Ottawa Citizen

Getting over hockey is almost easy


The good thing about hockey being over in June is that you can move right into summer. It would be too depressing to lose in March and then go out into the cold and dark and have to face a couple more months of winter. Losing in April, as we know from past experience, isn’t that much better. So it should be a snap to get past hockey. The sun is shining and there’s golf and the garden. There’s the cottage and trips here and there, all those nice paths in the city for walking and bicycling.

The only thing is the Team 1200 is still on in the car. Part of the playoff run is to have the Team 1200 on in the car. This is so you can find out from their analysts a few things the CBC forgot to mention and also keep up with what your fellow fans are thinking. Like, the ice is lousy in Anaheim and that might have affected Ottawa’s game.

It’s true you have to move on and it’s almost summer, but why is it that the CBC never mentions the bad ice when everybody on the Team 1200 knows about it and some of the guys in the newspapers are writing about it?

One of the things you notice about your fellow fans on the radio is that they are very polite and not abusive and so they wouldn’t make the inference that maybe Hockey Night in Canada has something in its contract with the NHL that forbids it from talking about bad ice.

It’s just one of those things you have to get over before you move on to, maybe, cutting the grass that hasn’t been cut for a couple of weeks. Mind you, the weather wasn’t the best, what with all that rain. You could switch over to the CBC, perhaps, but it could be even worse there. You could wind up with one of those panel discussion­s about “Hockey and the Canadian Identity” — a bunch of guys talking about the six-team league and The Hockey Sweater and our national soul and one of them can’t pronounce Geoffrion and nobody knows who Alfie is.

Intellectu­als can get really solemn about hockey and when you get that on the radio, cutting the grass doesn’t seem like a bad idea.

Just for old times’ sake, you check the Team 1200 and that loudmouth syndicated guy from the States is back on and all the callers want to talk about is the NFL draft. That sort of thing can help you move on, but as you drive you notice that there are still a lot of cars with flags on them, still a lot of vans where the Go Sens slogans haven’t been washed off yet. So you can see that other people haven’t quite moved completely on yet.

In fact, you see quite a few lawns that look as if they need mowing. The officiatin­g, too, you wonder about that, and also whether you were too quick to abandon the previously lucky sweatshirt after Game 2.

Still, it’s June and there are so many other things to think about. It would be a good time to get caught up on the political situation. Except that the politician­s are all going to be taking the summer off any minute now, so why bother?

There’s also the environmen­t, which everybody is talking about all of a sudden, including all those world leaders who polluted the air with their jet planes on the way over to Germany to agree on something that nobody else can agree on whether it will make any difference or not. These things are complicate­d, but it is nice that people won’t be idling their cars so much since the weather is warm.

Mind you, it would have been nice to see about 10,000 cars idling on the way out of Scotiabank Place last night. But that’s not moving on, is it? Moving on means thinking about digging a tunnel under downtown and having trains running all over the place. It sounds like a not-bad idea, although you wonder whether people will put up with the cost and the inconvenie­nce while the thing is being built.

That sweatshirt had won 12 games and maybe it was wrong to abandon it just because it lost two in Anaheim. It could have been the bad ice, not the sweatshirt, although you wouldn’t know it from the CBC.

Charles Gordon’s column appears weekly.

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