Stanley Cup Hangover

June 15, 2010

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Our Canadian writer, Tyson Turner, returns after a hiatus.  This week he writes a sports-themed column as he fills in for Johnny Goodman, who is himself on a short hiatus (don’t worry – Johnny will be back soon).

I was pleased to see Chicago win the Stanley Cup, dumping Philly in 6. As someone from Ontario, I’ve seen both Ottawa and Toronto battle with Philly the last few years and have built up quite the hatred for that team. However, I am still in the minority in my hometown. Kenora is the hometown of Philly’s captain, Mike Richards. On top of that, nearby Dryden is the hometown to the Flyers star defenseman, Chris Pronger.

It was amusing driving through town, seeing local businesses with signs such as “Mike vs. Chicago, Friday at 7pm”. Too bad people here don’t really realize Mike Richards probably doesn’t care at all about most of them, just signs a cheque to pay for an addition to the local arena and everyone thinks he is a hero. I guess it just bothers me to some extent, knowing that a lot of his family are pretty unpleasant but people just turn the other cheek since he is a famous hockey player. Are we really that shallow?

Onto the World Cup

So now that hockey is over, what is there to watch? The Blue Jays are off to a surprisingly decent start, but baseball isn’t exactly my favourite sport to watch. So how about soccer? I played the game for many years, but it is hard to get behind it with Canada absent. I blame our climate on why our national soccer team struggles years in year out. Most of the country has about 4-5 legitimate months of playing outdoors, and that’s it. This in contrast to Mexico and the Central America, who can play all year round. How else can I justify us losing regularly to Honduras, El Salvador, Panama, etc.?

The odd statistic on top of this is the fact that there are more registered Canadian youth playing soccer than hockey; yet we are the world’s best at hockey, but are currently ranked #63 in the world for soccer. Perhaps our development program needs some work too. But in any case, I hope the tournament is a big success for South Africa, and kudos to FIFA for thinking outside the box and giving Africa a chance. And as for me, cross your fingers that Canada will be given the chance to host the tournament, because otherwise I don’t think you’ll see us there for a long time.

Canadian Current Events

October 25, 2009

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News Items of the Week

Toronto Maple Leafs winless in first seven games, panic ensues

It’s likely no secret that the Leafs are Canada’s most popular hockey team.  They sell out most arenas all over North America, and often times draw louder cheers than the home team.  But it has been a rough few years, no playoffs lately and no championships since 1967.  Well there was hope heading into this season that GM Brian Burke had made the moves necessary to at least get this team back into the playoffs.  Well an 0-6-1 start and last place in the league have raised many issues, and the fans who pay the most expensive prices for seats have ripped the team with jeers in the last few games.  I guess the question is, only 7 games into an 82 game season, should everyone be panicing like this?  I just don’t understand the attention.  If the team was 6-0-1, I am sure everyone would be planning the Stanley Cup parade.  I am a Leafs fan myself as I was born and raised in Ontario, but even I have to say enough already.  Give the team with a few new faces more of a chance to bond, get the top two goalies off the injured reserve, and then you can get upset…it is inevitable.

Tim Horton’s hires support for parking lot

I have gone on in the past about the popularity and craziness surrounding Tim Horton’s here in Canada.  Well a perfect example of this I think comes from a store on Portage Avenue here in Winnipeg this week.  The store there does not have a particularly big parking lot, and during the morning rush this causes some issues for the drive thru, with cars backed onto the curb lane of Portage.  Well to help with this, the restaurant has hired someone to man the parking lot in the mornings.  He helps sort the cars into two lanes, and also directs cars where to park if people want to dare go inside and fight the line.  Hey, don’t get me wrong the breakfast sandwiches definitely outdo McDonald’s, but really this is crazy.

Gary Doer begins job as ambassador to the USA

After ten years as premier of Manitoba for the New Democrat party, Gary Doer unexpectedly announces his resignation a few weeks ago.  The next day, it was announced he would become Canada’s first ever ambassador to the United States.  He began his job this week meeting up with USA’s official ambassador to Canada (what exactly does that guy do anyways?) for a train trip around the province.  Greg Selinger won the party vote and has replaced Doer, and has two more years until the next election to carve a niche for himself.  Doer I think is a good man for this job.  He was often voted as most popular/well-liked premier and politician in Canada, and just has a way with people.  In the last election two years ago, he led the NDPs to an easy win, forming another majority government.  I think he will be missed here, but he is definitely going to represent us well in his future endeavors.