Monday, June 05, 2006

Liar, Liar, Jersey on Fire

One wintry day in grade nine, I stood just inside the side entrance of my high school, waiting for my mom to pick me up for an orthodontist appointment. Unbeknownst to me, this was also the pickup spot for the track team (it must have been an indoor event, it was so cold). A runner walked up to me (no, she didn’t run), asking me if I was heading to the meet. I said no. I believe she responded with something along the lines of, “Oh, well, you look athletic. That’s a good thing.”

I felt like a failure, and for two reasons: A, until Trivial Pursuit becomes a recognized sport, I am no athlete, and B, my image was clearly deceitful. I needed to ditch the Nike coat (now worn by my mother on super-cold days. Somehow, she doesn’t look as quarterbackish as I did) and the sneakers for a nerdier look. Something more honest.

And now I feel equally dishonest with the hockey game on in the background. Have I watched a single game this season? Have I cared? Do I care now? Is it my cultural obligation to be thrilled beyond belief that a team far away (if this was Europe, Edmonton would be eight countries away) is playing for a shiny oversized chalice that they don’t even get to keep? (This is why I’d rather win an Oscar; I could display it in my bathroom forever).

I am excited. I really am. I’m just not sure why. Have I been convinced that this is exciting? Did I lose some debate? Or am I just looking to fill some void in my life? Maybe my life is lacking in major excitement. Maybe I need an excuse to paint a maple leaf on my face and scream obnoxiously.

Oh, there it goes. The channel surfing has begun. I think I’ll just watch the game during commercials. I feel more comfortable with half-watching. Maybe I’ll work my way up to a full game, watching a little more every game until game 4, or 5, or 6….

I think there’s something missing when you watch a game alone in silence.

Oh, look, it’s Ben Mulroney, my second-favourite Canadian. Right after Don Cherry.

Go Edmonton!


michael lewis said...


pastor mike said...

why is that so many canadians are so wrapped up in a hockey series that is ultimately meaningless, involving a bunch of guys who are way overpaid, and having nothing to do with canadian pride - bring on the world cup! [a totally differnt group of overpaid guys, with national pride thrown in]

michael lewis said...

Pastor Mike is disillusioned with the value and worth of world cup because of its nearly total absense in north american culture.

Sure, I see more kids playing "football" on more fields than I see of any other sport. But it's not mainstream here....yet.

But I do agree. Of all the sports to watch, football is by far the best.