I’ve berated you with gloom and sadness today — Gary Bettman & Teemu Selanne retiring are worthy of emotional Nicolas Cage — so I’ll take this moment during the mid-afternoon to provide you with something uplifting today.
If you are Canadian it will make you cry. If you’re American, you’ll be mildly bitter, but still get chills. If you’re a fan of anything, you will appreciate this deeply.
Sidney Crosby’s 2010 Olympic winning goal will go down as one of the most iconic hockey plays in the history of time. This cannot be denied.
A video which has consistently made its way around my personal cohort of friends for a couple of years and popped up on Reddit Hockey today, is the video of Canada (literally, all of it) reacting to the goal which clinched Olympic gold. If the goal was iconic, the reaction immortalized it.
Take a look.
Not only is this just amazing footage, it speaks to a larger much more warm and fuzzy concept.
There are plenty of people worldwide who will blast the coverage sports get in mainstream media. Sports are meaningless in the grand scheme of the world. This is absolutely true. If media covered what was objectively valuable instead of what got traction, the sports pages would be footnotes. They’re games.
However, seeing a video like that highlights something sports can do that I’d argue nothing else can. There is an inherent ability to unify that is exclusive to the sporting world. For a period of time people with absolutely nothing in common beyond a shared interest in a win come together, perhaps becoming friends in the process, as they will a team to victory.
The person who lives next door to you may drive you up the bloody wall. But perhaps during that playoff game or international match, you let all that slide because there is something much more important to you than your petty squabbles. The fact that they mowed your side of the lawn isn’t so important. Your team is playing
I’m generally not one for the romanticism or moralizing that comes with this territory, but if you can watch that video and tell me I’m wrong, I’ll be damned. That’s what 33 million people unified looks like, and there’s only one way it could have happened. Perhaps that’s what we ought to value as hockey and sports fans as a whole. Maybe then we’ll appreciate what he have on our hands.
In the words of one Theodor Seuss Geisel: Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.