The Paradoxes of Canada’s National Sport

“He shoots! He scores!” It’s playoff time in the National Hockey League, and we Canadians alter our social lives accordingly. Nothing—even in this fragmented, segmented entertainment market—grabs and holds our attention like hockey.

And why shouldn’t it? It is the quintessential Canadian game. Right down to its Christianity.

(More about that last part later.)

Hockey began as a winter pursuit of lacrosse players—or so goes at least one account of the game. Lacrosse used to be our sole national sport, derived from the considerably more vigorous (that is to say, murderous) aboriginal original, and is still our national summertime sport.

(How it became the preserve nowadays of East Coast American prep schools and elite universities isn’t clear to me, but we’ll have to explore lacrosse another time.)

Hockey, however, is king—and none of that “ice hockey” stuff, thank-you. There is field hockey, yes, and there is (just) hockey.

The Canadian spirit is, indeed, on display in hockey.

[For the rest, please click HERE.]

2 Responses to “The Paradoxes of Canada’s National Sport”

  1. Dawit

    I strongly disagree with John on this OP. Maybe the Maritimes where John lives are different? NHL hockey can and does injure players and the minor leagues pick it up and have their players who basically are fighters. In grade 11 winter 56-57 the local Juvenile league team was in the playoffs and I often went and enjoyed the games. BUT now I only watch NHL hockey if I am away from home and the host puts it on. When the Olympics are on I do watch then as it seems more like how the game was played in small town Ontario when I was in high school. NHL hockey and Cdn football are gladiator sports with nothing Christian about them, as I view them


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