Monday, February 17, 2014
Passing on PK, separatist spin and other Olympic musings
To borrow a phrase from the American patriot's handbook, it's my country right or wrong, and in the case of personnel decisions for the Canadian men's Olympic hockey team, it's my country wrong. Even Don Cherry - the ultimate cheerleader for the white-bread, Upper Canadian/prairie boy hockey prototype - was flummoxed by the absence of PK Subban and Martin St. Louis from the Team Canada lineup for yesterday's round robin finale against Finland - a matchup tailor-made for the speed and skill of the reigning Norris and Art Ross trophy winners. Cherry called Subban "the best defenceman in the NHL", and coming from a confirmed Habs hater who doesn't care for Subban's natural exuberance, that's saying something. If Subban doesn't dress for the medal round, it'll be all the confirmation anyone should need that inviting him in the first place was nothing more than a public relations exercise, and a poorly-executed one at that.
Anyone with a shred of decency will agree that politicizing Quebec's disproportionate share of the Canadian medal haul at the Winter Olympics is undignified and offensive. That said, there's nothing wrong with Quebecers taking pride in winning fully half of Canada's 14 medals so far in Sochi. If any other province were that dominant, you can bet they'd be blowing their own horn and it wouldn't be an issue because there wouldn't be political overtones. It's important to differentiate between the legitimacy of the genuine pride felt by most Quebecers, and the effrontery of the uncouth few who use athletes as unwitting pawns for political gain.
I don't know how they finagled the citizenship papers, but it's awfully nice of the guys from Duck Dynasty, ZZ Top and the Zac Brown band to represent Canada in the men's Olympic bobsled.
This is an uneducated guess on my part, but it would make sense to me if the skeleton is called the skeleton because that's what you turn into if you wipe out face first at 130 kilometers an hour on a glorified Krazy Karpet.