Hockey: Invented by the British, now Russia’s national sport, says US writer

- February 3rd, 2013
Canadiens score

MONTREAL, CANADA – Lars Eller (#81) of the Montreal Canadiens celebrates after scoring his second period goal during the NHL game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Bell Centre on February 2, 2013 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images/AFP)

Are you kidding me, Joshua Keating?

Keating writes:

Hockey, the British-invented, Canadian-developed national sport of Russia…

British-invented? We invented it!

National sport of Russia? It’s our national sport! Who has ever referred to hockey anywhere as Russia’s national sport?

Hockey is us and we are hockey. Period.

And I’m so disappointed that a journalist for our closest international ally and southern neighbour does not know this. Sigh.

This phrase comes in essay in which Keating begins with a useful enough question on the eve of the Super Bowl: Why don’t other countries like football?

… football’s audience is mostly American as well. Sunday’s showdown between the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers will be broadcast in 180 countries but, while exact viewership stats are hard to come by, it’s a safe bet that outside the United States — or at least North America — the vast majority of those staying up late to watch will be American expats.

Not here. It won’t be American expats driving the ratings up here in Canada. It will be another group which we call  ”Canadians.”

Clearly, Keating could use a few weeks north of his country’s northern border. He does note, in the piece:

Canada has had its own popular league since 1958 and is the leading foreign contributor of NFL players — as well as a common stopping point for former NFL players. The Buffalo Bills have also played one game per year in nearby Toronto for the last five years.

Isn’t that sweet? We’ve had our own “popular league” since 1958 . Of course, the NFL as we currently know it has been around since 1960. And while American football supremacy is recognized with the awarding of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, first given out in 1970, football supremacy in our country is recognized with a trophy named after Lord Grey, first awarded  in 1909. That’s right: Canadian teams have been playing for a national football championship since 1909. Americans? Since 1970.

 

Categories: Arts and Culture

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4 comments

  1. Cromwell says:

    In a manner similar to the mis-use of the term ‘football’ in North America, where ‘soccer’ is used so as not to confuse the denizens of said continent, so those who administer and support ‘Ice Hockey’ have now compressed the name to merely ‘Hockey’. It must be recognised that there are two forms of ‘hockey’ – ‘Ice Hockey’ and the much older, and more popular globally, ‘Field Hockey’. In Europe, including Russia, the game is still known as ‘Ice Hockey’, likely since Europe is also a hot bed of ‘Field Hockey’ and Europeans can readily distinguish between the two forms. However, North Americans have subverted the name to reflect the version played on ice.

  2. Truth Fairy says:

    “British-invented? We invented it”!

    Brit soldiers “invented” it while in Canada before Canada was even Canada.

    “National sport of Russia? It’s our national sport”!

    There there. I’m sure there is plenty of room for other countries to have it as their national sport as well.

    You sound like you need a vacation and some meds.

  3. steph says:

    it doesn’t surprise me at all that an American would make such a statement. The Americans are well-known for pretty much giving Canadians the finger, when it comes to recognizing us for our feats. like Apple pie. Baseball. The Americasn claim them, Canadians invented them. and now going as far as to say OUR national sport, the one we came up with to tide us over the winter until lacross season, is Russian!? maybe someone needs to be shown how to get the facts before printing so you dont look like the ignorant fool.

  4. Realist says:

    Russians call hockey “ice hockey”? I always thought they called ice hockey just “hockey” as it’s the only type of hockey played in that country for the most part?

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