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Who cares if he doesn't like hockey?

By TOM JONES
Published June 25, 2006


Hear the latest? Apparently, Canada is mad at us. Again.

That's too bad because Canadians are so darn cute with their funny little accents and their curling and their Gordon Lightfoot.

Anyway, first they were upset that we went to war and dragged them along in case we needed someone to make sandwiches. Now, we've really done it. We insulted hockey.

David Wilkins, the U.S. ambassador to Canada (yeah, I didn't know we had one either), told the editorial board of the National Post newspaper that hockey was fine. But he couldn't agree with an investigative report in the Post that established hockey as the best. (Man, things must be pretty quiet in Canada if that's the subject of an investigative report. Don't you guys have a city worker stealing staplers or something?)

Now, with this hockey thing, Canada is all fired up.

Former NHL goalie and now politician Ken Dryden told the Post, "Tell Mr. Wilkins that hockey is incredible speed, it's noise, it's crashing and bashing and risk and thrills and fear - it's NASCAR. Then maybe he'll get it."

What's to get? Wilkins is wrong? This is the part of sports I don't understand. One guy likes a sport. The other guy doesn't. Each thinks the other is an "idiot." Why?

Why is it important to Canadians that we like hockey? Why are soccer fans so offended when someone calls their sport boring? Baseball fans, too?

Here's a thought: Like what sports you want to like. And don't care what anyone else thinks.

I love hockey. I couldn't care less if you do or not. If you want to paint your face and wear your Beckham jersey and go to a pub at 6 in the morning to watch the World Cup, go. But leave me alone if I'd rather watch water drip.

In the end, it doesn't matter. Watch what you like. And if someone doesn't like your sport, please don't waste your time and theirs telling them they don't "get it" or give the 1,000 reasons why it's so good. News flash: They don't care! Take me, I've seen soccer. Live. On TV. All levels. More than once. And I don't like it.

To me, it's boring, slow, not at all interesting.

But why should you care what I think?

RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES

A Connecticut judge ruled that a feisty feline named Lewis the Cat had to stay indoors to keep from attacking the neighbors. Now if we can just figure out what to do with Delmon the Bull.

Former heat-thrower Nolan Ryan recovered, thank goodness, 30 of the 47 cattle recently stolen from his ranch. Let's celebrate. Cook out at Nolan's house!

Old Spice's list of the 100 sweatiest cities in the country has Tampa coming in eighth. So, from now on, my first question to a Bucs lineman after games will be, "Uh, want to grab a shower first, big guy?"

THINGS TO PONDER UNTIL LARRY BROWN GETS ANOTHER JOB

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Bigger disappointment: USA soccer or USA Olympic hockey? Discuss.