Whatever the outcome tomorrow, I must say that it never had occurred to me that
Canadians thought they were locked in a third world nationalist contest with the US. I thought we were kin. Clearly, Canadians do not see it that way. 'We will make your team into Slovak girlie boys?" You should be ashamed to say things like this.
Your nonsense has affected my view of your country. You should stay out of the US. No more winters in Florida. No more attendance of American universities. no more training of your Olympic athletes in the US. Take your battalion of infantry and go home.
My ancestors arrived in New France in 1642 from Champagne. When did yours arrive? pl
Actually the lightly regarded team of Slovak girlie boys gave the star studded Canadian team quite a scare in the 3d period of their match. Not bad ay?
Way to talk smack, Colonel.
I haven’t been watching the olympics, but if it was sports fans saying that; maybe it is the sort of thing that rude sports fans say in every country.
England has its soccer hooligans but England isn’t all soccer hooligans.
(Oh. I read the prior olympics thread and see where that remark came from.)
No more being the strawmen for your duty free booze or perfume.
So, the comment of one individual, who purports to be Canadian, has sullied your view of the entire country? You must therefore have never heard any citizens of the United States badmouth Canada ever. Correct?
I thought you were a little more mature than this.
Come on Pat, the speaker was being ironic thus “We will make your team into Slovak girlie boys?” is hardly the most offensive of insults. If anything, it was a back-handed compliment.
BTW, haven’t you read about the recent bad blood between Algeria and Egypt over a soccer match which ended in a number of deaths and might have resulted in war between the two countries even though it is well known that neither team can play decent soccer and both countries’ supporters are all ladyboys.
Not being Canadian, permit me to say, it’s just a hockey game. Fans of a particular sport, be it Hockey, football (American or European) tend to speak in rough terms and sometimes act rough too. I seldom take it as a reflection of the national sentiment.
This is one of those irony things isn’t it?
Next time we invade a country should be CANADA. Set Quebec free so that N.Americans have a place with decent playgrounds, great food and great people.
My namesake arrived in Halifax Nova Scotia in 1797 as a 17 year old (probably on the run) with two books. A Bible and a book captioned “The Young Man’s Best Companion”. Or perhaps just let the Canadians invade us so that we can break the current political deadlock in Washington. By the way President Obama signed a one year extension to many Patriot Act provisions. Privacy protections eliminated in the US Senate.
It’s not the game that angers me. It’s the attitude. pl
Relax, have a wee dram of Ardbeg, and enjoy the game. Go USA!
Pat—These people are jocks and this is only a game. Do not take it so seriously. Its not the end of the world. Save your anger for something important.
I’ll be imbiding in more than a few Labatts Blue Lights (only .50 a can here)during the game. When I complained to a store clerk in Montreal about the price up there he said, “it’s a good thing they aren’t .50 here, they’d ALL be drunk ALL the time, lol.
Go USA!! Though, I doubt this current team could have ever beaten the late 50s St. Catharines Black Hawks.
I think it is a mistake to consider these games as just hockey games. Success in international hockey games is an important part of Canadian national identity. Those of us old enough to remember the 1972 series between Canada and the USSR remember how shaken the Canadians were by early defeats and how vindicated they felt when they finally won. I have been privileged to play with a lot of Canadians over the years including former NHL players. Today’s game is IMPORTANT to all Canadians.
The Canuks always seem to have a way to irritate their American cousins. My dad (2nd generation french canadian immigrant) could hardly stand to visit the “home country.”
For the record, my family is at least 1665 immigrants to New France; although there is mention of the family name as far back as 1621 with Champlain and his fights with “The Iroquois.” (Sadly, this mention ends in young death at the hands of “les sauvages.”)
