Canadian and un-Canadian? …
“At the Winter Olympics in Turin, the Canadian women’s hockey team did not lose a game. They did not defeat their opponents they destroyed them. They beat Italy 16-0, Russia 12-0, Sweden 8-1. When they dispatched Finland by a score of 6-0 it seemed like a squeaker.”
Those are Andrew Cohen’s first sentences in the introduction to his book, The Unfinished Canadian.
He continued, “But instead of bringing a chorus of congratulations from home, they’re string of triumphs brought hissing and hand wringing. Don Cherry, whose redneck ramblings on Hockey Night in Canada enjoy a large following, accused the team of “running up the score. It is not the Canadian way.”
“Father Raymond J. de Souza, a columnist with the National Post, said it was ‘unsporting’ to win by humiliating margins and proposed abolishing women’s hockey.”
He went on, but that was enough. Cohen’s book is trying to answer a question, which has plagued the Canadian elite for a century — What is a Canadian?
For starters we’re usually courteous, we talk about the weather a lot, and, we aren’t loud mouths.
So what’s the big deal? The women went over there to win. They played the game ‘the Canadian way.’ Like the Boy Scouts, they were prepared; they apparently played fair as the Brits supposedly taught us, and they played with flair and finesses as the French taught, and they brought home the gold. Isn’t that the name of the game?
We were as proud of them as if they were family members, and I thought all Canadians were until Cohen’s book came along.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I nominate the players and support staff of 2006 Canada’s Olympic Gold Medal winning Women’s Hockey team, our best hockey team, ever, who should be lionized in the Hockey Hall of Fame.
We’re unfamiliar with such a leadership style. It’s been too long since we had a team who all play with such skill and passion they set, according to naysayers, too high a bar.
You don’t suppose making the millionaire pros look like amateurs had anything to do with the negative tirades do you?
I wonder if any of the gals say, “Lord t’underin”?
It sure fits here!
Impatience . . .
“Results!” exclaimed Edison to an assistant marveling at the total of his failures — 50,000 experiments for example, before he succeeded with a new storage battery.
“Results? Why, young man, I have gotten results. I know 50,000 things that don’t work.”
So 50,000 times, or more our elite have asked, ‘What is a Canadian?’
Well, for starters, how about the 2006 Women’s Olympic Hockey team; General Rick Hillier and his warriors overseas; the thousands of volunteers in hundreds of organizations, and individual Canadians going around performing random acts of kindness, and . . . the list is as long as Edison’s patience.
A tip of the hat to Canadians who know the ‘rest of the story!’