Sunday, February 28, 2010

Silver, But Not Disappointed

Quite possibly the Game of the Decade lived up to its high anticipation on Sunday. An overtime goal appropriately scored by Canada's "Chosen Son," Sidney Crosby, struck Gold for the Canadians in Vancouver.
To get that game to overtime, the United States had a series of heart-clenching goals scored late by Vancouver Canuck, Ryan Kesler, and another by New Jersey Devil, Zach Parise with 24 seconds remaining in regulation that can only be described by an American fan as a feeling of euphoria. Had the Americans won the game, that goal would have gone down as one of the greatest plays in American Olympic history. Right next to Mike Eruzione's goal in 1980.
The game had all of the above. It was emotional, nerve-racking, competitive. The players who would be teammates on Monday were not teammates on Sunday, and that was never more evident from the drop of the puck. This was a game between two countries that hate each other. And although the players from both teams will go back to being friends in the NHL, they were enemies for this one game.
But the U.S. should not be disappointed with the loss. Coming into the tournament, most would guess they were the 5th or 6th best team in the Olympics. They were undermanned talent-wise and it was obvious. But for them to show heart and determination despite the undermanned talent shows what the sport of hockey is all about. The U.S. team got out of Vancouver with a medal, which is more than any hockey analyst previously gave them credit for.
But the real winner of these Olympics was the sport of hockey. For one week, the world was a hockey fan, anticipating every shot taken and feeling every emotion possible. Casual fans were able to see the true appeal of the sport of hockey, speed, quickness, and skill. And now names like Ryan Miller and Zach Parise are household names. And although NHL team owners will complain about not obtaining any revenue during this Olympic break, which occured in the middle of the NHL season, hockey acquired a million new fans during this week. This Gold Medal game was just what the sport needed.


  1. > This was a game between two countries that hate each other.

    The game was between the USA and Canada. By what stretch of the imagination do we hate each other? I've been to Canada countless times, and have never met a single Canadian who hates our country.

    Likewise, I've never met an American who truly hates Canada; some are indifferent, but hate? No.

    > For one week, the world was a hockey fan...

    Again, an over-sweeping generalization. China didn't care. India didn't care. After they were eliminated, the Russians, Czechs, Swiss, Finns, Germans and Slovaks didn't care.

    Hell, 20% of all Canadians didn't tune in for even one minute of the Gold Medal final.

    > acquired a million new fans during this week.

    ...Who will go out and do what, and for how long?

    Will they tune in to the Sharks and Devils tonight? Go see the Atlanta Thrashers or Phoenix Coyotes play? Buy a Columbus Blue Jackets sweater? Quantify those "million new fans." In the U.S.? In Canada?

  2. First of all, hate maybe was a srong word, but the countries definitely dislike each other because it the rivalry of North America. There is definitely tension when it comes to games like that played against Canada.

    To your second comment, for one week the world was a hockey fan. Maybe not China, but several other countries that actually had a chance of medaling in hockey like Russia, Sweden, Slovakia (only chance of medaling), Finland, U.S., Canada. And u answered it yourself, 80% of Canadians watched the Gold Medal game, while 30% of U.S. tuned in as well (thats alot for U.S.). And could you not tune in to the Gold Medal game? It was David vs. Goliath, everyone loves the underdog game, and thats excatly what it was.

    For the 3rd comment, maybe not a million new fans, but more than they had before. I say it because i feel the newer fans will go out and watch their local teams now. I hear people like you say that hockey hasnt benefitted significantly from the Gold Medal game. But how can u say that when it was one of the most viewed sporting events ever?