Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The powerhouses

Who's going to win the Olympic basketball games? Well, it's no longer a sure thing we will, but no one is going to write us off. Baseball? Well, I might start betting on Cuba or Puerto Rico, but no one's going to be surprised if we do. American football? No one else plays it, so who cares? Soccer? Only our women are seen as a serious threat internationally. Ice hockey ... hmmm....

Well, gone are the days of 1980's "miracle", mostly because all of the amazing Soviet players moved here. Still, they're retired. The Russians clogging the NHL now, that's different - or perhaps no so different.

Russia 7 : 2 France

They play ice hockey in France? Where?

Sweden is the powerhouse of ice hockey. The largest nationality group for the Red Wings is from Sweden. Sight unseen, if I had to pick a best bet, it would be them. Of course, no one is immune from failure.

Sweden 2 : 3 Latvia.

Do most people here even know where Latvia is?

“We are obviously going to need that killer instinct when we play the Swedes,” [the US coach] said. “They are a very good team, a puck possession team, and play a little different from what we’ve seen so far.” Well, it's good that someone has explained to them that you need to actually get your stick on the puck in order to score.

I'm curious as to why this is going on concurrently w/ the Stanley Cup. A couple of the teams have yet to announce their line up for the next round, due to the players being distracted by the Cup. Sorry, Mr. Gopher, the Fatherland is (probably) out by another one of the Germanic countries (CH), although we took out the other one.

Canada 9 : 0 Hungary

Sure, rooting for the underdog is great - but the finals are likely to be the same-old-same-old: Canada, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech, & Slovakia, and and the U.S. Although, just checking, the Russia-Switzerland game is 2:2. If I can't root for Germany, at least I can hope one of the other underdogs take down the big boys.

But, the power game for the Gopher household is tomorrow: U.S. vs. Svenska (Hey, Mr. Gopher, did you know Linköping has an ice hockey team?) The only way Mr. Gopher will cheer for us is if we're not playing Germany or Sweden. Unfortunately, 8:15 p.m. Central European Time isn't exactly coordinated with Minnesota Central Time. I suspect my professors won't be too keen on ice hockey rather than a boring goddamned waste of my time field trip tomorrow.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

International sports, whether it's the Olympics or world cups or whatever, are a great way to learn geography. It's astonishing how many people don't know where Sweden is (not Minnesotans, obviously) or other major countries. So, I support international sports but I don't watch them myself....