Friday, March 05, 2010
[If you are not a sports or hockey fan, forget this post]
Just to close up that last post, I just wanted to say that it's ok.
At least it was okay when I saw USA goalie Ryan Miller smiling giddily (in the middle of the picture) with his silver medal and iPhone at the closing ceremonies later in the evening.
In general, I can't really get angry at the Canadians. They put on a great show with an immensely talented team. Something about Canada appeals to the good-natured and humble side of me. (And the part that understands that universal healthcare works more than a handful of filtered stories about how it doesn't. that's the great thing about the free market mentality here, they get guaranteed quality health care, we get fear and overpriced anecdotes).
Perhaps it's because I wasn't around for the heyday of the heated Boston Bruins - Montreal Canadiens rivalry. All the anti-Canadian sentiment I've seen in my life always seemed dumb, contrived, and radically misinformed. Canadians are basically like us, just more calm and polite, right? Ah stereotypes.
Besides, if you play by the fan rules, I'm technically not supposed to be supporting players like Ryan Miller. He plays for Buffalo, a division rival to the Bruins! Oh my god. So it (like all sports super-fandom) is all silly.
Anyway. Watching Team USA was incredibly exciting and a rewarding watch. In spite of the games driving away everyone else in the house, I was glued to the TV. When the US played Canada in the preliminary game, I was shocked and incredibly thrilled by the USA victory with Ryan Miller in goal. USA earned that victory. Earned by the mostly non-superstars (at least non- Sidney Crosby) of Parise (Devils), Kane (Chicago), Malone (Lightning), and wow Rafalski (Red Wings).
Still, in the gold medal game, as much as I wanted the USA to win I knew I wouldn't be crushed by a Canadian win. As long as the US put in a good fight and they certainly did. When one of my favorites Zach Parise scored the tying goal at the end of regulation, I jumped out of my seat.
Then in overtime came the Canadian victory. However, it contained the one thing I hated. Sidney Crosby scoring the winning goal. The Canadians had stood out to me more for the play of folks like Getzlaf (Ducks) , Iginla (Flames), Toews (Blackhawks), Heatley (Sharks). Crosby had a high point total, but he didn't really stick out like those guys. But the poster boy scored the poster goal....
but who cares. It's good for hockey. It was a great game. I'm very proud of Team USA's performance and USA vs Canada parts 1 and 2 will always be remembered for their intensity.
Now I go back to my sorry state of being a conflicted fan of both the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.
One more thing, I couldn't understand the whole thing of deriding Canada on their medals performance in the overall Winter Olympics. They took the most gold medals, which means they won the most events. Going with the USA! USA! mentality, I find it really un-American that we are excited about not winning first place more times than Canada.
Unfortunately, now I'm stuck in Olympic withdrawal.
I was humming "O Canada" for days after.