As I prepare to travel to my uncle’s funeral in Pennsylvania, I’ve been thinking about all the fond memories I have of him. He’d been suffering from cancer the last couple years and I was pretty good about writing to him and dropping everything (even U2 tickets) to make sure I saw him when he was in southern California. I didn’t call enough and that’s something I can’t change now, though I hope I’ll remember when I have another sick relative or friend and take the time.
I know my uncle knows I loved him and thanks to the Olympics and my aunt who was visiting him, I talked to my uncle recently. While watching one of the hockey games on TV, my aunt and uncle needed a hockey term defined for them. Naturally, they called me on my cell phone. I was in a bar (Score on Davie) in Vancouver watching the US women’s hockey team destroy Sweden in their semifinal game. My aunt tells me that any time they were watching hockey they were always looking for me and my uncle was really impressed and happy that I picked up the phone to talk to them even though I was in Vancouver for the Olympics. I’ll forever be happy that my aunt and uncle didn’t know what the announcers meant when they talked about a hat trick. Though NBC should have explained hockey terms during the Olympics, since many viewers of the Olympics are not people who regularly follow the individual sports, I’m actually glad that NBC was typically unaware of their audience. It allowed me a chance to talk to my uncle one last time. We never know what our last interaction with a loved one will be. I was lucky that the Olympics brought me a very recent memory of my uncle. Thank you Aunt Tricia, the Olympics, and NBC for bringing me my last memory of Uncle Hubert. I will always remember the last time we talked.
Every mass my uncle said (to my knowledge), he ended with a traditional Irish Blessing. I think it’s only fitting that I do the same…
May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
May the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.
Tags: family, Hockey, NBC, Olympics, sports, Sweden, USA
I’ve had a wonderful time in Vancouver! Many of my pictures look like they could have been taken at the Summer Olympics instead of the Winter Olympics. There are many pictures of flowering trees, flowers in bloom, sailboats and rowers on the water, and the sun making everything shine. The only pictures I have of the snow are the mountains and the snow caps seem to get smaller every day. We didn’t make it up to Whistler or Cypress to see any of the sports up there. Sadly, the scalpers down here don’t seem to cover the sports on the mountains and we hadn’t pre-purchased our tickets. We did watch some of the sports live on TV, though, which is something I couldn’t have done in southern California.
The Canadian coverage of the Olympics is a lot more thorough than the American coverage on NBC. Though they seem to have fewer channels covering the Olympics, I’m sure they have many more hours of coverage than NBC’s channels. Their channels have the Olympics airing live from the time the events start in the morning until they end. They have replays of games and events after that and unlike the US prime time coverage, they do not start with one sport, then go to another, then go back to the first sport, etc. If you want to watch ski jumping and not watch the other sports going on at that time, it’s simple – just choose the channel showing ski jumping. The only exception to this rule is when they are showing hockey games. They pick another sport airing at the same time to fill the gaps during intermission and go back to the hockey game as soon as intermission is over.
Watching USA vs. Canada men’s ice hockey in a local pub had to be a very close second to being in Canada Hockey Place to watch the game in person. Other than the two of us in our USA hockey jerseys, there was only one other fan we could see cheering for Team USA. There was a guy wearing an American flag as a cape (the Canadian flag as a cape has been very popular almost everywhere we’ve been). He didn’t join in when we chanted “USA! USA!” However, he did cheer when the US scored.
Everyone around us was very nice to us even though we were clearly cheering for the “wrong” team. They seemed to respect the fact that we had the guts to wear USA hockey jerseys into a Canadian bar to cheer our team on to victory. Needless to say, the trash talk from the Canadians took place a lot more before the game than during, since the US scored early to take the lead and never looked back. Canada tied the game a couple times, but never had the lead in the game.
Vancouver has been beautiful and everyone has been very friendly and helpful. I definitely want to come back here when I’ll have more time to enjoy the city.
I’m watching USA vs. Sweden women’s ice hockey right now from a bar with Wi-Fi and looking forward to seeing the US men’s ice hockey team continue to play well. One of the Canadians in Smiley’s (the bar we chose to watch the game) last night pointed out that Canada had the better individual players (Crosby, Getzlaf, Perry, etc.), but that USA had the better team. Since this is a team sport and not a skills competition, Team USA seems to have the advantage at the moment. Though Luongo played well in Canada’s first game, I doubt that Norway tested Canada the way the Swiss and American teams did. I’m not sure the TSN media analysis of Canada’s position in the Olympic standings being Brodeur’s fault is fair. Though I haven’t seen Canada vs. Norway yet and I did see a couple glaringly obvious mistakes by Brodeur in last night’s game against Team USA, it’s not like Canada lost 10-8. They only scored 3 goals. I don’t see how they can blame the game entirely on Brodeur when they weren’t scoring very much.
The rest of the Olympic hockey tournament should be very interesting. Perhaps thinking Team USA had a chance in men’s ice hockey wasn’t such a crazy thought after all.
Tags: Canada, Corey Perry, Hockey, Martin Brodeur, NBC, Norway, Olympics, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Getzlaf, Sidney Crosby, Sweden, TSN, TV coverage, USA