I fail at being Canadian. I don't know the first thing about curling and I don't care for hockey. Last Friday night, at an incredible burlesque show, while there were a number of hugely talented people doing a fundraiser for the arts, attention was riveted to a bunch of ice-skating gorillas. I can't say I'm surprised, but I am a little bit disappointed in my Vancouver brethren.
The CBC is hooked on hockey and the NHL lockout could be just a bitter foretaste of the future for the national public broadcaster. Friends' calculates that the CBC will suffer a devastating financial loss of as much as $200 million annually if it loses the rights to Hockey Night in Canada in 2014 when its agreement with the NHL expires. All told, the loss of hockey would be much worse than the most recent round of cuts announced in the federal budget last March. It would amount to a game changer for our national public broadcaster. Friends is not proposing that CBC television drop hockey, but our national public broadcaster must prepare for this scenario, which could open new and exciting possibilities to operate more like a public broadcaster.
Ron Maclean of Hockey Night in Canada, stood in a classroom told the story of Frank O'Dea, the co-founder of Second Cup, who was at one time a homeless panhandler living on the streets of Toronto. Ten students listened carefully to the account and watched as Maclean simultaneously jotted a phone number on the blackboard. "Frank got off the street," the hockey commentator said, "because he had mentors who helped him. "This is my home phone number."
Listen, if Don Cherry believes that the Leafs should sign players from Ontario just to sign them, he's wrong. There is no benefit to trying to kid yourself that somebody will help your team just because he's from your neck of the woods. The Wings win with Swedes, not Michiganders. The Bruins won with Canadians, not Bay Staters