Saturday, February 27, 2010

We're really going to begrudge them a beer?

So Melodie asked me in the comments section of the last post what I think of the minor controversy over the "behaviour" of the Canadian Women's Hockey team after winning the gold medal. An hour or so after the game was over, and after all the fans were cleared from the arena, the team decided to take their celebration back out on the ice, drinking beer and champagne and smoking a few cigars. Pictures were taken and circulated of them celebrating, including Marie-Philip Poulin, who is a 18, shown with a can of beer in her hands. This has, bizarrely, upset some people and the apologies have been flying fast and furious.

I have absolutely no idea why. The level of hypocrisy surrounding this story kind of floors my brain. If the men's hockey team does this on Sunday, nobody will say boo about it. Jon Montgomery produced what is one of my favourite moments of this Olympics so far, and Stephen Brunt agrees with me when after winning the gold medal in Skeleton he walked around drinking a pitcher of beer that someone had gave him. I laughed when I saw that. I don't really drink, but by God if I had just won and Olympic gold medal and someone handed me a pitcher of beer, I would drink it with joy.

For God's sake, they've just won an Olympic Gold Medal. Let them live. Let them celebrate. They've just accomplished something remarkable. They are living the first line of their obituary. And the last time I checked, they weren't skating around in a nun's habit with the Canadian flag pasted on it. "Oh my God, women are drinking and smoking! Horrors!" I know women who could drink men twice their size under the table. They among my best friends and some of the coolest people I know.

Give me a break. They're human. Do I care if they drink in the middle of a mostly empty hockey arena? I do not. Should anyone care if they do? They should not. And as for Poulin, she's legal to drink in Quebec where she lives, and in Alberta where she trains. So in her preparations to win a gold medal, and in her excitement over winning one, she forgot to check the drinking age in BC. And people are making a big deal of that. Wow.

Also, and I'm curious to see this. If you never had a drink before you reached the legal drinking age, post here. I don't expect I'm going to get many responses.

Will anyone, anywhere, care about this in a week's time or remember it in a few months time? They absolutely should not. And anyone who thinks that this diminishes them as role models is insane. If anything, this makes them better ones. Because not only did they work hard and accomplish something remarkable, they remembered to enjoy it and celebrate it, which is just as important. Should they have done it in the locker room instead of out in the arena? Who care. Nobody was supposed to be there. They didn't do it in front of thousands of fans. They didn't strip naked and run around the arena.

They celebrated. The day we have a problem with our athletes celebrating something remarkable after years of pains, sweat and sacrifice with something so simply as a beer and a cigar, then, I don't know. Perhaps removing the collective sticks from our asses might be a start.

Last Five
1. The mistress - Amelia Curran
2. The fly - U2
3. Bad kids - Black Lips
4. I can't be wrong - Sean Panting
5. Beautiful one - Sean Panting*


Melissa said...

While you are most certainly entitled to your opinion (one which I share most of the time), I don't necessarily think my opinion (which is not the same as yours in this case) makes me 'insane'.

I agree that celebration for a Gold Medal should ensue. I also think that the women should have been more discrete about it.

I know my opinion about the matter hasn't gained me many fans. In fact, Melodie also commented on my post yesterday. But, I think I have articulated my reasoning for my belief without degrading the people who have contrary beliefs.

Just a thought.

Clare said...

Well I for one never drank before I turned, oh wait, that says 18. Never mind.

William Burton said...

I wasn't sure what to make of your blog posting when I read it today after coming in from working on my snow machine outside. I read it and went back out to continue my work. For the last hour and a half I thought about your blog and came to the realization that like my blog, or my fiancee's or anyone else's it is after all, an opinion. One in which we are all entitled to. I must decree that I don't like the way you seem to 'rip' others for having an opinion.

I will not get into the debate of the Canadian women's hockey team here. That's what our blogs are for, but I will say your blog was well written as it always is and I always enjoying reading your blog first and your opinion is respected. I hope you too can respect others just the same. Happy blogging.

Nancy Crozier said...

The next round is on me!

gpc said...

I never had a drink before I was legal age, which was 21 at the time. But what can I say, I have many other regrets, too. And I like to think I would have if I'd won gold.

tanker belle said...

Have not caught the controvery...too far away I guess. But I'm thinking that maybe if they had, as you suggestion, stripped instead of drank & smoked there might have been more favourable reporting as Im guessing most of the sports journalists are guys.

The Perfect Storm said...

Great post. You are really making that "Best Blog" justified.

To your point, I agree.

The image of our women's hockey team letting their hair down in such an innocuous way was picture perfect. I only hope my own daughter experiences that moment some day of being so alive after working as hard as these ladies did, achiving for herself the equivalent of what they have for themselves.

Folks, (a) it's hockey and if you haven't taken a team through years of hard effort to get to the top, you can't imagine the effort invested in something that might seem so inconsequential, (b) it's our Olympics AND it was hockey gold; the pressure on the team was greater than anything most of us can ever imagine.

I suggest we have no idea the extent to which other host countries have seen their local heros celebrate. Our women hoisting a beer in a nearly empty arena (they did wait until it was clearing recall) is a-ok with me.


SRD said...

didn't see any of it, and haven't read any of the coverage past the headlines, but my mother-in-law watched the whole thing and her one comment was that she was embarrassed at how the Americans behaved! (and she _is_ American).

Melodie said...

Yes!!! Townnie, you did it again. I kind of had a feeling that you would find no problem with this celebratory moment. I did post on those other two blogs, but of course I felt like I only explained half of what I meant. You pretty much summed up how I feel about it.

But anyways! CANADA won GOLD!

towniebastard said...

Melissa and William, I tend to write passionately. And, in fact, I'll often get up and walk away from the computer for a couple of hours if I know the first draft will get me lynched. The first mental draft of this was, believe it or not, much more strongly worded.

We obviously disagree on this issue. Is "insane" a strong word? Yes. Then again, I feel if you have a serious problem with how the women hockey players behaved after winning a gold medal, well...

This too will blow over. As I said, in a few weeks no one will remember the beer and the cigars. What they will remember are a couple of dozen powerful, skilled women winning gold for themselves and their country and the joy and pride they must have felt when they accomplished that goal.

That's what we should be celebrating. That's *all* we should be talking about.

SRD said...

speaking of such about a blog on language? (or have we done this already?) I would often love to send links to your blog, but honestly I often find the language both 'strong' and sometimes offensive.Of course, some of it is style, but at the risk of sounding prudish, I'm not used to reading such language in a public forum (and remember papers here print much ruder words than yours do, and our TV bleeps much less too). When I edit, i always take out all the adjectives and it is always stronger after that...maybe those rules don't work for blogs.

´´Saray´´ said...

My two cents if I am allowed even if I am not Canadian. This story has been all over the papers here in Europe, making front pages on many countries.

Being teetotal myself I never see it as a pretty sight other women getting drunk, it diminishes them in my humble opinion but that was not my first thought when I read these news.

My first thought was that having all the wonderful things you have in Canada (literature, music artists & cinema come to mind first as I am a huge fan of those) it´s a real pity people got talking about Canada because of this incident.

I do not know what´s stopping Canadians promoting its good things abroad but all I know is that in other continents we get ´stuffed´ with US things, some of those good, many truly awful and we never ever heard of things coming from Canada other than Margaret Atwood releasing a book from time to time and the Olympics this time.

It´s weird, don´t know if media plays a role on that or what does.

Congrats on the medals!!