Its like being taunted by a ginger haired cousin. There are so many possible comebacks – but is it worth the effort.
yeah, like well playing losers
The Canadian and American girls played a wonderful ice hockey game, but I thought that attitude on the American side was a little iffy. At the end of the game the Americans apparently felt that they were required to appear to be distraught and to regard the silver medal, with which they were presented, somewhat distastefully. My award for the competitors displaying the least examples of bad attitude, petulance, etc. goes to the snow boarders. The figure skaters, I suppose because of the nature of the competition, seem to be the most self absorbed. They provided a wonderful spectacle, however. Anyway, it’s been a great Olympics, and Vancouver, Madame Fitzgerald’s hometown, looks beautiful. I think the Canadians sense that they’re not going to win this game, hence the trash-talking.
Is that the shoulder patch of the 1st Special Service Regiment?
Knowing Charles, I believe the comment which has upset Col Lang was made with tongue firmly in cheek.
As a Canadian, but not born as one (and thus with also another perspective), I find that the attitudes here towards the USA are quite complex. There does exist a large number of people who harbour ‘anti-American’ sentiments (but the objects of their derision are things in the US that many Americans also dislike). These same people also find many things in the USA which they like and admire. It’s not all that simple.
Coming from a nation that has major sports figures routinely trash talking each other on national TV, this seems somewhat thin skinned.
Or you are surprised that most Canadians don’t really like Americans? Hmmm. I took an informal poll a while back at a party, out of 40 some people, only 2 expressed support or great liking for Americans. The rest, well, you don’t want to know, it wasn’t pretty. Obama is personally popular here, but that is about it.
Most individual Americans have no influence or great support for decisions made in Washington, from what I read. But to outsiders there is no distinction made, you are judged as a national whole by the actions and statements of your Government. Like any other nation.
Having been on the other end of American arrogance from your fellow citizens directed towards Canada on numerous occasions, I fail to see what your point is.
We stick close to you for trade and economic reasons because of geography. Other than that, I don’t see that we have much interests in common. The ‘100 War on Terra’ has very little support in Canada, as it should.
Canadians are very different from Americans, mostly far to the left side of the political spectrum beyond US Democrats, toward what many Americans would call “Communist” or “Socialist”, even our “right-wingers”. Americans tend to be the opposite.
Small wonder there is a culture clash over a divide that wide. I will apologize for Charles I, I think he was kidding there, but it may be he was serious.
We are taking our men and going home soon. If I was in charge, we would have sent none to Afghanistan in the first place, just like we did with the Iraq file. Don’t be confused by Harper Government statements, he has always been an American wannabe. One of the (many) reasons why he can’t win an election with a majority.
For Canadians, hockey is far beyond just a game, it is a central issue of national pride, and whatever the outcome there are likely to be riots here after the game, either from joy or anger. I don’t see any difference between that and say the World Cup of soccer in other countries.
It’s a part of human nature stemming from our tribal roots. Nobody likes the tribe over the hill.
After all Ann Coulter went on Fox news and said about Canada “better hope the United States doesn’t roll over one night and crush them. They are lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent.”
More specifically, the “Special Service Force,” about a brigade in size. pl
Dear Colonel Lang, I am an avid reader of your site and a Canadian, and I really appreciated your note about our women’s hockey team a couple of days ago. Please do not let silly trash talk (online, or in the media) ruin your impression of our deep and lasting societal friendship. Sadly, good sportsmanship is not always on display when it comes to high-pressure hockey games, but trashtalk is just just that…
I have plenty of anger to spread around. pl
I’d love to see the Canadiens win, but only because it’d be such fitting end to an Olympics that started out so tragically. I’ve been fortunate enough to have been a member of organizing committees for international competitions and one world championship in my sport, track & field, and know firsthand the effort involved, almost all of it on a volunteer basis at the local level. To say nothing of the frustration and difficulties in dealing with the international federations, particularly the IOC and the gnomes in Switzerland who control the marketing of evervthing and micromange anything the locals even think of trying to do. So given my admittedly somewhat jaded background, Go Vancouver!
This trash talk ain’t nothin’. Try being a Browns fan when they play the Raiders in Oakland Stadium. Feel your prize foam dog bone being pulled from your hands, disappear into the crowd and then get pelted with tiny bits of foam as you walk out of the stadium, head down after another humiliating defeat. That’s when Oakland had a team and their fans verged on the psychotic.
