By Charlie Gillis - Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 0 Comments
Ken Campbell on the problem with Canada’s obsession
With $320,000, you could buy a home in a medium-sized Canadian city, or an education at an Ivy League university. Or, you could do as a growing number of parents do: spend it on personal trainers, road trips, sport psychologists and league fees in the faint hope your child will attain fame and fortune in hockey. Ken Campbell, a senior writer at the The Hockey News, and co-author Jim Parcels explore this phenomenon in Selling the Dream, a book about how hockey parents, kids and the game itself are paying a steep price for Canada’s national obsession.
Q: I was struck, as many hockey fans were, by an ad Nike ran just before Christmas, which played on a familiar and romantic notion linking pro hockey to scenes of frozen lakes and small-town arenas. How far does that imagery stand from today’s reality, as witnessed by a kid dreaming of an NHL career?
A: The dream is still pure for most people; hockey is and always will be an enormous part of the Canadian cultural fabric. But I want people, when they read this book, to realize that it’s time to dial things down a bit. Hockey has become almost too important in Canada; in a lot of ways, it’s all we have. We have athletes who excel in other sports, but the stakes in hockey have gotten so high that it seems all-pervading. People get caught up in the dream very quickly, and very easily.
By Martin Patriquin - Friday, May 2, 2008 at 9:31 AM - 0 Comments
According to a recent poll, Les Glorieux have replaced The Toronto Always…
According to a recent poll, Les Glorieux have replaced The Toronto Always Leaves (Before The Playoffs) as ‘Canada’s Team’. I’m not all that surprised. Canada, ahem, teems with ex-pat Montrealers whose allegiances stayed with the team even after they left. Also, everyone loves an underdog, and when a team ends up first in the Eastern Conference after dire predictions of a basement finish (thanks, Hockey News) it makes those bloody flappy car flags seem a little less absurd.
We also loves us some bandwagons, and that sound you hear is the thunder of about a million of them ponying up to Hockey Night In Canada to watch Guy Carbonneau valiantly dig himself out of a 3-1 hole against the Flyers (I believe, unlike these idiots.) As eternal Leaves Nation flogger ‘Godd Till’ (a pseudonym, to save himself the embarrassment), who toils away at the beautifully bitchy Coxbloc, mentioned the other day: “I wonder what the results will be… what with everyone breaking their legs jumping off the bandwagon.”