A Nation’s Sorrow

June 7, 2007

There has been an ugly trend in the NHL as of late. Actually, there have been two ugly trends…the first of which is nobody watches the sport. However the trend I am writing about does not concern the fact that hockey doesn’t get the recognition that many believe it deserves. My post tonight is regarding Lord Stanley’s Cup, and it’s champions for the past several years.

The Anaheim Ducks won the Stanley Cup tonight with a game 5 win over Ottawa. This makes the Ducks the third consecutive “warm climate” team to beat a Canadian team at their own game. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fairly patriotic fella’…and love to see the red, white, and blue do great in any sport. However, it just doesn’t seem right that in the world of professional hockey….a Tamp Bay team beats a Calgary team, a Carolina team beats an Edmonton team, and an Anaheim team beats a team from Ottawa.

It’s not the idea of Canada losing to the US that bothers me…its the idea that they are losing to teams with beaches, and relatively low snowfall. I don’t expect kids from Toronto to win a surfing competition, and I don’t expect a team from Tampa Bay to win at a game that is played on ice…when the only ice in Tampa Bay is found in Bahama Mama’s.

Lets look at some figures that may help illustrate my frustrations. Take the attendance percentages of the conference champions for each of the past three seasons. The warm climate teams have averaged an attendance percentage of 89.6, the Canadian teams have averaged an attendance percentage of 99.96. Hockey is not just a game in Canada, it is a huge part of life…it just means more to them. I’m not trying to take anything away from the fans of the Eastern Conference teams, but I can’t help but feel for Canada.

The feeling struck me as I was watching game 5 tonight, and the lead in from commercial was a shot of kids surfing at the beach. I imagined how pissed I would be if I was a Canadian, sitting at home with my Labatt Blue…watching my team get pounded by a team originally named after a Disney movie, while the local fans surf the Pacific.

Again, this is just an observation…I’m not trying to take anything away from anybody. Ducks, great job on getting the cup. Canada…there is always next year.

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