There was a tweet I saw by a relatively uninformed person about men’s hockey, and how hockey is Canada’s game.
It really used to be. We used to be only one of two countries (the other being Russia, sometimes Sweden) that really cared about the sport enough to put together a really competitive team.
Now, however, there’s seven or eight teams that can win the gold medal.
Sure, there’s Canada, Russia and Sweden, all of which have been good teams for a while. However, the United States has really put together a strong program. Not to mention the Swiss, the Fins, the Czech Republic, and even Slovakia.
Is the idea of only having two good teams great for those two nations? Definitely. We would be practically guaranteed a medal!
Is having only two competitive teams great for the game? No, and only real fans of the game would realize this.
It’s great to see the game grow. In fact, even recently we see teams get dominated by others. Latvia and Norway were whipping posts in the Olympics; to some extent they still are, but they are improving dramatically.
If you take a look at the women’s game now, they are where the men’s league used to be. There are two, maybe three decent teams in the league, but two really run away with it, Canada and the United States. But soon, we will see the other teams start to improve their programs, and they will get to where the men’s league is now.
Times are a changin’, and it’s great to see. It’s kind of weird actually, watching a Latvia-Norway game and it being more exciting than a Canada-Finland game. But, that’s the world we live in now, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.