Here on the West Coast, our own Vancouver Canucks made it into the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup playoffs for the 2011 season as the #1 seed, a monumental accomplishment whose significance is easy to understand, even for non-hockey fans (and we’ve heard that these do exist). Since 1952, when the legendary Foster Hewitt started broadcasting live play-by-play of NHL games on television, generations of us have grown up watching Hockey Night in Canada every Saturday and cheering our hometown teams. Ironically, more hockey teams from California made it into the 2011 playoffs than from Canada.
And by the way – no Canadian would ever call this game “ice hockey”.
During the February 2010 Olympic games in Vancouver, almost 17 million Canadians – well over half our population – watched Canada beat the U.S.A. in the men’s hockey gold medal final. Compare that to barely 7 million of us who watched that year’s Super Bowl XLV. We are a hockey-mad country indeed. Go Canada!
But getting too excited about our Canucks in the playoffs could actually be psychologically and physically damaging. A new UCLA study warns that a loss by the hometown team in an important game can lead to “increased deaths in both men and women, and especially older patients.” Continue reading