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Is There Really A Rivalry Between USA & Canada in Olympic Hockey?

Martin Rose, Getty Images

Continuing on the theme of the Olympics, and my thoughts about what NBC promotes as “rivalries.” Is it really a rivalry if generally speaking if the ones who really care are the athletes and fans of only one team?

I think most Americans want to see us do well at the podium and get the most medals but I wouldn’t say there is a Red Sox-Yankees type battle brewing between Canada and the US when it comes to hockey. Well not with the US viewers, but with Canadians, darn straight.

I’ve spend a good chunk of time in both Canada and the US and I can tell you that Canada loves beating the US in hockey or really anything sports related but my feeling is that the US as a nation doesn’t really care who we beat so long as we win.

I even posed this question last week as a barometer to my point. Would you rather see the Bruins win a Stanley Cup or USA hockey win gold? Most replied, they wanted to see the Bruins win the cup. That doesn’t mean Americans don’t want to see us win gold in hockey but the pro teams are more important.

I have a theory and it’s more than just Canada and their national pride of playing great hockey.

Canadians are very polite to us when we visit; they watch American television and come to the US in droves to vacation and shop. So what’s the issue?

What it seems like to me, to put it terms that can be understood, it’s like our regional biases. Do you ever get annoyed with people from Massachusetts or New York? Ever think people from Boston are arrogant and rich? It’s like that. Many south of New York have never been here to Maine let alone even want to come.

So when it comes to this “rivalry” of USA vs. Canada now a certainty in Women’s hockey and likely in Men’s. If Canada wins gold, we’ll be okay and be ready for baseball, but if the US wins gold, Canada will be cranky.

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