Friday, January 06, 2006

Jealousy breeds respect

Looking at a strand about the WJC on Hockey Rants last night got me thinking. The words "jealousy" and "envy" keep coming up along with all the political hating. Jes semi-humorously made the point that Russians were jealous of Canadian hockey and prosperity. A commentor from Tzar Putin's realm pointed out that he wasn't jealous at all and thought his country was doing just fine thank you. Some steroid-enhanced commentor took Jes to task for possibly being gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) and hating Swedes.

I'll be honest. I am way jealous of Canadian hockey culture. I've never lived anywhere where hockey is part of the social fabric. I never been able to find anybody at work or in the neighborhood who cares a lick about the game I love. Unless I played adult hockey, I would never encounter another human who embraced hockey culture and values.

So I am jealous. Canadians just do hockey better at every level. HNC is a scream. Grapes and Don are so much more watchable than any talking heads doing hockey in the US. Love him or hate him, Grapes passes the Jim Rome test-He has a take and he doesn't suck. I also have a definite love/hate relationship with Toronto broadcasters. They piss me off with their bombastic "Leafs vs. the world BS," but I keep coming back for more. There might be seven games on, and somehow I'll always end up migrating to the Leafs, Calgary, or Edmonton game. My head might tell me to watch Tampa Bay vs. Florida, but my heart pushes me towards Joe Bowen and his constant french kissing of Darcy Tucker between "Holy Mackinaw!" outbursts.

This week, I could get the Australia vs. South Africa cricket match on pay-per-view, but not the WJC. To get the WJC, I would have to get Fox Sportsnet North. To get that, I would have to subscribe to every freakin' Fox Sportsnet channel. I don't want or need to know how the Our Lady of Perpetual Guilt girls basketball team did last night in the New Jersey high school playoffs. Canadians didn't have to look very far to find the WJC games-I would have had to take out a second mortgage.

I went to a local eatery last night for a sandwich while my daughter had volleyball practice. I sat at the bar and asked the guy to put the WJC or Kings/Coyotes game on. Nope-didn't have that on their satellite package. I was stuck with some Mexican professional (?) soccer league game. Fourty-five minutes of crying and gesticulating little men falling down all over the place.

OBTW, Soccer players take more dives in one game than Erik Cole does in a season. Have you ever seen a sport where a guy suffers an apparent catastrophic injury, gets hauled off on a stretcher, and then pops up ready to sub-in the minute he hits the sideline? God I hate that game. Some commentor from Canada decried that fact that the US was ranked internationally higher in soccer than Canada. Brother, you can have soccer. I'd rather be in the top 10 in ice dancing than in that weenie sport.


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