerate the brain drain anymore. If our Arts and Culture areas were as well funded as they are down south, perhaps we wouldn't be having this debate! I look forward to your response.

BTW, I don't think those that don't like hockey would rather kiss boys. If that's how you roll fine, but you're not required to be gay if you don't like hockey!