Archive for May, 2011

Are the Vancouver Canucks now Canada’s Team?

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2011 by Jordan

It’s been 18 years since a Canadian NHL team won the Stanley Cup and I would be willing to wait another 18 if it meant the Vancouver Canucks didn’t win it this year.  Since the Montreal Canadiens won the Cup in 1993, four Canadian teams have made it to the finals and come up short which includes the Canucks in 1994.  On all four occasions, I rallied behind these Canadian teams that were full of character and heart vying to bring the Cup back to Canada.  In the past, the last Canadian team standing in the playoffs has assumed the temporary title of “Canada’s Team” but this years addition of the Canucks is making it difficult for me to adopt them as “My Team”.

The Canucks are an unbelievably skilled and fast team who collectively make a nightly appearance on the highlight reel.  For the most part they do play hard but the element of this years Canucks that makes me unable to jump on their playoff bandwagon is that they react soft.  The character that this team establishes through their physical and aggressive play is nullified every time Ryan Kesler or Alex Burrows dives or flops on the ice after they’ve been touched in a post whistle scrum like they just had their balls ripped off.

As for the rest of the team, there isn’t one player on the Canucks entire roster that seems charismatic or interesting enough to want to sit down and have a beer with. The Canucks are the epitome of Team Nerd.  They are captained by an uninteresting Tony the Tiger look a like and backstopped by what appears to be a bottle of Crisco with a mask on. I’m not sure either the Boston Bruins or Tampa Bay Lightning will be much of a match for the Canucks in the final but I’m ready to put my support behind either one if it means the Canucks don’t win the Cup this year.

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Hello my name is…

Posted in History, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by Jordan

When my older sister Jessica was born, my parents appropriately gave her the middle name Marie, which was the same middle name given to my grandmother.  Years later, it was discover that my sisters middle name was inappropriately given because my grandmother realized (after looking at her birth certificate more closely) that her middle name was actually Mary and not Marie. As a result, my sister Jessica Marie is aptly named after no one in particular.

In 1497, the Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto, who was sponsored by England, discovered parts of North America that had not been visited by Europeans since the Norse Vikings in the eleventh century. Although the actual landing sight of Caboto’s voyage is not 100% agreed upon by historians it is certain that he did land somewhere in the Canadian Maritimes.  Caboto’s financial connection to England saw his name anglicized to John Cabot and thus identified in Canadian history books as such.

The National Congress of Italian-Canadians has recently established momentum in their quest to have Cape Breton’s Cabot Trail renamed the Caboto Trail.  This movement seeks to have the anglicized name of the Cabot Trail renamed to reflect the Italian spelling of Cabot’s last name.  Naturally, the addition of an “o” to the end of Cabot has left many Maritimers up in arms and livid over the proposed name change. The arguments against the name change are valid; after all, Cabot is a simple name, a traditional name, and an English name. However, it is contextually and historically inaccurate.

When you think about it, calling the trail “Cabot” after Giovanni Caboto is the equivalent of calling Montreal’s airport the Peter Elliot Trudeau International Airport because the english pronunciation of Pierre is preferred.  Or, like CBC calling David Suzuki’s show The Nature of Things with David Smith because they felt entitled to give Suzuki an english last name because they pay the bills for his show. It’s ridiculous to think that either of these scenarios would be accepted by the public today, so why is it that this same public is so resistant to changing the name of a highway from Cabot to Caboto even though it is both logical and accurate?

It’s high time peoples’ names are represented accurately and accordingly.  When a baby is born, the only thing they own is their name; consequently, that name should be cherished and respected. There is nothing quite as aggravating as being called by the wrong name or having your named mispronounced. Giovanni Caboto probably moved with excitement in his grave for the first time in 512 years at the mere prospect of English Canadians giving his name the respect it deserves. Consequently, I look forward to driving all 289 km of the Caboto Trail this summer and telling my sister Jessica Mary all about it.

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