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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hockey Night in... England

British people, they don't really get hockey.

After the conversation I had a few months ago, I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I somehow managed to work the word "zamboni" into a conversation, and I got this response:

Them: What's a "Zamboni"?
Me: The big machine-thing that clears the ice between periods.
Them: Periods of what?

And, they insist on calling it Ice Hockey, as tho expecting someone to think they're talking about Field Hockey... at the Winter Olympics. "And next up is Figure Ice Skating -- not to be confused with Figure Skating Not On Ice -- followed by Ice Curling. And then some highlights from Skiing on Mountains Covered in Snow and Speed Ice Skating."

Of course, they don't actually care about hockey, and are playing curling and skiing instead of the Russia/Canada quarter-final tonight.

Which is a shame, because the BBC coverage is so damned funny. Yesterday, the presenter was intro-ing hockey highlights, and was trying to express that Canada was under pressure even off the ice, because the team's Exec Director was the centre of a gambling scandal.

Which is true-ish. However, the Exec Director of the Men's team is not -- contrary to the BBC -- known as "Wayne Grady." Either her teleprompter was wrong (shame on you, BBC researchers!), or she's illiterate. Possibly both. Don't get me wrong, I think Wayne Gretzky is a bit of a wanker, but that's like talking about basketball's all time-greatest player Michael Johnson or golf's Lion Woods or baseball's Babe Rogers.

And even the gameplay commentary is hilarious. They only showed clips on the main channel, but my personal favourite was Martin St. Louis' goal. I'm not sure if it was a powerplay, but the Canadians were all positioned around the net, passing back and forth to each other, looking for a shot, while the Czechs -- who are much better than this -- just stood there and watched. It was akin to holding a toy over a child's head, and mocking them when they jumped up to grab it. The commentators said something to the effect of: "This is why the Canadian team isn't winning games; they're just too static!" Mere seconds after that comment, St. Louis scored. Ha, ha.

Gonna try to find somewhere to watch the Canada/Russia game tonight. Want to watch the final at the Canadian pub near Covent Garden -- because it'll be such a gong show -- but that of course assumes Team Canada can make it that far...


Blogger Daorcey said...

Wayne Grady.

Ho ho ho!


Anonymous kearns said...

i know it seems as though we are stating the obvious when referring to "ice" hockey throughout the winter olympics. the thing is, its hard to break the habit. as wikipedia says:

"The dominant version of hockey in a particular region tends to be known simply as hockey, other forms being more fully specified. For example, in North America, hockey refers to ice hockey, the most common form of the sport in the region, whereas in the UK the same word denotes field hockey."

Basically meaning that if we're saying "ice hockey" all the time, it becomes a bit of a chore to drop the "ice" for a few weeks every 4 years.

The real test is whether, as a canadian, you drop the word "field" when watching hockey during the summer games. if you do, you re a better person than i am!


Anonymous Joie Coles said...

Oh my good that was funny nicole. The ice hockey thing cracks me up. I guess they're doing better then me though, I would never have associated 'Field' hockey with hockey. It's field hockey and hockey is played on the ice with skates on. I haven't checked here for a long time so I might say more.
Ciao for now,



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