It was heartwarming to see the woman from the Canadian team celebrating with a cigar in one hand and a beer in the other. Why shouldn’t they celebrate with their fans?
Sir, please get a grip! Preferably on a big tumbler of Lagavulin
Collective punishment upon all of Canada upon the lame quip, perhaps
more sexist than nationalistic, of a self-proclaimed bipolar pothead? Seems a bit much, and Stephen Colbert’s already got us in his sights. I’m not even allowed in the country anyway!
I don’t watch professional sports, but they’ve whipped us into this drunken nationalistic fervour such that even the return of $5Bn in softwood lumber tarriffs extorted from us a while back, sold as victory by Mr. Harper, couldn’t buy us off, never mind reduce us to the level bland partisanship that might pass unremarked.
This is indeed intra family sibling rivalry, and I recall as the youngest sibling the delights of provoking the physically and numerically superior force by the simplest of default taunts. . .
Its our NHL’ers against your NHL’ers, bladed sport with stick and pad, the innocuous acme of Candian nationalism in the relationship Trudeau likened to the elephant and the mouse in “our’ game, even though our game is in fact lacrosse.
To the big screen!
About the US women’s team WPFIII wrote “At the end of the game the Americans apparently felt that they were required to appear to be distraught and to regard the silver medal, with which they were presented, somewhat distastefully.”
There are really only 2 good women’s ice hockey teams – the US and Canada. For example Canada defeated Slovakia 18 – 0 and the US beat China 12 – 1. Neither game was that close.
For the US and Canadian teams beating the other is the only measure of success. So unlike other sports a silver medal in hockey for the US is a sign of defeat not success.
You can find the IP address ranges assigned to Canada here by selecting from the menu on the right. AFAIK Typepad allows the blocking of IP ranges. If you don’t want us, you needn’t have us.
Consider it a first step that may lead to your desired severing of relations and concomitant massive restructuring of the economies of America and Canada over comments on a blog about a series of hockey games.
never underestimate the left over bad blood from the Fenian brotherhood raids which indeed helped give birth to the Canuck confederation.
“We are the Fenian Brotherhood, skilled in the arts of war, And we’re going to fight for Ireland, the land we adore, Many battles we have won, along with the boys in blue, And we’ll go and capture Canada, for we’ve nothing else to do. — Fenian soldier’s song”
You created this monster by telling the Canadians they won the War of 1812.
I too have noticed a desperately unsportsmanlike mien about the Canadians. It’s almost as though hosting the games has made losing especially unbearable which, being Canadians, may point to the home-team expectations their olympians are worried about disappointing.
It’s so unlike them – the churlishness around the luge course, the fervent nationalism of their victors. I’ve always admired their stealthy survival tactic, the way they reassure Americans that Canada is just like the US, only a little less so. Of course the reality, like the Colonel says, is quite different: they are parliamentary, closer to Scandinavia, and (!!) richer: though they may worship the same God as us, the color of their sky is different.
So I admit, I get a kick out of seeing the Canadians lose it. Slovak girlie boys? Talk that trash – go Canada! On the last day, the final contest of winter’s ultimate team sport: Canada’s national game and obsession: roll baseball and basketball into football, and that’s hockey in Canada. I grew up in Boston, then Bobby Orr-ville. In those Gordy Howe+ days, most every hockey star was a Canadian import.
If the Americans win, that is history and demography, the rule and favor of heaven, years of hard work vindicated, the result of a few moves by a few inspired players. Perhaps it is even in Canada’s long-term national interest.
My ancestors did not come to America from New France, so I have less regard for Canadian integrity than the Colonel. I am neither as attached to their careful anonymity, nor as offended by recent Canadian chest-beating. But clearly, there are existential issues at stake: if Canada can’t beat the US at hockey….
Like I said, the gold medal was up for grabs. The Americans gave a good fight and my hat to them . They made the Canadians worked for it.
Un verre de champagne à votre santé.
À tout seigneur, tout honneur.”
