"Heritage" game indeed...
Was anyone else as offended as I regarding the NHL's latest "Canuck-centric" debacle?
A bit of TRUE American "Heritage" feedback for the NHL and NBC --
This game was a travesty of diplomatic insult, boring "same-old, same-old" camera-work, followed by even worse period-break banter that generally celebrated was is ABSOLUTELY AWFUL and REPULSIVE about the game's so-called "heritage" ("Slapshot" & "Ogie Oglelthorpe" & Mike Milbury beating a fan with his shoe!?). The NHL, NBC and its broadcasting brain trust (?) should be ASHAMED of this production. If THIS piece of "Canuck-centric" production/freak-show was their ALL-or-NOTHING "roll of the dice" to gain "new" American fan, sponsor and media interest, then it was an absolutely delusional "craps" of a roll.
Personally, as an American, I was extremely offended that international diplomatic protocols and due respect were insultingly disregarded by the (obviously "TOO-Canadian") NHL.
This game was played on American sovereign ground, Buffalo, New York, between 2 American teams -- why ONLY the Canadian national anthem?
If we're talking that the Canadian anthem was sung to somehow reflect the game's Canadian "heritage", well then, why not ALSO play the Russian, or Czech, or Swedish, or Finnish, or German, or Slovakian, or Austrian, or ESPECIALLY, considering the absolute appropriateness and DUE respect of doing so, the American anthem?
Why the Canadian flag? Why not a Russian, Czech, Swedish, Finnish, German, Slovakian or Austrian as well?
Why could the NHL 'thank' "our troops" ONLY in Afghanistan (where, gee, Canadians ARE serving), but NOT in Iraq or anywhere else (where Canadians AREN'T)? Could it be that the well-known truth about the NHL having "far too many Canadians" has finally shown its ugly TRUE colors and resulted in a diplomatic (and "politicized"?) protocol insult to not only American citizens and US Military Honor Guard there at Ralph Wilson Stadium and Americans watching at home, but also DIRECTLY against those brave and selfless Americans who so gallantly serve and give their all in places like Iraq, hmmm, where Canadians don't?
Let's face it: the "Canuckle-heads" who run the NHL were more concerned with ONLY their Canadian "heritage" and fan-base than they were about truly "woo-ing" any of us know-nothing Americans (or anyone else for that matter) as potential "new fans" to the sport. Quite frankly, the only thing the "US-owned, but Canadian-run" NHL cares about is their seemingly self-annointed birthright to come down from the "Great White North" and bag as much hard-earned American cash and swag as possible, all the while self-righteously proclaiming their superiority about everything from world politics to "our sport" (while benefitting from the service and sacrifice our US Armed Forces that they so callously insult and disrespect).
I myself will NEVER, EVER purchase another NHL licensed item, broadcast package or game ticket EVER again. I will have ALL of my NHL subscriptions cancelled by the end of the day. I will also work tirelessly to insist the NHL and NBC do right by its American fans, viewers, sponsors and media partners, as the NHL and NBC owes FIRSTLY, "our (AMERICAN) troops" in Iraq and around the globe an outright apology for their almost unbelievable diplomatic insult of our country and Armed Forces. They absolutely owe the US Military Honor Guard on the field of the stadium an apology for the almost inconcievable insult of having them (a US Military Honor Guard) stand 'at attention' for the Canadian anthem, but then insultingly denying them the "honor" (what they're supposedly there for) of standing 'at attention' for their OWN national anthem on their OWN soil.
I LOVE this game and have traveled all around the world, on many different continents, joyfully playing and singing its praises, but to ME (a 40-something, 25-year ad/media guy) it's VERY apparent that the "Canada-centric" NHL ONLY wants American's hard-earned cash and sponsor swag, as opposed to actual fan attention, respect or participation, especially as to how it translates to that hard-earned American cash and sponsor swag going into the pockets of (frankly) WAY TOO MANY Canadians that permeate WAY TOO MANY levels of "our" sport (and it IS "our sport" in places like Russia, Sweden, Germany, Finland, Slovakia, Austria, and yes, even America!).
I say LET the know-it-all Canadians (BY THEMSELVES) try and run the NHL on their own soil, in their own cities (and cow towns) with THEIR OWN money. In fact, by themselves the USA, Russia and Europe would have a GREAT "NHL-quality" league of their own with JUST American, Russian and European players (really, the bulk of "talent" players in the NHL anyhow). How many Canadian NHL-quality cities (or "cow towns"?) do you think could provide over-paid employment for the HUNDREDS of mostly otherwise-marginal-&-out-of-work Canadian players then, EH...!?! Hamilton? Winnipeg? Quebec City? -- That's pretty much "it", wouldn't you say?
I say, give-em back their ugly, dump-&-chase, fight-infested "Ogie Oglethorpe" pond hockey (that doesn't sell here anyway) -- we in America will keep our Herb Brooks-styled-&-inspired, skating, play-making, USA/Euro "fusion" game and LOVE it without the backwards-thinking "Canuck-centric" brain trust at the NHL offices cramming "Canuck-head" hockey and their so-called "heritage" down our collective cable and digital access.
And just think: they'd (hopefully) NEVER screw-up the national anthems, diplomatic protocols and DUE respect EVER again...!!!
SHAME ON YOU, NHL. SHAME ON YOU, NBC.
Just an honest American "Heritage" point of view...
P.S.: I think we should start as many internet petitions as possible (especially through the college & "IT" networks) to boycott the NHL and NBC until they issue a formal apology to all concerned, especially to the US Military and its Honor Guard...