Winter without Hockey? Trust Me, it’s Do-able
“Science is not too far removed from hockey”
It is a wonder Solzhenitsyn found time to contemplate hockey during the
writing of his devastating work, Gulag Archipelago, but his view of the
game’s likeness to science is close to that of Canada’s self-appointed
hockey guru, Don Cherry.
You remember Cherry don’t you? Loud mouthed guy, bad fashion sense,
forever using instant replays and elastrator pens to prove hockey could
be a science if players and coaches would just listen to him. What’s
that you say? You don’t hear his infernal blither coming from your TV
sets on Saturday night anymore? Ah yes, the sounds of silence prevail!
And we at the Columbia Journal sports desk heartily approve.
Think about it this
way; the NHL player’s lockout has provided hockey
fans with an opportunity to forget about the ridiculous old coot for
with the racist mouth for what looks like a long time. The owners and
players are nowhere near a deal and Don Cherry has no place to ply his
‘trade.’ This could be the best winter yet! The tradeoff of no
Cherry/no hockey is infinitely worth the bargain. It would not be fair
to hang the whole winter malaise thing on Don Cherry, though his
absence is high on the top 10 list of the best things about the hockey
lockout. And make no mistake folks; a winter without NHL hockey is full
First off, think of all the time that could actually be spent actually
playing hockey. Family shinny games, beer league, university
intramurals and table hockey all bring people closer together than
gathering around the idiot box. This could be the winter Canada
redefines itself as an essentially TV free nation. The effort required
for this would be monumental - reaching for your hockey stick instead
of the remote control is a big step. Such a collective move by the
former hockey watching hordes will no doubt have the beer company
executives in an absolute panic. How are they supposed to lure their
audience into a drunken tizzy with no electronic billboard to flog
their product on?
These are not even the best things about the lockout. Soon will be the
time to get seriously retro and dust off the sled that has been sitting
in your shed since Don Cherry was the coach of the Colorado Rockies.
Remember sledding? How many times have you passed up an opportunity to
go sledding since you became a TV hockey addict? Nothing now stands in
the way of you and a thrilling rip down the mountainside like you did
when you were a kid. Surf’s up!
This is also the time for a catharsis of too many winters’ pent up
frustration earned by following a hockey team that never wins the
Stanley Cup. Yes, dear reader, this is a blatant advocacy for the
revival of the snowball fight. Can you seriously claim that you have
not wanted to get your ya-ya’s out by starting a winters’ day dust-up
on numerous occasions?
Granted, this is Vancouver and our general want of snow makes this
desire one that will be relegated to a few select opportunities, but a
trip up one of the local mountains would take care of that problem.
With all of these cool and unusually pursued activities on the front
burner it is safe to say Solzhenitsyn was on the wrong side of the
right coin. It is not hockey that is a science; it is the absence of it
that gives rise to rediscovering the science of the Canadian winter.