This article, first published on February 21, 2014 during the Sochi Winter Olympics exposes both the aim and the method of how the NHL, hand in hand with the sports media, began creating the conditions to justify launching its own private “World Cup of Hockey.”
The discourse runs like this: we poor owners have been victimized and our fans short-changed and held hostage by the Olympics, because “the best league in the world has been shut down” (Prime Time Sports, Rogers Sportsnet, February 18, 2014). “Just look at our empty buildings.” It is reminiscent of the old saw about the thief crying “stop thief!” | TONY SEED*
The NHL can only drool over the figures. The Canada-U.S. men’s hockey semifinal drew a television audience of more than 15 million for CBC. (Photo) Corey Perry of Canada tries a wraparound on Jonathan Quick of the USA as he is defended by Cam Fowler during first period action in the men’s hockey semifinal at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games, February 21, 2014 | Jean Levac/Postmedia News
SEEMINGLY out of the blue, the National Hockey League (NHL) based in New York sent their fabled Stanley Cup trophy to Sochi. The media slavered when it made its appearance at Canada House on Monday, February 17th. The iconic silver trophy had seemingly fallen from the sky or appeared as if a gift from the gods of sport with a spiritual significance comparable to a burning bush.
In the media euphoria, Canadian Olympic members were organized to pose with the trophy and world champion figure skater Patrick Chan to bless it with a kiss.
Four-time Olympian skier Brian Stemmle, also a CBC analyst, denounced the maneouvre, rightly asking: “Why is the Stanley Cup at Canada House in Sochi? Other athletes don’t bring their trophies. Hate when hockey tries to overshadow other sports.” A new diversion began. Continue reading
American women’s 4X100m relay team
From a Facebook post by Tony Seed on August 19, 2016.
The American womens’ 4X100m relay team that failed to qualify earlier today got a “do over.”
Allyson Felix lost her balance during a baton exchange after making contact with a Brazilian sprinter, but that it did not make her drop the baton; she threw it away like a hot potato. Perhaps she knew they could complain and get a re-run. This team had lost fair and square; the incident is what can be considered a normal hazard of competition and the U.S. team should not have been afforded a second chance. Sport can and should allow for such failures, as it is fair and healthy. Continue reading
Qatar’s Marko Bagaric from Bulgaria, left, tries to score past France’s Ludovic Fabregas during the men’s preliminary handball match between France and Qatar at the 2016 Summer Olympics on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro | Ben Curtis/AP
By TONY SEED
August 10, updated August 19, 2016
Of the some 11,000 athletes competing in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, an unknown number are competing for medal-hungry countries that are not their birth nation. At least 23 of Qatar’s 39 member team at Rio were born outside of Qatar and transplanted – recruited in many cases with the offer of financial inducements. The Canadian Olympic team also features a number of plastic or transfer athletes recruited through the “Own The Podium” program of private big capital for support and funding on the basis that they are “winners” and “America’s best who happen to have some kind of Canadian connection.” Such developments, all in the name of high ideals, should be of concern to Canadians.
(April 16) – It seems there is no sphere of human endeavour and nature that capital does not strive to exploit.
If the NBA can sell it, they will. It is becoming harder and harder to escape its commercialization. As part of the commodification of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, the ESPN sports network even aired a national MLK Day NBA game. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
Canada versus the USA is always a compelling match-up in sports, right? And widely covered by the powerful sports media, right?
Classic matches between the Canadian and American Womens’ team at the London Olympics or the men’s and women’s competitions in ice hockey recorded record TV audiences in Canada. Canadians unite to wish for the defeat of the teams fielded by the superpower to the South and success for their national team over the American overlords. When Canada defeated the USA at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, it was dubbed “miracle on grass” by an incredulous sports media, as was Team Canada’s amazing defeat of the high-priced US professionals in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Continue reading
By TONY SEED
Exempt from the rule of law by U.S. federal legislation, the powerful sports cartels rule their domain by exception. Once again the US National Football League (NFL) is investigating itself for dirty tricks. The articulate Seattle player, Richard Sherman, denounced it openly, i.e., without fear of fine, declaring that “it looks like a conflict of interest.”
For the past three years, the NFL has faced one “moral crisis” after the other involving organized fraud, collusion, violence and cheating of the health and safety of its players, constituting a credibility crisis that is part and parcel of the overall crisis of the American economic and political system and its institutions, with economic crisis at the base.
The latest crisis: Did the New England Patriots intentionally deflate the footballs used in the first half in the AFC Championship game on January 18 to gain an unfair competitive advantage? Continue reading