Breaking For The Olympics Is The Right MoveShareThis
Well hi! Welcome to the best site for Olympic hockey coverage, assuming you like it covered once a day and with Canadian bias. You do? Cool.
Olympic hockey is unparalleled.
After each of my college seasons, the team would agree to meet once or twice a week for a shinny game, Canada vs. “Planet” USA. Without fail, the game would end up at least semi-serious and way too intense, so it’s easy to understand why involving the pride of every person in the country really ramps things up. It’s also really fun that we all get to pretend that the winner of one game (see: February 21st, Canada vs. USA) is better at hockey for the next four years.
I’ve heard sports pundits talk about how bad the Olympic break is for the NHL, how no other league would do this, and a million other reasons why it shouldn’t happen again in four years.
No other sport has the opportunity to do something like this. There’s no American Football in the Olympics because it’s simply that – American. The Saints aren’t “World” champions. They’re the best in a 30 team American league that was created by Americans and filled by Americans. It’s no slight against football (or the Saints) – I’m just saying, it’s a lot harder for a nation to dominate a sport (and get their players in the world’s best league) when like, 30 countries take the sport seriously, and in hockey’s case, the NHL is the holy grail for every kid who plays the game.
To then have the opportunity to weigh different countries contributions to that amazing league in a tournament, is unrivaled. Baseball is doing it wrong – if their professional players went to the Summer Olympics, how much love would that event get? Nothing is like the actual Olympics, despite baseballs effort with the… what’s it called, World Baseball Classic? And baseball might need to send it’s pro’s soon - their sport is the one losing it’s grip on “interesting”, not hockey.
And what would basketball do if the Olympics were mid-season? How much do the fans love the “dream team” talk? It’s such a shock to Americans when their teams get shelled by Argentinian fundamentals, because there isn’t quite the partiy in basketball as their is in hockey (I know US basketball has found ways to lose before, but I still wouldn’t call chalk up their international struggles to “parity”) – we genuinely can’t guarantee Canada or anyone will be in the top three – just look at 2006, or as it’s known in Canada, “2002″ (since we refuse to acknowledge our 7th place finish four years ago ever happened).
So wouldn’t basketball break to have the world’s best players partake, given the fan support for their current US gold medalists? Doesn’t it void the magnitude of the Olympics if its a competition of the world’s best athletes *asterisk exceptallthosebetterplayers?
They probably would send their players, for fear of losing patriotic players, the same way Ovechkin says he’ll play in Russia in 2014 if the NHL won’t let it’s players participate. It means that much to guys, I think moreso in hockey than in any other sport because the dressing rooms are so diverse. It’s a chance to prove what they’ve been “joking” about for years to each other.
Hockey has the unique opportunity to showcase the game at it’s best, at it’s most Carcillo-less level of pure. It can showcase it’s international diversity, and most important, it can demonstrate the passion and emotion this game brings out of people. Football is the only other sport that gets people this fired up for the entire length of a game. Basketball and baseball often seems like they’re being performed by talented big people who only try hard when they need to and for themselves, not for a team.
Olympic hockey, to simplify, is everything that’s good about our game. Any negatives that come from stopping the NHL season for a couple weeks can be dealt with. This means too much to pass up.