Canada's Church of Hockey Ready for Mass Again. The headline on the front page of the national newspaper last week made me cringe. It was about the resumption of the season after months of wrangling by the greedy owners and the greedy players. I have to say I hate it when a game of any kind is compared to religion, and in this country it is hockey. I heard a radio interview with an official from a national organization for children's hockey in which the interviewer began with "now hockey is a religion in this country..." Not it is akin to a religion, or is treated like a religion. Now, apparently it is a religion.
Hey, maybe they are right. If they are, I am ready and willing to label it idolatry of a false god. I am totally baffled as to why some parents want their children to aspire to the miserable spectacle of the past few months. In their selfishness players and owners revealed that the sheer joy of playing this sport at a professional level has all but disappeared. From my perspective this is a cold-hearted business, and this has seeped down through the various levels of Canada's game.
Respondents to the "mass" article picked up on the metaphor: "I have become agnostic when it comes to the church of the NHL. Please don't pass me the collection plate." "Someone else will have to say a prayer for me because I will not be attending."
Am I a tad bitter because this has siphoned families away from the Christian community and the opportunity for Sunday worship. In the words of Sarah Palin "you betcha." There was a time when I wouldn't miss the Buds and the Habs on a Saturday evening, even if I knew I would be yelling "bums!" at the Leafs before the end of the first period. Not tonight.