Saturday, June 17, 2006



News flash: Canadians love hockey.

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Canadians really want the Stanley Cup to "return to Canada." So in Vancouver, hockey fans are rabidly rooting for the Edmunton Oilers to beat the Carolina Hurricaines with -- even though they have their own team, the Canucks, who were eliminated from contention long ago.

Such nationalist rooting interest is not typical of U.S. sports fans in Major League competition. True, U.S. fans get excited for U.S. athletes in specifically international competitions, like the Olympics and perhaps, increasingly, the world cup. But not when it comes to NHL or MLB championships.

I like to root against rivals of the Mets, such as the Atlanta Braves or the Philadelphia Phillies, so I was quite pleased when both those teams fell to the Toronto Blue Jays in successive World Series in 1992-93.

And I have this bias against southern expansion teams in Major League sports, so I'm rooting for the Oilers to take the Stanley Cup finals from the 'Canes. My "internationalist" rooting orientation is not unusual in the U.S. While many U.S. fans may root for the 'Canes (or Phillies or Braves) over the Canadian team on a purely nationalist basis, they'll tend not to root that strongly, since Americans' partiality to our particular city teams is so predominant.

Anyway, while in Vancouver, I happily joined these Vancouverites who packed a sports bar to root for the Edmunton Oilers.


It's Edmonton.
Sometimes it's spelled as the "Edmunton Oylers," so leave Oscar alone.
haha - my dad was just telling me that my grandma (who lives with my aunt in Ottowa) has really gotten into hockey while there and is furiously rooting for Edmonton (...or Edmunton)!
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