So now that the 2010 Vancouver games have been completed there is one thing that will stick out in my mind. As most of us watched the games, we were literally sucked into the think of things with all the drama in the air. From the tragic death’s of lugest Nodar Kumaritashvili of Georgia, to an equally tragic death and one that all of us will unfortunately have to relate to in Joainne Rochette’s mothers passing. We saw Alexandre Bilodeau ski for a brother for whom he found his motivation and inspiration. Between Bode Miller exorcising demons of Olympics past, to the coronation of Apollo Ono. From the respect gained by the US Cross Country Ski Team, to the announcement that U.S.A Hockey was a force to be reckoned with for the foreseeable future, this is truly what sport is all about.
Then there was the last event of the games last night, the boarder war between the U.S.A. and Canada. There are those that would say this wasn’t the biggest game in recent memory, and I’m hard pressed to disagree with them. There also are those that would say that rooting for players to do well that compete against your country of origin is somehow not being a fan.
If being a fan means that I hope that athletes I admire for their grit and determination as well as their skill fall flat on their face and embarrass themselves then count me out. These games unlike any other I have seen made me proud to be a fan of sport. I was proud to watch Alex Bilodeau have the moguls run of his life, just as I was proud to see Bode Miller finally get that elusive gold medal. Apollo Ono, a troubled kid capped off a spectacular career, and Ms. Rochette’s short program was one that I will remember for a long long time. U.S.A Hockey was the dominant team for 99.9% of the tournament, and the heart, grit, and determination the boys showed just to tie it up is to be commended. That is what sport is about.
Then there is Sidney Crosby, who contrary to popular belief is really no different then any of the athletes mentioned above. Sure he’s got unbelievable talent, work ethic, and determination. Who in the previous paragraphs doesn’t? Sure Sidney has a knack for seizing the moment, but again who above doesn’t? I find it ironic that team Canada had the same issue finding line mate’s for him that the Penguins did. Sid is usually three steps ahead of the play that’s developing, most players react to what’s happening at that moment. Finding guys with the speed and hockey sense to keep up with him is difficult at best and seeing the issues team Canada faced even though they are filled with Hall of Fame talent just re-enforces how singularly great a hockey player he is. There are those that would say he did not have a good game by any stretch of the imagination. From what I saw, he setup up Staal and Iginla several times only to be thwarted by blocked shots or bad timing. With the final trophy, can we drop the whole "Sid the Kid" thing. He’s accomplished more in four or five years then about 90% of the N.H.L. He’s Sid, that’s more then enough for me.
I’m immensely proud to call my self a combat veteran, I’m proud to call myself an American. I’m even more proud to see these athletes rise up to grab the opportunities that are presented to them, regardless of what country they are competing for. That’s what the games and sport are all about. Now to call someone out for "not being a true fan' is entirely uncalled for. That to me represents the worst kind of "fan", if you choose to call them that.