Whoa. Post-gold medal hockey. A hangover, this country has one.
It was totally worth it, though. I love the collective roar that went up when Our Boy Sidney put the puck in the net. From coast to coast to coast, and overseas as well, Canadians erupted in a collective dance of jubilation. Houses full of families gathered around the TV or computer screen hugging and cheering. Bars full of people drinking themselves into happy oblivion. Drivers endlessly honking their horns. Streets full of people singing the anthem on a loop — one group would finish singing, and another one would start up.
Our anthem is a sing-along song, a song where you throw your arm around your neighbour’s shoulder and sing with all your heart. This gave me endless happiness for the past two weeks, but last night capped it perfectly.
I didn’t watch The Game (as it will be known for a few generations). I couldn’t. I am highly superstitious when it comes to sports, and although BDH assures me that whether or not I watch a game has no impact whatsoever on it’s outcome — I don’t believe him. I hadn’t watched all tournament long and they were doing fine, so I was NOT going to screw with karma last night. So I didn’t watch. BDH watched in the next room, and I tried to keep an even keel in another. Finally, after the third period, it was just too much stress, and I had to take That Baby upstairs to the attic until I heard the scream of joy. Then it was safe to watch and enjoy the moment. (I am a superstitious freak, and I am okay with that. If I played hockey, I’d be one of those players who didn’t change their socks all tournament or whatever.)
Hockey is such a huge part of our national identity. I know people who don’t like hockey will complain and say “it’s just a game”. But they are wrong. It IS a big part of what makes us who we are as a country, from the smallest of towns to big cities with franchises, and the naysayers just have to suck it up and get over themselves. I mean, I don’t watch NHL hockey, but even I can admit that winning Olympic gold is a Very Big Deal and get excited and cheer along with the rest of the country.
And we did. We cheered a lot. We stayed up way too late, not just last night but for two solid weeks of the Olympics. And I am feeling it today. It may not be a hangover from a few too many beers, but it can definitely be attributed to a few too many late nights and choruses of “O Canada”.
I don’t mind nursing that kind of hangover, one that comes from celebrating together and sharing a night of national pride. But I will admit, I am kind of relieved it only happens once every four years.