One common Canadian stereotype is that all Canadians like hockey. Obviously that’s not true. There are probably some Canadians out there somewhere who don’t like hockey, just like there are probably some Americans who don’t like college football. However, these people are very difficult to find and even if we did find them, we wouldn’t want to get to know them. Who do they think they are anyway, refusing to give in to a stereotype?
The good news is that you don’t even need to worry about finding these Canadians at all. Canadian hockey fans more than overcompensate for those who don’t enjoy the sport. And when we say “overcompensate” we mean “go freakin’ nuts whenever hockey is discussed at any level.”
No where is ludicrous display of obsession more obvious than when Team Canada plays in a tournament. Any tournament. “Team Canada” is a truly uniting force in this country. Sure, Canadian hockey fans spend most of their time fighting out brutal rivalries between Montreal and Toronto, Calgary and Edmonton and Vancouver and not burning stuff after a loss, but international hockey is different. These tournaments allow Canadians to get together and join in a united front.
They allow the people of Canada the chance to wave their flags and paint their faces and sing the national anthem in true drunken glory. Normally Canadians shy away from being patriotic, but not when international hockey is concerned. When it comes to hockey, Canadians are willing to do anything to support the team.
But they don’t just offer support. You see, when you’re “Team Canada” you’re expected to win. That guy who painted his body to look like a Canadian flag isn’t hoping for a good showing or a competitive run that comes close to victory. He wants his team to win. He wants to celebrate over the battered bodies of his enemies with an unhealthy dose of poutine, Canadian beer and showmanship.
That means that every single aspect of any team representing Canada is analyzed extensively. Is Hockey Canada choosing a bunch of under 20 year-olds to play a sport? Yes? Well there had better be a ridiculous amount of over the top coverage! Canadians wouldn’t have it any other way. And if these kids lose the game? Prepare for meltdown.