If you want to understand the roots of "Western Alienation" look no further than the online pages of this morning's Toronto Star compared with the local papers from Winnipeg to the Left coast. The Sports pages to be specific.
While much of the nation basks in the glow of Vancouver's win over San Jose yesterday afternoon, the Star features minor hockey and more sophisticated fare like soccer and the French Open.
Nothing to see here…
Forget yet another wave of Olympic proportioned national pride sweeping in from the Pacific region. Ignore 5000 ordinary Canadians who flew South, not to retire or try their luck in Hollywood; but to stomp out a round of xenophobic booing by singing their national anthem so loud they even drowned some Opera Rube with a state of the art speaker system.
Yeah, I know there are probably just as many Canadians playing for San ("No Way") Jose as Vancouver or Boston or Tampa. But that's not the point.
The point is -- when other Canadians are good at something -- why is it so hard for some people in Toronto to celebrate it?
I mean -- just forget that they're the center (sorry, "centre") of the universe for just a minute and acknowledge that the rest of the country and even some of those people who never heard of Peggy Atwood or sipped a perfectly pulled Guinness on Queen Street West might actually be making a contribution as well.
At the mid-point of the country, there are Canadians who don't even have a hockey team (yet) on pins and needles with excitement at the prospect of getting one. What does the Toronto Star feature? Editorials on the NHL short-changing folks in Atlanta.
Well -- tough. Okay, I feel for Atlanta. I was overjoyed when Nashville saved their team and even cracked a smile when Phoenix found yet another way to hang onto theirs. But when you don't have fans -- you don't have fans. It's time to move on.
And while it's tacky that the Thrashers are still selling tickets for next year, I'll bet Winnipeg would be more than happy to have 5000 Atlanta die-hards drop by anytime they damn well please to take in a game. Western Canadians are hospitable about things like that.
Hell, I'll bet the "Paris of the Prairies" will even welcome the Thrashers cheerleading "Blue Crew" with open arms.
Them Georgia Peaches are hot enough to warm up the coldest night at Portage & Main. And if you don't believe me, you might want to buy one of their 2011-12 calendars. I don't think they're going quite as fast as some might want you to believe.
So -- Toronto -- I'm just sayin'. I know not having a decent hockey team for so damn long sticks in your throat and it's hard to start bleeding a little green (or Thrasher orange) along with the blue. But would it hurt to try?
Honest, those Western fans are nowhere near as Red-neck-y as you may have been led to believe.
Meanwhile, in the Infamous Writers Hockey Pool, the leader board hasn't changed but the differences have become tighter.
Tim Stubinski still leads.
My apologies to 2nd Place Will Pascoe for confusing his Vancouver picks as Sharks last week. He remains powerfully astute as always. I'm thinking that if he pulls off yet another win, the prize I mail him will be a ticket to Vegas where he'll be chained next to me at a Craps table and consistently blowing on the dice.
Alex House remains in the hunt with Carleen Kyle now only a point shy of the podium.
Game 5 in the Boston-Tampa series goes tonight. And despite what Don Cherry preaches, I've always thought Game 5 was the most important in any 7 game contest. How things go tonight could well determine which poolies remain in the overall hunt and who is done for the season.
But remember, "done" doesn't mean "like dinner" here at The Legion. With the finals comes "The Props Round" where the winning can be just as sweet.
Until Friday -- here are your current standings.