It’s hard to hate Canada. In fact, I don’t hate Canada at all. They are like the 51st state. A big Upper Minnesota if you will with a funky French part folded in there, not unlike the stale piece of bubble gum in a pack of baseball cards. They are nice people. They love hockey and round bacon and calling mac and cheese “Kraft Dinner”. Now and then, they’ll even dump some mayo on some French fries. Party on, Canada. Please, please take this blog post the way I intend it to sound: Like a drunk man at a bar who just watched you spill your beer all over yourself and keeps laughing and drawing attention to you to the point that you almost want to kill this overweight bastard until after five minutes, he tosses you a spare shirt he has in his gym bag and you drink whiskey together before being convinced to go to a questionable strip club where you both do things you vow never to speak about ever again.
That’s how I want you to take this post.
When I found out Canada was getting the 2010 Winter Olympics, I was excited for them. I was happy for my northern brothers and sisters. The only thing that made it tough to swallow was this “Own the Podium” campaign.
Essentially, the plan was throwing 114 million dollars (or 253 billion Canadian dollars) at a comprehensive training program and declaring proudly that Canada would win the most medals at the Vancouver games. Not so much.
While there is still time and events left, Canada may own the podium, but the U.S. definitely leased it from them, built a mini-mall on it, threw a Starbucks in, had sex with some local Canadian high school seniors, burned down the local movie theater and pissed on the side of every toilet seat in town.
America is not a perennial winter Olympics powerhouse by any stretch. We’re playing out of our mind right now. We’re Neo in the Matrix when he figures out he can do extra cool shit like jump INTO people and blow them up from the inside. I think we’ve been pissed about our political system and our economy and the bad commercials during the Super Bowl, so we flipped out and just started beating up on people. I like it.
So Canada is looking for a big second week and maybe they will get it. Things were looking up as the Canadian Women’s Curling Team beat our American women up in a big way. It was the worst curling ass kicking I have seen since the last time I watched curling, which was possibly eight years ago. Literally, Canada was poised to have a big momentum shift. That afternoon, of course, the unstoppable Canadian Men’s Hockey Team, the best in the universe, would be facing off against the Americans. Canada was going to kick our ass like it was women’s curling.
I decided I would watch the game. I grew up the biggest New Jersey Devils fan on earth. I got into a verbal altercation with some New York Islander fans at the Nassau Coliseum when I was all of six years old. My father had to remind the guys I was still learning how to wipe my own ass and not drop half my food on my chest when I ate.
Moving out here and missing Gretsky made it hard to fall for the Kings, though I certainly caught a few of their few playoff games just because playoff hockey is like sex, it’s always fun to watch. (sorry, Mom)
I stuck with the Devils for a long time, but once I went to USC, I cemented myself as an Angelino. I fell for the Lakers. More than anything, I fell head over heels for the Dodgers. I studied the city. I cannot find the parts of me that are East Coast anymore except for my birth certificate (which is from New York).
So it hit me as the puck dropped that this was the first hockey game I was going to really get into since possibly 2005. I started thinking about the gravity of the game, the speed of the skating and the pagent…
OOPS. America scored. It was that fast. Sorry Canada, you thought I was going to get nostalgic right there? That was what we like to call the Yankee Fakeout. Kind of like when you thought you were going to beat us in hockey yesterday. I’m switching gears.
What ensued was five goals, each more hilarious than the next. I didn’t care that it was Marty Brodeur in goal and that it was my country giving a beheading to my childhood goalie. I didn’t care that American hero Brian Rafalski wasn’t a Devil anymore. I was just enjoying the Canadian crowd squirming.
It was sort of like when your little brother makes the high school basketball team and then makes all state. You are not as good at basketball as him, but you take him outside anyway and beat his ass through some majestic combination of old man strength and knowing you two took totally naked baths together as children that your parents filmed.
Canada roared back with a goal and then it took the US something like thirty seconds to score again. It was like in cartoons when the dude would hold his hand out and push the other guys’ head so that all that guy’s punches would miss. Canada had way more fight, threw way more punches, but lacked a certain “Americaness” that they would need to win on this day.
When Canada sings “we stand on guard for thee”, that clearly was not in reference to the net. When they sing “with glowing hearts”, I am guessing that was in reference to the red light above their own goal that kept glowing every time America scored.
In reality, Canada is probably winning the gold in hockey. They are the better team. They are the home team. This might have been a bump in the road for them. An awesome, magical bump with bigger genitalia and a hotter girlfriend.
It had been 50 years since the U.S. beat Canada in hockey during the Olympics. So while Canada may right the ship, beat us later when it “counts”, I don’t care. What I care about is that we got sweet, sweet revenge for our women’s curling team losing in the afternoon. My lunch tasted flavorless thinking about how those Canuck Avon saleswomen destroyed our American team. Come to think of it, I don’t know what I would have done if the US Men’s Hockey Team HADN’T won. [shudder]
It’s all in good fun, Canada. What I mean is, it is really fun to beat you. It is really fun because most Americans woke up today and said, “Holy shit! The Olympics started?” and others chimed in, “We beat Canada in hockey? Aren’t they good at hockey?” and other things like that. Then we all went off to do something American, like eat a hamburger that weighs over a pound and comes with over six slices of cheese on it.
Good luck the rest of the games, Canada. Get it in now. The summer games probably won’t be your jam unless Steve Nash learns to play every sport.