I’ve often heard people say that fall is the best time of the year from a sports fans’ perspective, as the NHL, NFL and NBA regular seasons are starting and the same for the MLB playoffs.
If that is the case, the holiday season comes in a very close second.
The NFL playoffs are on the horizon, if they haven’t started already, there is Christmas day basketball, numerous college football bowl games and the International Ice Hockey Federation World Junior Hockey Championship.
There was a time in my life where I would really get excited about the tournament, which normally starts around Boxing Day, and I really looked forward to Canada’s quest for gold.
If the tournament was being held in a far off time zone, I would set my alarm clock and wake up early to watch the first game and would make sure to know when exactly Canada’s other games were.
One year I even had the opportunity to catch a game (Canada and U.S.) live and it was one of the best hockey games I’ve ever seen.
Another year, I remember watching a super team filled with current stars with Sidney Crosby and Ryan Getzlaf take gold.
I also remember the team losing out on gold when Russian forward and former Canuck Artem Chubarov scored in overtime in 1999 but lately I find myself losing interest in the tournament.
Part of what makes sports such fascinating viewing is seeing your team overcome adversity to win.
Seeing your team go through prolonged periods of ineptness toughens a fan up and makes the times when the team is winning all the sweeter.
The Boston Red Sox winning the World Series after an 86-year drought – sometimes referred to as the Curse of the Bambino, after Babe Ruth – was great viewing.
Vancouver Canucks fans have been long-suffering and while they lost in the final last year, it was still a magical season.
Unfortunately in the case of the world juniors, Canada has dominated for much of the tournament’s 30-plus year history – 15 golds overall and either gold or silver in the last seven years, with the team being bridesmaids the past two years.
I love that Canada is so dominant and I love hockey but if Canada doesn’t take the gold this year, I can wait until next year. There’s a very good chance the boys will be favoured to win it all again.