You’re hot-headed, Col. Lang, but you have a good heart; you wear that heart on your sleeve sometimes.
Yes there is a gap between public views in Canada and the US; aggravated by recent years. Yes there are blowhards up here just as there are elsewhere; getting high on the competition. Anger aside, I don’t believe either of these things surprises you or convinces you of anything. You’ve behaved in a sportsmanlike and gentlemanly fashion throughout this contest. Showing some class is its own reward.
It was a good hockey game. A really *close* hockey game. I’m glad it finished in OT not in some kind of shootout. That’s all that matters to me.
“comments on a blog about a series of hockey games.”
Not at all, I have a far wider set of complaints about you. pl
Congratulations, Canada. It was a great game.
The story I posted earlier happened to a Browns Backer I knew.
I am a Canadian but I found myself rooting for the Americans this game because I am sick and tired of the Canadian anti-American attitide. For years I was proud to be a Canadian….until I married an an American and had children who carry US passports. Not once in my 15 years of living in the US has an American been anything but complimentary and welcoming of my being a Canadian. Yet unfortunatley not once have I returned to Canada (which is frequently) and not had frequent negative comments and attitudes about Americans …in front of my small chaildren and husband. In fact, we recently decided not to move back to Canada because we didn’t want to subject our kids to that prejudice. I hope this victory for the Canadians allows them to mature so they don’t need to treat ordinary good people, who happen to be American, with such contempt.
Mary: I agree with you that Canada needs to mature. Unfortunately Canadian national identity is a fairly new and artificial thing, and it’s first principle seems to be “We are not Americans”. Defining yourself in negative terms is never good, but when combined with our national self esteem issues it creates rather unpleasant behavior.
I doubt a hockey game will change that dynamic. Most of the people I know have American friends online though, so greater communication might help shake us out of our provincial attitudes.
PL: I for one would be very interested in seeing that list.
That was nerve wracking. USA outplayed Canada 2 out of 3 regulation periods.
Mary, contempt is what I had for Shrub.
If you read my postings here, I bitch a lot, but I admire America, we’d have to invent it if it didn’t exist or the world would be chaos.
This is a simple hockey rivalry, I’m boggled by the careless power of my quip. I’m also taken aback.
Until Pat combined collective punishment in a paragraph with inquiries about my ancestry, I was holding “Your mother wears army boots” in reserve for a second strike, but upon reflecting only today on what the phrase means, I’ve decided that even I’m not gauche enough – or suicidal enough – to bark that at a Marine, let alone a son.
My ancestors fell out of the same tree yours did, at the same time, in the same place, ultimately science tells me, spawn of the same critter.
I’ll grant you since then, breeding has obviously won out, though your to-me over the top reaction has me pausing to reconsider just who is the Hounym and who the Yahoo here.
Since the answer is clear, I apologize to you, and more so to Canadians for provoking you so. But close the borders? Deport the students? On account of little old me? Wouldn’t a simple “Release the hounds!” suffice?
MJ, thanks for the pearl of wisdom form the Great White North. I need all I can get.
The shoulder patch is from the WW2 Canadian/America Special Service Force, “The Devils’ Brigade.” I knew one of those men in the mid-sixties in the 8th SF Group in South America. He was a lieutenant colonel, under-educated, battlefield commission in WW2. He drank a lot and was a very specialized creature, useful to the Army only in what he was doing. He didn’t like me much. How odd.
He did like the fact that I talked to him about the red patch. He told me that when the force was put together in Montana the two groups were like little islands but the sound decision was made to put them all in the same uniforms with the same insignia. The American and
Canadian officers treated everyone alike. After two years of war the force was disbanded in southern France.
He said that when everyone put on their proper clothes there was great amusement and some surprise because national identity had largely been forgotten.
grimgrin – I will think if that would be useful. pl
No apology needed Charles. My comments were not aimed at you personally but my own reflection of why I found myself rooting more for Team USA, despite being Canadian. I appreciate anyone who engages in thoughtful discussions of sports and national identity. And now that the win is in, congrats to the Canadians!
