Good for Canada.
That’s how I felt about 10 minutes after Sunday’s heart-stopping, mind-altering, breath-robbing gold medal hockey game between the U.S. and our neighbors to the north.
As disappointed as I was that the U.S., after a wonderful tying goal in the final minute, lost in overtime on Sidney Crosby’s blast through the legs of Ryan Miller (that’s called the “five hole” to you newbie hockey fans out there), I realized that winning this game, this medal, meant SO much more to Canada than it would’ve to the U.S.
I’m not sure there’s such a thing as a “joy quotient,” but in my head I believe there is. Who would a win make happier in this situation, the Americans, who rule the world and win everything, or a country of 33 million people who invented the sport?
It was a marvelous display of hockey, the best the world has to offer, for these last two weeks. The U.S. showed great heart and skill in getting all the way to overtime of the gold medal game, when people like me and others figured a bronze would be fantastic.
So thrilled to have been able to see Sunday’s game, and the one before it last Sunday. Two classics. If hockey doesn’t pick up some new fans after Sunday, I give up. The sport will never be popular.
Some quickie thoughts on the game:
– It’s only right that Sidney Crosby, the heir to Wayne Gretzky, gets the second-biggest goal in Canada history (Paul Henderson in ’72 still leads). Sid did nothing all game, but the great ones show up at the exact right moment.
– Patrick Kane. Wow. What an amazing tournament for the American forward. As good as he is in the NHL season, he was phenomenal over the last two weeks. Glad the world got to see how lucky the Chicago Blackhawks are.
– Zach Parise, I’ve always hated you because you’re a New Jersey Devil. For that game-tying goal, you get a one-year pass where I don’t say anything bad about you. What a fantastic player he is.
– I’ll be very curious, as an NHL fan, to see the changes in some of the players who excelled in Vancouver. Does Ryan Miller, emboldened as maybe the best goalie in the sport, get even better and lead Buffalo places? Does Zach Parise get even more confident with the Devils? And closest to my heart, does Chris Drury play that well for my Rangers, and get us in to the playoffs this year?
– If that game had stayed tied after one 20-minute overtime, we would’ve had a shootout to decide it. And if the U.S. had won the gold medal in a shootout, I think everyone in Canada would’ve keeled over right there, while screaming “A shootout? What the hell kind of newfangled way is that to end a bleepin’ game?” And then their Molsons would’ve spilled as they hit the carpet.
– God I love hockey. So many people got wrapped up in this game Sunday. I’d say 80 percent of my Facebook friend universe had posted something about the game, and a bar in Daytona Beach that I pass all the time called The Wing House actually had “USA vs. Canada, watch it here” on its marquee Sunday. I’m willing to bet that’s never happened in Daytona Beach, ever.
Please, let’s hope the NHL uses this momentum now. It may not last long.
**So it was hard, but David Paterson has done it.
It’s hard to be a governor who ends up with as bad a reputation as his predecessor in the New York State top job, Eliot Spitzer. You know, the guy who was hiring high-class hookers and paying for it all with a credit card.
Well, the guy who succeeded Spitzer has bumbled his way through one mistake after another in the last two years. Paterson, America’s first blind governor (a worthy distinction, that) announced over the weekend that he’s not running for re-election like he said he would, because, apparently, he used his power as governor to intervene into a top aide’s domestic dispute.
Just terrible behavior by Paterson, really stupid stuff. I mean, not being the governor and paying for a hooker-stupid, but dumb nonetheless.
I have to tell you, I’ve always felt sorry for Paterson since he became governor. Here’s a guy, who never really wanted the top job, was more than happy working behind the scenes, and then gets thrust into being governor because his boss couldn’t keep his fly zippered or his wallet closed.
Paterson is a pretty poor public speaker, doesn’t seem to be passionate about much, and just kind of seemed overwhelmed by the job.
He’ll be a footnote to state history, I’m guessing. Now the path is clear for Andrew Cuomo (who I’ve always liked since my friend Andrew worked for him) to become Governor.
See ya, Dave. Hey, at least he’s a Jets fan. That ought to ease his pain of losing this plum gig.