Tag Archives: Sidney Crosby

Post-Games Positivity: Celebration over Criticism…until Tomorrow

Post-Games Positivity…until Tomorrow

March 1st, 2010

In the post-game euphoria which followed Canada’s epic overtime victory, as the nation flooded into the streets to celebrate, CTV’s hockey commentators were still getting paid to do their jobs. And so while no one else was thinking about how Canada had given up the lead in the final moments of the game, the commentators were talking about what Canada did wrong, and James Duthie raised an important point: if he had not scored that overtime goal, and if Canada had gone on to lose that game, Sidney Crosby would have been labeled a disappointment.

Sure, he scored a big goal in the Shootout against Switzerland, but Crosby wasn’t a force to be reckoned with on the ice. If the team had lost that game, he would have been singled out as someone who didn’t live up to their potential, who failed to be the next Gretzky or Lemieux as he has been labeled. But because he did score that goal, and because Canada did win the gold medal, no one will ever remember that he had been held pointless in the nine periods which preceded that extra frame; they will only remember that “Sid the Kid” scored the golden goal.

Canada is still wrapped up in post-Olympics euphoria at this hour: sure, my Facebook feed is filled with enough cynical twenty-somethings that the music selections at the Opening ceremonies are under intense scrutiny, but for the most part Canada has exited this games with a flurry of national pride. Four gold medals over the final two days have given Canada a place in the record books as the country with the most Gold medals in a single Winter Olympics, and the hockey victory made the entire evening’s affairs really feel like one big celebration of Canada as a nation. And while I have all sorts of quasi-critical thoughts about the Ceremonies, and about some of the events over the past few days, and certainly intend to more critically analyze CTV’s coverage of the games over the past 17 days in more detail in the future, right now just doesn’t feel like the time.

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On the Edge of My Seat (Closing My Eyes): Anxiety, Twitter and my Olympics Achilles Heel

Day Seven: On the Edge of My Seat (Closing My Eyes)

February 18th, 2010

When Martin Brodeur stopped the final shot in a shootout which secured Canada an all-important victory in its march towards Hockey Gold at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, I was on Twitter.

I’d like to tell you that I spent the final moments of Canada’s tense shootout victory over Switzerland on Twitter because I was interested in researching how people respond to sporting events in tweets, but the real reason is somewhat more embarrassing. Truth be told, despite the fact that I had recused myself of all personal investment surrounding Canada’s quest for hockey gold – “It’s okay if they lose,” I said naively – my crippling inability to handle suspenseful sporting events continues to be my achilles heel.

In 2002, as Canada faced off with the United States for the Gold Medal in Salt Lake City, I spent the third period on the second story of the house alternating between pacing with my ears plugged and putting a pillow over my head to muffle out any possible sounds from my family watching the game downstairs. It’s a serious issue, perhaps even downright psychological, but I just can’t handle the pressure: even when I have no actual investment, where I’m quite fine if Canada is unable to win a Gold Medal, I somehow internalize all of the pressure that the diehard Canadian hockey fans feel, and the pressure that’s on the players (some of whom are younger than I am) to perform at a high level. Basically, I am a helpless vessel for the transferral of crippling anxiety when it comes to suspenseful and meaningful sporting events.

And so I learned of Sidney Crosby’s heroic Shootout winner over Twitter, and Martin Brodeur’s clutch save was communicated to me through the same medium. In order to make myself feel somewhat better about this, I want to talk about how people were responding to the game through Twitter, and how it’s changing (or, as it turns out, not changing) my Olympics experience.

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Why Sidney Crosby Has Ruined CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada

I knew it would happen eventually. As a resident of Halifax, Nova Scotia, I felt it was my duty to be annoyed at the amount of media coverage received by Sidney Crosby. While I would never doubt his ability, I got sick and tired of hearing about it in the municipality of his childhood throughout his QMJHL days. It came to the point where Crosby was receiving more attention than Halifax’s actual Quebec Major Juniour Hockey League team, and this frustrated me to no end.

It is therefore mildly fitting that Crosby’s newfound superstardom, including a well-deserved Art Ross Trophy this season, has officially come back to bite Canada in the ass.

CBC Livid as NHL Bows to Americans

(The Globe and Mail – April 10th, 2007)

The CBC is furious over the National Hockey League’s decision to schedule Saturday’s Pittsburgh Penguins-Ottawa Senators match in the afternoon instead of prime time.

The Canadian network wanted the game in the evening timeslot to maximize viewership for the traditional Hockey Night in Canada Saturday night show.

But the league bowed to NBC, which limits telecasts to the afternoon and wants the game because of the marquee potential of Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby.

That’s right: because of the apparent stardom of Canadian superstar Sidney Crosby, Canada will not be able to watch its only Eastern Conference hopeful in prime time. It’s a rather bitter pill to swallow for the CBC, and I think for good reasons.

There is no guarantee for prime time Saturday Night broadcasts featuring Canadian teams unless Dallas/Vancouver goes to 6 games.

They’re being forced to show Tampa Bay vs. New Jersey in Primetime on Saturday, which is just an embarrassing Hockey Night in Canada lineup.

The league is arguing that NBC deserves to have the game scheduled for them because it will give the game a chance to grow in the U.S. Guess what, NBC? It ain’t happening, Crosby or no Crosby.

Really, Crosby’s fame has begun to work against Canada; he’s officially the next great hope, the one who will be able to save the game in the eyes of broadcasters. I think this is a fairly huge mantle to be placed upon him, and I don’t think it’s necessarily a fair one either. Crosby cannot be expected to carry the entire game of hockey forward, it’s as simple as that.

But from a broadcasting perspective, the CBC should be pissed right now. Hockey Night in Canada is a tradition that has treated the NHL incredibly well over the years, and yet they’re willing to bow to U.S. pressure. They’re abandoning their core audience of Canadian fans for an American audience who really doesn’t care in the least. So often I think the CRTC are just worthless hacks who fail to see the reality of programming, but their principles are something I agree with in a scenario like this. If a game features Canadian teams, one of only three in the playoffs, then that game should be played in prime time on Hockey Night in Canada. I don’t think it’s that hard, really, and it’s a principle which the NHL should have been following from the beginning.

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