Monday, February 27, 2006


Last Olympics post

I immersed myself in the last few days of Olympic coverage, and with the obvious exception of men's hockey, I totally agree with Mirtle that the Games were terrific as a whole. There was even a moment that made it into the Pantheon, and straight up to my Top 3.

In Salt Lake City, Beckie Scott winning a medal (a bronze at the time) by the length of her boot was tremendous. That made my Top 3 because of her account of the training and dedication over the previous 4 years: she left literally nothing at the margin that might cost her a fraction of a second come the Olympics, a fraction that she ended up needing.

Probably my #1 overall moment is still the Saskatchewan ladies' rink at the '98 Olympics. You may or may not recall: it was a big deal that curling had made the Olympics, but not nearly as big as it is now, where many top Canadian rinks spend two years trying to peak for the Trials.

Anyway, before the semis and the gold medal game, Schmirler et al were basically saying, "This is just another big tournament, we've played in a few and done well, and we're going to do what we can." They truly did not acknowledge, outwardly, or as best I could tell inwardly, that the Olympic gold was on a seriously different plane.

They won the gold medal game, and there was lots of hugs and high-fives, but not really that much emotion. "We're proud that we represented Canada well", etc. etc..

Then came the medal ceremony. The medals were presented, and the tears started coming a bit. Then, the flag went up, the anthem started to play, and it was an utter emotional breakdown on the podium. 4 of the 5 ladies were absolutely bawling uncontrollably. It was simply awesome to watch them acknowledge the magnitude of the Gold as it happened, and needless to say, it got extremely dusty in my living room.

The newest addition to the Pantheon is also a curling moment, the men's gold, and as Mirtle mentioned: "Young skip Brad Gushue breaking down in tears in an interview afterwards..". You know what made it absolutely classic, though? The emergence of the Newfie accent at the height of his emotion.

Gushue's a pretty composed 25-year-old, and I had never heard that from him before. Like a lot of Newfies who "make their living" among mainlanders, he's adopted our language. He sounds like he's from Ontario, generally. But when he was all choked up, on the phone with his Mom and with the CBC right after, it was 100% Newfoundland accent. (By the time he composed himself for the 2nd chat with the CBC, not more than 5 minutes later, it was right back to 'normal'.) That really got me for some reason.

All in all, good times. We're set up nicely for a huge performance in Vancouver. I'm already hoping I have the resources to get out there and take some of it in. Go Canada.


C'mon. For "Brian's Song" cry points, nothing tops that Tim Hortons commercial with the Chinese dad. I practically have to run into the crapper and hide every time that old dude says "Gimme my picture back."

I was going to do a post on the Olympic ads, but, uh, I didn't.

That one definitely elicited mixed reactions. My wife had the same reaction as you; I was a little befuddled. If your dad (theoretically!) was always telling you that you were wasting your life, would his secret subscriptions to the Post and the WS really make it all right? I dunno; it just didn't seem quite right to me.

The Bell beaver ads held up surprisingly well through the 17 days. The Bombardier ads were of course ridiculous, especially since as Selley noted, their only conceivable purpose is to generate some fuzzy positive feelings toward the Corp to counteract any (unlikely) Harper musings that their trough should be hosed out.

But the prize for trash/aggravation goes to those yogurt idiots. The first time I saw the ad in the boardroom, I thought to myself about 27 seconds in, "This ad could not possibly be worse." Then the possessed lady delivered the tagline.

Just terrible. Right up there with the Subway sock puppet with the Gilbert Gottfried voice. And unfortunately, there was nothing including the beavers that were anywhere near as good as the Bell Pause Live TV ads from the Athens Olympics.

I'm with Matt, that Tim Hortons ad confuses me.

What is the message?

Be a dick to your kid all through his childhood, and then buy him a coffee to make it all better?

If you buy an immigrant enough Tim Hortons' coffee, he will eventually come around and accept hockey?

The lamest ad for my money was the Molson Canadian one.

Newsflash to Molson - postmodernism is now over 20 years old. It is no longer subversive, originial, or entertaining to sell beer via ads that ironically make fun of beer ads.

Hell, they aren't even the first beer company to pull that lame stunt. That Calgary fellow who runs that cheapo Crestwood(?) or whatever it is called already did it.

Wow, I really feel stupid for missing the white-supremacist message of the Tim Hortons ad. What the hell was I thinking?

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