Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Playing the Francophone Card

But I don't like Bree!
Huge Monty Python fan from back in the day when you could only watch it on with the rabbit ears antenna on PBS at night. In one memorable sketch involving an exploding penguin on a television set, Graham Chapman becomes frustrated by John Cleese's absurd fixation on the bird and exclaims, "Oh, intercourse the Penguin." Cleese proceeds to bust up laughing. Now we're all adults, and you can probably guess what word Chapman artfully ad-libbed out - it's the "F" word.

Well, January 23 is election day in Canada, and it looks like at least one politico is pulling out all stops to find the key wedge issue. Liberal MP, Denis Coderre, chose to score political points via a letter to the Canadian Olympic Committee demanding Shane Doan be pulled from the squad unless he apologizes for dropping the the "F" word on officials at the Dec 13 'Yotes/Habs game. Doan was handed a gross game misconduct for verbally abusing the officiating crew, but an investigation by the league uncovered no evidence of Doan dropping said "F" bombs on the crew.

So what's the big deal? St. Louis coach, Mike Kitchen, dropped several "F" bombs on his way off the ice after the 'Canes whacked his boys on Sunday. Pick a sport, any sport, you don't have to be much of a lip reader to catch such colorful language in the off-mike dialog. In politics, especially around election time, it's often not about the evidence, but nature and subject of the charges. You see, the "F" word in question here is not the one most Americans most immediately think. It's "Frog," and it's use, or even alledged use, makes French-speaking Canadians blow their collective berets. Doan alledgedly called the all Francophone officiating crew "Frogs."

Yes, the investigation yielded no evidence of Mr. Doan having committed this heinous crime, but in politics, evidence be damned. Missuer Coderre is determined to win the hearts and minds of Canadians by standing up against Francophonia, be it real or imagined.

More on the story from TSN

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