Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Too Much Snow Here, Not Enough in Vancouver
I wonder how many people heard that the tragic luge competitor was from "Georgia" and thought it was the U.S. State.
The Republic of Georgia has one of the sharpest-looking flags in the world. It's a shame it now covers the coffin of a 21-year-old athlete.
Every 4 years, the Winter Olympics makes otherwise sane people say things they would never ordinarily say, like, "Come on, U.S.A., knock some holes in that Swiss cheese!" and "I can't believe we choked in the Nordic combined! And to a French guy, no less!"
Last night, the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother took a few potshots at Canada -- one of the characters, Robin Scherbatsky, is from Vancouver, as is her portrayer, Cobie Smulders. The character played by Neil Patrick Harris (the kind of guy who would make his former character, Doogie Howser, refuse him medical treatment) made fun of Canadians' accents, their supposed lack of style in dress, their multicolored money, and their loves of hockey and curling.
I don't understand curling, and I understand the complaints about Canada's multicolored bills, which they had long before we did, and what's with that two-tone two-dollar coin, anyway? But come on. They're our friends. They fight like hell in wars (Lundy's Lane against us in 1814, when they were still with Britain; the Boer War, Vimy Ridge in WWI, Juno Beach on D-Day), they step in to keep peaces all over the world, they invented hockey, one of theirs came to our country and invented basketball, and they've produced women like Cobie Smulders, Pamela Anderson and Nelly Furtado (who looked dynamite at the Opening Ceremonies). And they've got a better National Anthem than we do.
But I reserve the right to make fun of the Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Jays because they're in the same division as the Yankees, and the Leafs because, well, even Canadians make fun of them. After all, the last time they won the Stanley Cup, or even reached the Finals, Lester Pearson was the sitting Prime Minister, not the airport.
But that beats Vancouver. The Canucks celebrate their 40th Anniversary this year, and they're 0-for-2 in the Finals, both times losing to New York: The Isles in 1982 and The Scum in 1994. The last team from that city to go all the way was the 1915 Vancouver Millionaires, led by the brothers Lester and Frank Patrick. That's 95 years. Makes the Rangers' 54-year drought seem bearable, eh?
Still, Canada should be the favorite in the Olympic hockey tournament. After all, they've got the greatest goalie on the planet. And I don't mean Roberto Luongo. How can he be the greatest: He plays for the Vancouver Canucks!