MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: We are the champions

Many media outlets, including this one, have something called question of the week where they try to get the public’s opinion on various topics of interest.

It’s hardly scientific as it relies on people to respond but it can still provide fodder for discussion.

Well, I kind of had my own personal QOTW going over the past seven days.

And it went something like “So did you get up at 4 a.m. last Sunday or what?”

Of course I was interested in their answer and of course I wouldn’t likely have asked it if I hadn’t actually got up myself.

I didn’t think I was trying to test them on their love of hockey or their patriotism, or maybe even self-righteously congratulating myself on my own, although I probably was without having enough self-realization to know it. Hey, I’m still trying to grow up here OK?

Anyway it’s not like I even did it by design. I didn’t set my alarm or anything but I knew, at my age, I’d likely get up in the night at some point and I would just start watching whenever that might be, and hopefully I wouldn’t miss too much of the game.

Besides, most everyone I asked if they had watched the game said they didn’t get up in the middle of the night but ‘PVRed’ it and watched it at a more civilized time. Seeing how I now know I’m one of only a handful of people in the North Okanagan who doesn’t have a PVR, that option wasn’t open to me. Although I do have a VCR still hooked up somewhere in the house, still blinking 12:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m., 12:00 a.m. after all these years, but that kind of tells you how many times I utilized that particular  device for its intended use.

So, luckily, sort of, I woke up at 3 a.m. or so, did my business, had a nice chat with a member of the family who had for some reason just got home, and after tossing and turning for what seemed like hours under the pressure of getting up in an hour, gave up and turned on the TV at 3:23 a.m.

Just a tip. Pre-game chatter in the middle of the night is even more boring than usual, despite the momentousness of a gold medal men’s hockey game in the Olympics with Canada in it. So I might have drifted off a bit but I was there for the opening faceoff and that feeling in the deep recesses of my stomach that stayed with me for the entire semi-final against the U.S. soon returned.

Although the Swedes started strong, Canada soon established some form of dominance and scored the first goal, which is so huge, and when Sidney Crosby single-handedly imposed his will in the second, well it was all but over and we were once again Olympic champions.

And the beauty of the Olympics is you’re the champion for four whole years.

Now I know we put way too much emphasis on this, the pressure on these guys was so huge it’s almost criminal, but it’s also a part of who we are as a nation, right or wrong. Kind of like the rest of the globe has the World Cup in soccer, we do the hockey thing. And we’re good at it, so there.

It should be noted that my wife, who is not the biggest  hockey fan in the world but understood what it meant, got up in time for the third period. We celebrated at the end. And promptly went back to bed.

Apparently 5,764,000 fans tuned into CBC at some point to catch the action, hey it was a lot easier to do that in Newfoundland, so it was a feel-good shared moment, although not as exciting as four years earlier in Vancouver, but maybe that’s OK too.

Even my kid who’s currently touring Southeast Asia got in on the fun. According to his e-mail he caught the game in a bar in Cambodia with “a bunch of Canadians and a bunch of Swedes.”

Apparently it was “awesome.”

Indeed it was.


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