Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 03/12/14 at 08:07 AM ET
from Bruce Arthur of the National Post,
Most of hockey dealt with the Peverley situation perfectly. The NHL postponed the game, as it should have; other teams expressed support, as did players; the medical staff and medical policies of the NHL were both lauded. Perfect. It could have been so much worse.
But there’s this strange strain of hockey fandom that demands something else. It happens every time; people will say, “basketball players, on the other hand …” and then we’re off, again. Lazy, soft, selfish, whatever. It raced all over Twitter again Tuesday; pictures of LeBron James and Peverley side by side, a variation on an old theme: LeBron is soft, unlike hockey players. Some hockey fans have this need to denigrate other sports — basketball, mostly — when it comes to loving their favourite sport.
Remember the Jonathan Toews-LeBron James meme that arose after their respective championships last season? It was a Twitter picture of a handwritten sheet that claimed Toews said “we” 14 times and never said “I” in his post-championship-winning press conference, while LeBron said “I” 18 times and never said “we.” It was gleefully re-tweeted by hockey fans, by hockey broadcasters, by hockey players, by thousands and thousands.
Funny thing: in LeBron’s post-game transcript he said “we” 16 times, by my count; in his on-ice interview on the CBC right after winning Toews said “I” five times. And neither number meant anything.
So why do hockey fans do this? Why does basketball, a sport in which Canada is surging, need to be torn down to lift up hockey? There’s a racial component underlying some of it, which is sad and ignorant, but why? Is it insecurity? A need to create and fend off an other?
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