Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Stanley and World Cup: Sports Gone Silly

Tonight the Carolina Hurricanes will win the Stanley Cup...or the Oilers will spoil the fun. It's June 14th. It's almost summer, well into spring. Canadians spent the last two months of the winter grumbling about the cold, looking for travel deals to head south, then shot out of their houses for the beach on the first day that could be even remotely construed as warm, yet they want to watch a game played on a surface sure to make you shiver just looking at it. Even worse are the fans who pack the arenas, entering in t-shirts and shorts, but bundling up to sit near the rink...unless they're in an arena that can keep the air warm and the ice cold, an innovation developed to allow a winter sport to be played in the summer.

The Cup used to be won in April, then May, then the first week of June. Now it's the second week of June. Anyone else notice a trend here? Pretty soon, fans will be slathering on the suntan lotion during the day and putting on the parka at night to watch the playoffs in July. Athletes will only have August off to catch a round of gold or two before the pre-season Exhibition games start in September. The Labour Day Classic will come to mean something else.

Speaking of silly sport situations -- Roger asked Rick this morning on CHUM FM why a country like Togo with 6 million people can field a World Cup team, but our country of 30 million cannot? He failed to add that it's been 20 years since Canada was in the World Cup, ending up dead last, at a time when soccer wasn't played in every school in the country, like it is now. Plus surely all those diehard fans clogging our streets would've spawned a few athletes that could take Canada's soccer team (we have a team, right?) to the Word Cup. Of course the only problem would then be who would the third-generation Italians/Portugese/Brasilians root for?

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