The Sacred Game

I'm not sure exactly when I stopped caring about the World Junior Hockey Championships.

I think it was after the 2010 tourney in Saskatoon.  I realized here that the only countries that ever consistently fund, prioritize, and dominate the tournament are Canada and the United States. However, Canada is the only place that really cares.

I have also come to realize that the complete corporate exploitation of every aspect of the tournament really put a pretty red bow on my realization that major junior hockey can be a horrifying and exploitive industry that preys on some of humanities best attributes like sportsmanship and team work for the betterment of the entrenched business model of the game.  Major Junior fronts itself as being for the betterment of the game itself, but it doesn't care about that.  Why do teams leave communities after decades if the betterment of the game is most important? 

Major Junior is a microcosm of professional hockey cloaked in innocent virtue.  It is primarily concerned with the ego of business and commoditizing the sacred attributes of the game.  There are those that will argue this point, but our society swims in a sea of commodified sacredness and we breath the water through our conditioned gills. 

I remember a quote from Kurt Cobain where he said few people actually really and truely like music, and most of those people are musicians.  I believe hockey has a similar connection with people.  Millions watch the game, few feel the depth of the connection in their bones.  More often then not, those who feel this depth are the people who cannot help by play, read, write, or discuss the game.  

I recall as a child in grade school going to the washroom only to find two separate boys from different classes that made a pact during recess to both ask to go to the washroom at the same time to play hockey with rulers and erasers on the washroom floor.  This took some dedication.  It is evidence of the whimsical childhood sensibilities that compose the game of hockey.   A game for the sake of play.  These sensibilities instill Canadian culture with something that is impossible to measure on a balance sheet. Unfortunately, it is not impossible to corrode and destroy that which is sacred by distorting purposes and selling off emotional connections piece by piece by piece by piece.