A semi-informed Tennessee writer took aim at Canada in boasting Nashville as a great hockey town in a post at Nashville Scene on Thursday. With a headline that reads “Screw you, Canada! Nashville has become a great hockey town”, J.R. Lind recaps what was a busy few days for America and more specifically, Nashville. After extolling the extermination of Osama Bin Laden and breaking down the selection of Jake Locker 8th overall by the Tennessee Titans at the NFL Draft, Lind finally gets around to talking some Predators hockey in the fourth paragraph.
Not that I disagree with the commonly held belief that the Canadian media’s incessant circle jerking over the fact that southern cities can actually make hockey work is nothing short of some of the most patronizing coverage out there. But Lind’s ‘Screw you, Canada’ approach is so shortsighted and off target that it bears attention for its discordant tone.
For starters, nearly 52% of the players on the Predators roster are Canadian born. Team captain Shea Weber? Canadian. Impressive youths Nick Spaling and Matt Halischuk? Both Canadian. Predators post-season points leader Joel Ward? Canadian. Carrie Underwood’s husband? He’s Canadian, too.
Lind eventually gets around to taking a couple shots at the Canadian media, but he fanned on the opportunity:
TSN — that’s Canadian for “ESPN with more curling” — recently ran a feature on Nashville fans. The Toronto Globe and Mail stopped trying to come up with Hamilton Predators logos and noticed what a great hockey town Nashville’s become. No one has heard from Research in Motion CEO and one-time Preds predator Jim Balsillie in months.
Jim Balsillie! Seriously, what year is this? 2008?
As a Canadian hockey fan and someone that covers the game for a living, nothing disappoints me as much as the Canadian media’s fawning over the hope of NHL hockey returning to Winnipeg. Yes, it’s embarrassing and completely unfair to the fans in cities like Phoenix and Atlanta. I can understand the frustration of the Predators fanbase with the constant ‘Shea Weber will leave Nashville to play in Canada’ hogwash that gets printed up here, or the condescending nature of the revelatory pieces on the people and city of Nashville actually embracing hockey.
It’s all well and good to take aim at this country’s coverage of hockey, especially its focus (or lack thereof) of ‘non-traditional’ American markets – but at least try to make some sense in doing so.