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MITCHELL'S MUSINGS: Waving the flag
Happy Canada Day weekend, sort of, to one and all. Sometimes we’re accused of not being overly patriotic, but it’s more like we just like to pick our spots.
And usually those spots involve sports.
Throw a little black rubber disc on ice and our patriotic juices get flowing. We’re golden, and No. 1, and on top of the world when it comes to men’s and women’s hockey and that’s good enough for most of us Canucks to feel good about ourselves.
Of course we’re not talking about world juniors or world championships when it comes to hockey right now but everyone knows we’re No. 1 anyway and that’s that.
Just ask Don Cherry if you want to hear more about it.
It would be nice if a Canadian-based team won a Stanley Cup one of these days but hope springs eternal, especially on NHL draft weekend, where we know the bulk of the players will be good old Canadian kids.
However, lately we’ve started to expand our patriotic vision beyond the ice.
Like to the hardwood.
On Thursday three Canadians, including the first pick overall for the second year in a row, were chosen in the first round of the National Basketball Association draft. Andrew Wiggins is also now the third Canuck on the Cleveland Cavaliers and the home of the rock n’ roll hall of fame may compete with the Toronto Raptors for support north of the American border.
This should also translate into success down the road internationally for Canada, not to mention spark more interest and even more kids taking up the sport knowing the dream of NBA stardom can be a reality – which of course leads to even more success internationally.
Superstar and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash led the charge but soon he won’t be the only Canadian basketball player the average fan can name.
And then there’s tennis.
Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic both enjoyed breakthrough success at the French Open in Paris recently, one of four majors on the pro circuit, and now they are both in the spotlight at Wimbledon in London, England.
Success breeds pressure but it also creates confidence and many more supporters as a nation cheers them on and takes pride in their achievements and feels good about their bright future.
Of course we will also continue to cheer for Vernon’s Vasek Pospisil as he continues his quest to be one of the best in the world on the tennis court.
In baseball there’s the Blue Jays to cheer for and Canucks of note both past and present, including the Jay’s Brett Lawrie.
Larry Walker and Justin Morneau both claimed MVP titles in the past and I always remember as a kid cheering on Terry Puhl as he played in the playoffs for the Houston Astros back in the day.
Of course the World Cup is ruling the airwaves right now and Canada is, well, nowhere to be seen.
This is frustrating for many but I have some faith that the number of soccer-playing youngsters taking to the fields these days will eventually pay off on the international scene.
Besides our women’s team is doing just fine thank you very much and will soon step into the spotlight on our very own soil. Go, Canada, go.
Of course there’s much more to this great country of ours than sports but it’s a venue that tends to get the emotions flowing.
Just ask anyone following their country’s team in the World Cup right about now.
So enjoy the long weekend, if it works out that way for you, or enjoy Tuesday and take some time to wave the flag, whatever that means for you.
For all its flaws, that we tend to point out on a regular basis, it’s all ours and we are truly blessed to live in such a beautiful and prosperous country.
Everyone now, O Canada.....