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09-30-2012, 04:31 PM
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Location: Toronto, On
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Reasons for a year-round international Hockey calendar? (like Rugby, Soccer, Cricket)

The 40th Anniversary of the Summit Series really got me thinking that we don't expose our national team enough to our fans. While we are proud of the NHL, it's clear that the moments that really defined this country were seeing a full-fledged Team Canada win our hearts in 1972, in the Canada Cups and in 2002/2010. Yet, why is it that we can only feel this immense pride and excitement (that only international sports can bring) once month every 4 years?

Every major sport on earth takes advantage of the popularity of international sports, except Hockey for some reason. There's just more on the line. More importantly, these simple year long calendars are actually successful in creating bonds nation-wide, when in the modern age there might be no reason for such a bond to occur.


Rugby: The Super 14 league between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa = the cream of the crop in Rugby. There might not be 1 sport on earth where players can get injured this easily, and yet the one thing they look forward to the most is representing their countries in international competition. Year-round, you have:
1. The Rugby Championship (a 4 team, 5 month long round robin between Argentina, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa)
2. The 6 nations: Basically the European Cup. It takes place months appart.
3. Test Matches: Big games between inter-continental rivals (IE: Scotland v. Australia), that occur between the months where there are no big international tournaments.
4. The Rugby World Cup - caps it all off, every 4 years.

Soccer: We know about Soccer's obsession with the international fixture. Even in England, the only football culture that actually prioritizes club football over the national team, puts tremendous focus on the national team, as the country stops every 2 months to watch England play.

Nothing makes a sport more popular than international play. Canada v. USA during the last Olympic final is testament to the idea that this type of play offers the ultimate exposure to the game. I'm not saying that we should have massive international tournaments every year, but at least big Test-Matches between Canada v. USA/Russia/Czechs/Finland/Sweden.

Last night, I saw over 80,000 rabid Argentinians pack up their stadium to cheer their NT on vs. the New Zealand All Blacks. I have never seen Rugby grow as much as it has, and it's all thanks to the International exposure. Believe it or not, but most non-hardcore fans (even in Canada) are indifferent to Hockey unless their specific city's team is doing very very well. I just think that a huge opportunity is being wasted.

We should not be waiting 4 years to see the team that has all but defined Canada. Just as Germany's soccer team has unified the entire nation in 1954/1974/1990, or the other famous soccer nations (Argentina, Brazil, Italy, Uruguay, England, etc). Why don't we push for this as fans?

Last edited by foxfang: 09-30-2012 at 04:44 PM.
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