Great read and I love the comparison with football here in England. Although there are hated rivalries in football at the end of the day most fans will support England. Yes there is a bit of booing of certain players but most fans would rather see England win the World Cup then their club wins the Champions League. I was torn a few weeks ago when Ricky Lambert scored for England against Scotland. Being a Portsmouth fan I hate everything about Southampton players and couldn’t force myself to be happy, even against Scotland.
Then again there is nothing like a game against France to galvanize a countries support around a whole team. England as individual players are pretty good, the fact they don’t play as a team means they are not going to win the World Cup for many years to come.
So going back to hockey, if possible don’t let regional pride get in the way of national accomplishment. Always support anyone who pulls on the national jersey. Even if it’s a Bruins player and you’re a Habs fan!
Over the past week, discussion around the hockey world has been coloured with an immense feeling of national pride, as Canada, the United States and Russia held their Olympic orientation camps. However, as debates rage on in basements, bars and rinks around the world as to who should make their respective national teams, the way that some fans view their national teams will be shaped by the players who represent them, and their own devotion to their NHL teams.
International hockey is an incredible spectacle, and offers the fan the increasingly rare opportunity to see the sport’s true best on best action. I enjoy the thrill of watching the competition, the exploits of smaller hockey nations like Belarus in 2002 or Switzerland in 2006, and the fervor of the crowd during the games. Although I watch nearly every game intently, unlike many Canadians, I am rarely filled with a rousing…
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