Monday, January 3, 2011

Do They Care? Do We Care?

That was just sweet to watch. The Canadian juniors got revenge for last year's defeat in the gold medal game in Saskatoon by trouncing the host Americans 4-1 in the semi-finals. It means a Canada-Russia showdown for gold on Wednesday. I say the host Americans because the tournament is in Buffalo. Some might question that after seeing the amount of red and white in the stands.

Canadians have flocked en masse to Buffalo the way the Rider Nation goes to Calgary or whoever. They have taken over! Its like Buffalo is now in Ontario. (BTW, that would make three sad football teams in Ontario). You have to wonder how this event was marketed allowing all the Canadians to get tickets. Were Sabres fans not given an option to buy a ticket? If they did, did they sell it to the nearest Canuck? Do the fine people of Buffalo, who sell out the HSBC Arena for Sabres games, not care about the World Juniors. What does USA hockey think about this? What does the IIHF think. Do they even care because the money is trickling in from the Canadians in attendance?

I would think USA hockey is appalled over the lack of fan support their team has been given compared to Canada. When this event was in Boston many years ago, they played it at University schools like Massachusetts instead of the new Boston Garden (corporate name of place fails me right now) and even then attendance was sparse. When the event was in Grand Forks a few years ago, many Canadians made the trip from Winnipeg but being a university town and home to the North Dakota Fighting Sioux, there was a solid fanbase for the U-S. Not so this time around. When the tournament is held in Sweden or wherever, you don't see the fanaticism that we in Canada have. Does that mean we are the only people in the world that care about this tournament. Would we care about it as much if TSN turned its back on it or simply decided to never broadcast it in the first place. Whatever it is, it would seem as if Canadians are the only ones that gives a rats-ass about this event. That's sad in one way, but quite refreshing in another.
What's the one thing about the 2011 championships in Buffalo that's better than the 2010 event in Saskatchewan? As many people have Twittered and Facebooked in the last hour, no one has tried to force-feed that inane Pepsi chant from last year. Remember that "EH OH CANADA GO" mantra that we were supposed to use at the juniors and the Olympics. I remember the idiot trying to get the crowd going at the Brandt Centre during a Canadian exhibition game last year and failing miserably. That whole ad campaign was just a mess---one of the worst ever. It just faded away into oblivion much like Poochie on the Simpsons.
I'd like to know why Hockey Canada didn't invite Sweden to the Under 17 challenge in Winnipeg. I'm guessing their hockey lineage means they would be better than Germany or Slovakia, but those two teams went in along with the US, Finland and Czechs. Whatever the reason, people in Saskatchewan were the beneficiaries as the Swedish Under 17 team treated SJHL fans in Flin Flon, La Ronge, Humboldt and the Battlefords to a different brand of hockey. The Swedes swept the four game series with a 5-2 win over the Battlefords Stars Monday night. Swedish goalie Oscar Dansk was magnificent in recording the win. Watch for the names on that Swedish team and see where they are in 3 years time.
We patiently await official confirmation of Greg Marshall. It looks now like it will happen Wednesday, but no one is really sure.
There was a story in the LP's online site about a couple in Calgary that got married at a Tim Hortons. Just when you think the human race couldn't get any lower. Why on earth would anyone want to get married at a Tim Hortons? Was Burger King not available? Was Wal-Mart not suitable? Puh-leeze!
The small numbers on a dartboard are next to the larger numbers to minimize the possibility of high scores from lucky throws. Who knew????


Anonymous said...

You hit the nail on the head with TSN. If they don't pick this event up, its as big as the U17 challenge or some of the other events on the calendar. They could do a lot for midget hockey by bringing us games from the Macs Tournament along with other events. They put their eggs in this basket and its exploded for them. As a result, we are the only ones who care. I don't think the other countries get the exposure Canada gets at this event. Too bad really when you think about it.


Anonymous said...

Sportsnet says Marshall announcement on Thursday.

Anonymous said...

EH OH CANADA GO. Without a doubt, the worst marketing campaign ever. I had forgotten about that. They wanted us to chant that at a game in Saskatoon and no one would. By the time the game was over, the Pepsi people were just sitting in the aisles watching.

I wonder how the World Jrs would make out in the US if it was played in hockey-crazy Minnesota. They go batshit for their high school event so I'm guessing they would for this too.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the Swedes still think the US is the team to beat. I guess they get that chance today. BA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

Anonymous said...

Its the same with curling. No one goes to world curling champships outside of Canada, but in Canada, we pack the place. I just put it down to the fact that when you are Canadian you are passionate about your sports. End of story!

Anonymous said...

Hey Mitch,

Word from North Battleford last night was that the Swedes didn't get their paperwork back in time to be in the u17 tournament. Maybe they'd even had their flights booked so they got the exhibtion games ?

They were a lot of fun to watch. Forsberg will live up to his name, no question.

Russ from Saskatoon

Anonymous said...

We pack the joint for curling if it's in western Canada.

Mike from Vita, MB said...

The new Boston Gardens is called "TD Bank Gardens".