I have read or thought a little about where some of the anti-American feeling which exists here and there in Canada might come from.
I read that a lot of the loyalists who left (or fled) America after the Revolutionary War went to Canada. Might they have passed their bad feelings and grudges down the generations? How many (if any) Canadians might that apply to?
Has a lot of the Left in Canada, as in America; spent the last few decades becoming less of a program and agenda left and more of a lifestyle, stance, and style left? If so, might some of the self-identified Canadian Left be modeling the general leftish tendency
of patronising, mocking, and despising America on cultural and lifestyle grounds?
Might there also be some real grievance based in U.S.
governmental efforts to help
pick some of Canada’s friends and enemies for Canada in the past? I think I remember reading about real American government disapproval over Canada having relations with China, Cuba, and maybe some others before or beyond what our government might have preferred.
Trade disputes and trading relationship lock-ins might lead to ill will.
I can imagine where any Canadian who ever heard of proposals around a “North American Power And Water Alliance” (hopefully dead for good) would be upset about that.
By the way, and semi-off-topic; I remember discussing
about Canadian Constitutional struggles many years ago with a Newfoundlander who lived in Michigan. I remember the subject of Distinct Society came up, and he said something like “Distinct Society? Newfoundland is a lot more distinct than Quebec ever was. Quebec is just Ontario with a French accent.” I just thought I’d throw that in there.
I’m in Vancouver. I found the mood on the streets after the big win to be inclusive and cheerful.
Sadly, every sufficiently large crowd must have a few louts in it. I saw one guy goading an American fan, shouting “second place is first loser,” etc. The American fan took this gracefully, laughing it off and walking away, but the drunken yahoo wouldn’t let it go. Eventually the American had enough of it, and quietly asked him how many Stanley Cups we’ve won lately. Ouch.
We’re in danger of swapping national stereotypes.
What you’re not hearing reported is what Americans said to the Vancouverites on the streets and in the bars of Vancouver after the US win last week.
So, tell us…
I admit that I didn’t take the Canadian’s remark to be anything more than trash-talk among two siblings. We two countries are both the offspring of Great Britain so there’s a familial angle in it. The Canadian “little brother” seeing an opening to chide the more successful and favored American sibling…this one time when they are (finally) most equally matched. I considered this teasing as strictly to be ignored stuff.
Although that whole “own the mike” Canadian campaign was badly thought out and encouraged this banter (for TV ratings?)
Ancestors arrived in Upper Canada 1820. From the West Highlands.
I’m not a big fan of the recent Canadian enthusiasm for flag waving. It has roots in the last Quebec referendum, which prompted a more aggressive nationalism. The threat of the country’s dismantling encouraged people to publically display their love of Canada.
Canada is moving away from its older, small town, protestanty, middle class roots.
English Canadian nationalism used to be jingoistic about the British Empire and our glorious place in it. In the early 1960s, John F Kennedy’s Irish Catholicism meant John Diefenbaker, Conservative Prime Minister at the time, distrusted him. Boston Catholics were automatically assumed to be anti-everything Conservative Canadians stood for. Many conservatives distrusted the United States as a font of progressive politics which would over-turn established hierarchies. In a way, they were right.
The Orange Lodge used to be huge in Canada. Toronto’s nickname was the Belfast of the North.
The Baby Boomers changed all that. Marriage between Catholics and Protestants became acceptable. Society became more inclusive. Liberal Prime Minister Lester B Pearson dropped the Union Jack from our flag – designing and adopting the present one. All a good thing. Nationalism, in a weird way, moved left-ward, specifically to be the preserve of a centrist Liberal party.
This has proved a real problem for the Conservative Party. Since the Conservatives necessarily do not share Canada’s liberal consensus, they get accused of being anti-Canadian by the Liberal Party. Ironic.
This is all changing. Canada’s nationalism, its perceived identity, is again changing.
How is any of this artificial?
By no stretch of the imagination is Newfoundland more of a ‘distinct society’ than Quebec. Newfoundland’s a great place. But it is not as ‘different’ as Quebec.
