Culture & Entertainment

The loss of sports on CBC will be a loss for everybody

Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

The loss of sports on CBC will be a loss for everybody

Hockey It would be putting it mildly to say I’ve never been much of a sports fan. To me, sports have always been this thing that other people watch or participate in—a foreign, even somewhat inscrutable pastime. I can never understand, for instance, why people get so invested in one team over another. It’s not as if you know any of the players personally. I can see rooting for your hometown team, but how many of the players are even from your hometown? Sydney Crosby’s from my hometown, but he plays for Pittsburgh. So… Go Pittsburgh? Having said all that, I’m deeply dismayed that the CBC is being forced out of the business of airing professional sports. It’s just not right. Sports have always functioned as national unifiers, and they belong on our national broadcaster. The fact that Hockey Night in Canada—a beloved institution that is part of the soul of this country—will soon be handed over to the privately owned Rogers Communications is sickening and almost incomprehensible. I’m shocked that true hockey fans aren’t more angered by this. Where’s the outrage? One only needs to look at how sports are packaged on privately owned stations to see that the CBC did a superior job of it. Privately owned stations package sports the way American stations package sports: slickly, and generally insipidly. Don Cherry not withstanding, the CBC has always held itself to a higher standard. For me, there’s an irony here: just as the CBC is backing away from sports, I’m finding myself suddenly, mysteriously, and for the first time ever, drawn to them. I know, what the hell, right? Who knows why, but in the past year or two I’ve found myself watching hockey games. Right now I’m even looking forward to the start of the playoffs, despite the fact that all but one of the Canadian teams have been eliminated. I think it has something to do with my relationship to the broader TV landscape. As cheap-to-produce reality television and infotainment shows clutter up the airways more and more, sports are suddenly looking a lot more appealing in comparison. For me, a hockey game is now a nice televisual oasis, a break from the wall-to-wall noise and vapidity. For a couple of hours, it’s just bodies in motion—skilled athletes doing what they do best. As a kid, I would happily have watched anything on the tube but sports; these days, sports are pretty much the only thing I can watch without wanting to shoot myself. Funny how life goes, huh? (Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons)
Comments
Share X
Culture & Entertainment

The loss of sports on CBC will be a loss for everybody

Login