Canada’s Parliament Shuts Down, and Election Season (Unofficially) Begins
In last week’s newsletter I asked if basketball was replacing hockey in your sports spectator’s life, or if you had room in your heart for both. A large number of you shared your thoughts. Here’s a small sampling of your replies, edited for space and clarity:
Yes basketball has started to grow to a fever pitch since the Raptors started to dominate the sport, but let me tell you, no matter how high the fever, hockey will always dominate. We are hockey long and strong!
There is plenty of room for both sports, however, a true Canadian will never give up their hockey.
Sandy Reynolds, Barrie, Ontario
I quit watching hockey in 1987 after being sickened by an N.H.L. playoff game going a then-record six overtimes only because the referees would not call obvious penalties.
I came to realize that not only do basketball players do the most amazing things athletically, but the strategy and tactics of the game leaves “see puck, chase puck” far behind.
This August, I’m looking forward to Canada doing well at the FIBA World Championships for the first time in a very long time. With hoops being cheaper and safer for kids to play, I think it will be our most popular sport in the future.
Doug Fischer, Edmonton
Canada’s favorite sport is as diverse as its population. There isn’t just one and we embrace them all. I obsess on tennis but attended my first rugger match this year. We grew up watching football and hockey. My son follows e-sports and soccer. Husband golfs. Finally, we have talented pros competing globally who spread the word about respect and inclusion.
Judy Tyson, Oakville, Ontario
I was an avid hockey fan until the first N.H.L. strike. After the second hockey strike, I threw in the towel. I was angry that these overly high-paid young jocks and their team owners were making so much money that no average person could afford to go to a game, let alone bring their family.
Has basketball taken its place for me, especially since the Raptors’ win? No. Again, a bunch of overpaid jocks playing a game that is unaffordable to go to anymore.
When I want to watch sports, I go to local city games. Or I get active and go for a hike. Pro hockey and pro basketball can both take a hike.
Deb Thiessen, Victoria
It has been a surprise to me, someone born and raised in Vancouver who was a die-hard Canucks supporter, to find myself now completely uninterested in hockey and completely enthralled with basketball and the Toronto Raptors.
My interest in hockey has withered over the last 10 years as the N.H.L. has treated its fans and players with ongoing hostility. It remains the whitest of sports and is tied up with conservative notions of what it means to be Canadian — be quiet, follow the rules and “the code,” and know your place.
The N.B.A., by contrast, is doing a marvellous job of ensuring the best players from all over the world shine. They treat each other, and conduct themselves, to the highest standards while still showing off their individual personalities and having fun.
I know which league, which team and which sport I want to share with my young children. One represents the optimistic outward-facing future of Canada, and one represents its inward-facing, conservative past. One wants its players and sport to thrive, and one stands by while its best players get injured and the sport fades into dull irrelevance.
Luke Andrews, Toronto