Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Something that bothers me.

This is not a post about knitting.  This is a post about one of those things.

 In small town Saskatchewan, the day after the wedding is gift opening day and was usually open to all.  Because Mr. Needles and I both came from that same small town and because we both had huge families, my mom booked the hall.  This wouldn't normally be a thing to comment on, unless you loved football.  You see, the day after my wedding, back in 1979, just happened to be Grey Cup Sunday.  

Our home was just across the alley and through a friends yard from the hall, so some ardent football fan decided that they should bring our TV to the hall.  The girls did gifts and the guys watched football, drank leftover beer and ate leftover small town wedding food.  From what I recall of the noise from that corner of the hall, they had a wonderful time.  I have no idea who won, and though I could Google it, I am not going to.  Some things are better left the mystery they have always been.

It isn't that I am an ardent football fan, though I do enjoy a game now and then.  It isn't that Mr. Needles was an ardent football fan.  He enjoyed it, but it did not rule his Sundays.  But Grey Cup has always been intimately connected to our anniversary and I have watched part of almost every game since 1980.  

This year, with the exorbitant cost, decreasing entertainment value, newly limited budgets, and satellite TV turned off,  for the first time in 34 years, I could not watch the game. No one with access only to over the air TV can and I find that sad.

Yesterday morning, the big news here in Canada was that the NHL sold the rights to hockey broadcasting in Canada to Rogers.  CBC can broadcast Saturday night only via a side deal with Rogers and the deal is only 4 years long. Net result, no one with only over the air TV will be able to watch hockey.

Coming from Saskatchewan, I know the positive power of bringing people together through sports.  The Riders and Rider Pride and Rider nation are a phenomenon to be reckoned with.  That happens with access and time and football being part of something shared across the whole, shared freely and openly no matter who or what you are. Everybody could be a Rider fan.  You could be on a beach in Mexico or a plane in the US and see a Rider hat an you knew there was a connection.

Everybody can still be a Rider fan...if they have enough money for the TV channel.  Everybody can be a hockey fan...if they have enough money for the TV channel.

It isn't that professional and near professional sports are hugely important to me at all.  It is that I think we, as a whole are losing something, a fragile ethereal connection.  It was something good that came from technology and we are tossing the good and keeping the technology... but only if you have money. 

And that is what bugs me.

(sheesh, a sports blog.  What in the world is this blog coming to?)


Sel and Poivre said...

You know as soon as Bettman is on TV smiling someone is being screwed over somehow. Be it players knocked senseless with repeated concussions borne of on ice brawling and dirty hits that bring in "fans" of fighting rather than hockey or, as you say, communities robbed of their ability to be, well, a community, via shared experience. The "deal" is not about sports. Its about greed and power.

Brendaknits said...

Sheesh! Who ever thought that a little 'old' knitter would write a sports blog. But your story is such a good one. Such great memories you have.

Sandra said...

agreed. Now, for full disclosure, we have Bell FIbe TV here and satellite at the cottage - we like and watch a lot of TV. But... national interest items (i.e the Grey Cup and hockey) should be available to all, not just those with the cash.
And I always tie in the Grey Cup to my birthday - there's rarely more than a couple of days difference, and I celebrated many while watching the game!

Anonymous said...

My cable/satellite free home has been Grey Cup-less for some time now. I had similar thoughts - isn't the Grey Cup something everyone in Canada should have access to watch? I have not watched a Grey Cup since. what I struggled with more than that was the change to digital broadcasting in 2011. CBC does not broadcast here in 'Toon Town. Access to CBC is via cable only. I pay for that darn thing and can't access it live. That really isn't right. GD