We are much more than hockey, right? We do have a history, culture and identity that involves more than a game on ice played with a stick and a puck, right?
I spent the last 5 months teaching my grade 12s all about Canadian History, Culture and Identity. (That's the name of the course, by the way) The course begins pre-contact, and spans until the 20th century. So we are talking close to 500 years or so of Canadian content.
Once, I repeat, once, I talked about hockey. I mentioned that during the Depression, many turned to CBC radio to listen to a hockey game to get their minds off their economic woes. That's it - the only mention of hockey.
Now to some hockey fans that might not seem like enough, but c'mon we are talking about 500 years of an entire nation!
My students wrote their exam last week (you know where I am going with this) where they had to answer the following question:
Many historians may argue that throughout Canadian history, Canada seems to have merely shifted its dependence from Great Britain to the United States and has never really achieved full independence. As a result, what it means to be Canadian has often been a difficult question to answer. Outline what you believe to be Canada’s identity.
Overwhelmingly the vast majority wrote about hockey; not Vimy, not Confederation, not immigration, the railway, or even the Acadians. Hockey.
I guess my exciting lesson on the War of 1812 couldn't compete with our national pastime.