Sunday, May 23, 2010

Czechs Win! I Drink Beer!

The Czechs have won the World Championship in Ice Hockey. I realize I’m one of probably five Americans who remotely care and about one of twenty North Americans who noticed, but it was damn cool. Other than beer brewing, being stoic and the making the occasional movie, the Czechs honestly don’t get to ‘be good’ at anything. Not only did they win, but they beat just about one of the most formidable offenses the Russians have ever put together and kept them to one goal. The partisan Russian fan will claim a disallowed goal in the first but that was at least two seconds after the whistle. And I think, as a not-so-neutral observer, that beating the Russians is what makes this so notable. If they beat the Finns, sure I might have written a post, but they beat the RUSSIANS! Or as my friend wrote me, “Russian beasts.” It was cool. And I’m listening to a web cam from the center of Prague as I write this. It makes me feel that being drunk alone in my apartment isn’t so bad after all. Anyway, congratulations to the Czechs, Jagr and the Czech nation. You may still get to hear some of the drunk celebration here. The game was outstanding and I recommend reading up on it here. And there’s a great summary of the rivalry here.

I suppose, as much of a downer as this is, that I should mention Scott Gordon's run as coach of the US team. Not a great finish, but not a great team either. Perhaps in a non-Olympic year where the US has something to prove the team may be different but congratulations to coach Gordon all the same. Here's hoping he gets a second chance next year.

International hockey is cool and we Americans should get used to it. Its an international game with a strong international component. Imagine liking Manchester United and not caring about the soccer World Cup... OK, I realize making soccer references probably hurts my point but still if you like good hockey, keep an eye out for the World Championship next May. Until then, Cesky do toho!


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