Monday, January 05, 2009

The dude doesn't abide. He might be pulling on a Sweden sweater

The jury has always been split on Jack Todd at the Montreal Gazette.

People don't go so much any more for that columnist-you-love-to-hate shtick. Eventually, don't they hit just a point when the emotion is all gone, like in that episode of Cheers when Norm is hired as the corporate killer? However, there are times when, right or wrong, he really gets into one.

Todd did not pull a Claude Lemieux (I'll explain later), but he did refer to the world junior hockey championship as "the time when our TV networks bring us coverage that is so sycophantic, chauvinistic, shrill, strident and one-sided that it almost makes you embarrassed to cheer for Team Canada. Almost." And it just goes on from there.
"... the coverage this year (with TSN leading the way) reminds me of the way the United States welcomed the world to the Atlanta Olympics in 1996. The low point of that fiasco was when USA Today ran a list of the 100 greatest Olympic athletes of all time: 99 Americans and Nadia Comaneci, who was married to an American.

"The U.S. media treated the rest of the world like an opponent, which is exactly how TSN is treating the visitors to this tournament.

"Such treatment is both ungracious and un-Canadian. We are better than that. (TSN commentators Gord) Miller and (Pierre) McGuire are better than that."
Some would say, "Took him long enough."

This site's Trevor Stewart disclosed there was cheering in the press box on Saturday (personal opinion: As well there should have been!) when Canada tied the game with five seconds left vs. Russia on Saturday. Duane Rollins had at it about 10 days before the tournament started. Our resident liberal sissy snarked off that, "It would be ironic if Canada lost the World Junior hockey gold medal to Sweden. In Sweden, there's a chance a promising hockey player might actually serve his country. In Canada, we just have them do a photo op at a military base."

Todd hit that, referring to, "Pat Quinn squeezing his corpulent form into a paratrooper uniform for an embarrassing military photo op." Senators owner Eugene Melnyk in Canadian Forces garb has a much higher wince factor.

Really, Todd is echoing what a lot of us have been saying. The rest of us just abide by it, since no one wants to be like Lemieux, after he was cut from Team Canada many years ago, bitterly chanting, "USA! USA!" Love seeing Canada win, love the media coverage.

That said, it is good writin', Dickie (so is Todd's memoir, The Taste of Metal: A Deserter's Story).

(P.S. Incidentally, a broadcaster friend says four OHL teams have a shot at getting John Tavares., including one in the OHL's Eastern Conference, but not the Belleville Bulls. Would Melnyk get him for his Mississauga St. Michael's Majors, in hope he might get him again in the NHL draft?)

Canada goes ga-ga over baby faces (Jack Todd, Montreal Gazette)

No comments: