The Edmonton Oilers are in the Stanley Cup finals, for the first time since 1990. I was born and mostly raised there, went to university there, and, more importantly, was a crazed hockey fan there starting in junior high school, when the Edmonton Oilers won 5 Stanley Cups and had an amazing team led by Wayne Gretzky at his prime. (For now we can ignore the fact that I looked for an excuse to leave there after graduation and haven’t lived there for over 10 years. It’ll always be my home town.)
Though I can still watch a game if pressed, I stopped being a hockey fan around university, when I was busy studying and working and having a life to own a TV or go to games. Plus it’s an example of why I’m a big believer in lowered expectations. After starting my fandom with the 80s-era Oilers, later teams looked a lot like the Saint-Quentin Beavers I cheered on when I lived in a tiny New Brunswick town. But even after a move to Calgary, home of the Oilers’ dreaded rivals, the Flames, then to a country where you have to specify “ice” before the word “hockey,” and then to Vancouver, home of the nondescript Canucks, I still have nostalgic ties to the Edmonton Oilers and wish them well.
Those ties and wishes don’t translate into caring enough to watch or even to pay attention to when the series starts, though. So I was sad about this comment on the Blogcritics version of my Invisible Networks post, about promoting Canadian television:
“For a country that lives and dies by the puck, what’s the point anyway.”
Sigh. What’s the point of arguing with that narrow a view? With all our angst over what a Canadian identity actually is, and whether it’s worth fighting for in the face of the cultural behemoth next to us, do we really want to pin our entire identity on hockey? I guess it’s the safe choice. Why bother competing with American television and our own national sports obsession when we can just put on our Mountie hats and ride moose around the igloos? Never mind fostering stories that resonate with people who might not get all their storytelling needs satisfied with the saga of Todd Bertuzzi versus Steve Moore.
But I did my part. I’m proud that I managed to remember to record The Jane Show, a new Canadian series on Global, after a tip by my usual source. I haven’t quite managed to watch it yet, so have no idea if it’s any good, but that’s coming … eventually.
I insanely did two TV writer interviews today which I’d had to cram for, since I wasn’t overly familiar with the shows – it’s a hard life, when watching TV is my most pressing chore – and now I have to juggle quickly writing them up with my other insane decision to volunteer at that communications conference. That’s this weekend and Monday, then next weekend I’m off to Banff, then the next week I’m going to Whistler for another work-related conference (which, unlike the Banff festival, I likely won’t write about, unless any of you suffer from insomnia – it’s for a health care PR association). Poor me, too many mountain resorts, too little time.
Oh, and wcdixon, I didn’t lie to you, honest – my “no” was true at the time.