I’ll quote from the Vancouver Sun, in regards to the finals for the Stanley Cup this year. The
Calgary Vancouver [only noticed this booboo thanks to a comment. Oopsie.] Canucks have managed to stay in until the end and many Canadians have faith that in this icy battle of good and evil, the black hearted Boston Bruins are going down. I don’t care either way, but:
“You can really see a lot of similarities between the attention paid to holy relics of the saints and spiritual heroes and the way Canadians, in particular, have treated their hockey heroes and the products they’ve created,” said Denis Bekkering, a PhD candidate in the Wilfrid Laurier-University of Waterloo, Ont., joint program in religious studies.
Which reminds me, back in 2008 I wrote about a professor in Montreal, Quebec who was going to teach a theology class around the religious-like passion for the Canadiens in that province. I wonder how that went.
He bases his theory on previous research suggesting Americans rally around the “unifying civic religion” of politics, including sacred places (Washington, D.C.), martyrs (Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy) and objects (the Liberty Bell).
Lacking this larger-than-life political mythology, Canada has built its collective religion around the rink, Bekkering says, and specifically around international competitions such as the Olympics, which turn a Team Canada jersey into a national talisman.
“It’s a real point of integration,” he said. “It’s a way for us to have markers along our shared Canadian history.”
Then I’m a bad Canadian, I guess. I don’t mark the years by Stanley Cup wins. My sense of identity isn’t tied into how many gold medals Team Canada can get in any given year. I don’t care who’s playing, I don’t care where they’re playing.
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine has had been able to study the brains of 40 athletes but only a couple hockey players. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy causes memory loss, behaviour changes, depression and dementia.They’ve found it in at least 30 of those they studied and would probably love to check everyone but actual evidence of CTE can only be determined post-mortem. Researchers are hoping this information will make players and their families more willing to consider brain donation in the event of death.