Sunday, March 1, 2015

Should curling be one of Canada's official national sports?

One of my favourite writers, the great Roy MacGregor of the Globe and Mail, turned his attention to curling this weekend and penned a wonderful article based on the premise that curling should be made one of Canada's official national sports.

Right now, there are two in that category: lacrosse and hockey. Hockey became official after a private member's bill by MP Nelson Riis passed.

Back in 1994, Mr. Riis’s intention was to name only hockey, by far the most popular sport, but a determined lacrosse lobby fiercely argued that the country’s original game must not be ignored. 
“During debate, that almost derailed the legislation,” remembers Mr. Riis, who in 2000 left federal politics for private business in Ottawa. “So we compromised and made hockey our national winter sport and lacrosse our national summer sport. I suppose we could continue that process and name curling our spring sport.”
MacGregor said part of the sport's appeal comes down to the players.

From a reporter’s point of view, curlers are profoundly more interesting than today’s hockey stars. They not only try to answer your questions, but they do so without hiding behind clich├ęs. There is no mention of “playing the right way,” “at the end of the day” or “it is what it is.” In curling, “going forward” doesn’t require saying because it’s the only way to go. 
They are also much easier for fans to relate to, as unlike today’s fabulously rich young men who play professional hockey, curlers are considered amateurs who might be lucky to cover expenses through bonspiels. “Curlers need jobs,” says Mr. Jacobs, who makes his living in banking. 
MacGregor even suggests the Bank of Canada turn its attention to the Roaring Game.

The Bank of Canada inexplicably dumped hockey from the back of the five-dollar bill and replaced it with something from outer space. Next makeover, which cannot come fast enough, they should consider curling – Canada’s third national sport.

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