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 Gustavo Vieira - Tuesday, February 14, 2012 at 9:57 AM - 0 Comments
Mobile phones thieves, beware: hockey dad is coming to get you. While the Guelph…
Mobile phones thieves, beware: hockey dad is coming to get you. While the Guelph Jr. Storm, a Bantam AA hockey team from Guelph, Ont., played in an arena outside of Hamilton, Ont. last Monday, a thief sneaked into the locker room and took two iPhones, three blackberries and an iPod. The 14-year-old players only found out about the theft when they were dressing up to leave the place after the game. One player’s father, Dan Clarke, called police and was told to watch for the phones to show up for sale on the online sales website Kijiji. That’s when his dad powers came alive. On Wednesday, one particular ad on the site called his attention. Pretending to be a potential buyer, Clarke set up a meeting with the seller to confirm it was his son’s iPhone. After declining to buy the phone, Clarke called police who set up a similar undercover operation and arrested a 23-year-old man, who was charged with possession of stolen property under $5,000.
By Scott Feschuk - Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 10:10 AM - 5 Comments
‘Noisemakers’ Mom can be charming at first. Problem is, she opens the door to ‘Cowbell’ Dad.
It’s September and a new wave of little kids and their parents are experiencing minor hockey. The boys and girls don’t need any help having fun. As for Mom and Dad, some fair warning: here’s a guide to some of the parents you can expect to encounter over the next several winters.
“Talks Only About His Own Kid” Dad. This plentiful specimen of parent will gleefully analyze for you his child’s every pass, shot, mood swing, haircut, tweet and cereal preference. Come February, he still won’t know the names of half the other kids on the team. You can spot him easily because he’s the only dad keeping a plus-minus stat for a six-year-old.
“Complains About Ice Time” Dad. This father can often be found insisting that the team would have triumphed if only his child hadn’t been shortchanged by 23 seconds there in the second period.