Great ice hockey game! I have bit of information that everyone might find amusing. There is a white arch at the Blaine, Wash. border crossing, called The Peace Arch, which has the inscription, “Children of a Common Mother”.
Another interesting item is that the old Pacific Highway (Highway 99), in the stretch before the border is designated the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway and has a plaque put up by the Daughters of the Confederacy
I suppose he was Secretary of War of the US at some significant point out there. pl
In regards to our Battalion there was some live footage of our troops at KAF watching the game via satellite. Someone in the front row was holding a sign that I think sums the sentiment up pretty well.
Brothers in Arms
Not on the Ice”
The larger issue of course is the simmering anti-Americanism that possesses a lot of Canadians. I’ve always seen it has national compensation for our bigger flashier brother to the south. If we didn’t highlight and reject the differences between our nations and cultures who could tell us apart.
I’m a proud Canadian (for the most part) but I can understand your anger at the initial comment. Just remember that not all us Canadians feel that way, and some of us are proud to stand beside America– we just take our hockey seriously.
WPF3, what a wonderful bit of trivia, puts game and war in perspective, as history usually does.
The game is afoot here to rehabilitate Metis leader Louis Riel, hanged as a traitor, transforming him into a Father of Confederation as our First Nations become more politically assertive and financially independent.
How about we bring back the Canadian-Aamerican Special Service-Force as an emblem of our kinship? It can do UN work and we can rotate command. pl
I believe thats not far off from what is happening in Kandahar province right now. It’s a good thing too, we were over our head with what little we have to contribute to a large and complex problem.
The fact that the
US/Canadian brigade group there is currently under Canadian command is a source of great pride in the Canadian Forces. Those of us serving in the CF only wish we could do more.
Nice blog and very well written…
I was serious in my “modest proposal.”
Looking at the numbers, involved in CF end strengths, I am curious as to how you manage to maintain such things as service schools for artillery, armor, signals, etc. The personnel overheads involved would seem prohibitive given the number of prospective students. pl
I could go into detail on the specifics of our current situation but I think it suffices to say that we are currently struggling to maintain our high operational tempo while continuing the training necessary to grow the Forces.
Coupled with the increased attrition of experienced NCMs in the past years, and the holes left by the pay and promotions freezes in the 1990s the CF is currently under strain.
However this is not a new state of affairs in Canada. Since our inception we have chronically under-supported our military in peace time, only to recover our capabilities at the cost of much blood and treasure when we finally need the capabilities and notice their absence. Fortunately the CF and its predecessors, while often in short supply of material and money, have always been rich in grit, determination and a spirit of volunteerism that has always seen us through.
Now to your proposal:
I think that as a purely military effort that such cooperation between our Countries would be a boon. In political terms it would be contentious.
When the idea of a Unified US/Canada Command that would be responsible for the North American Theater was floated several years past it was met with much distrust. I can only imagine that such an endeavor would raise similar hackles amongst the political ranks.
You did not answer my question. The Brits must have a similar problem with service schools.
I am glad that there is a brigade group combining American and Canadian troops.
Politicians are the natural enemies of soldiers. pl
You could very well be exactly right about Newfoundland not having nearly as Distinct a Society
as Quebec. I don’t know enough to argue the point either way, myself.
The way my Newfoundlander aquaintance explained what he considered
to be Newfoundland’s distincter distinctiveness was this: Quebec had/has agriculture, industrial manufacturing, mining, timber, pulp’n paper, etc.; just like Ontario….only in French. Whereas Newfoundland is/was based around the pursuit of the Cod for 5 centuries…a highly distinct way for a whole society to make a living and a culture. Cod…the buffalo of the sea.
Plus, Newfoundland has its own time zone a half-hour between the time zone ahead and the time zone behind.
Now, he may have been exaggerating and simplifying
in all this. Or just having some fun with American me. If such sentiment is on the far outlier fringe of thought in Newfoundland itself, I am willing to stand correctible of course.