Not sure I really understood what being Canadian was until today.
For more than three decades, I’ve been incredibly proud of my home country; it’s humanitarianism, it’s politics, and it’s landscape have all been something that have shaped my entire worldview. But I’ve never been blindly patriotic.
I’ve never before been inspired to wear red and white to a sporting event. I’ve never spontaneously sung the national anthem in a bar. And I’ve never rung a cowbell in victory until now. Most relevantly, I’ve never really been a hockey fan.
Living in Seattle (an American city without an NHL team) and watching Canada play the United States in a game invited by Canadians, on Canadian soil was, as a result, the most surreal, and patriotic moment of my life.
Few at the bar knew the rules of game. Cheers happened too late and were often in response to our chants of “Let’s go Canada.” The game though was understood to be a great one. And everyone appreciated the quality of play.
But unlike Canada, the streets were quiet and our hoarse cheers were greeted with the distance normally reserved for the crazy ones.
Which, for once, may have been the appropriate response to these Canadians in Seattle.