Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002
Subject: A Canadian's Lament
I am in the wrong country. Naturally, when a Canadian sees Olympic coverage listed on the TV schedule, he assumes that it could be nothing but the all-important gold medal hockey game.
But if you're a Japanese public network, why would you suspend regular broadcasts of traffic reports and weather updates for a three-hour battle on ice?
I arrived home yesterday with the hopes of watching my tape of the game. It started at 4:45 a.m. local time and I'd set the VCR to record it. Instead, I got thirty seconds of highlights from 7:15 local time between regular reminders that yes, it is indeed still going to be 11 degrees in Tokyo, dammit. When my housemate Mr. Brown arrived home with two giant cans of beer several hours later, he was even more disappointed.
A guy we know rode his bike to a friend's place at 4:30 in the morning to watch the game on satellite TV. We should have been smart like him.
When Mr. Brown tried to explain our anguish to some students, they asked what the big deal was about a bunch of guys fighting on ice and chasing a ball. Mr. Brown went ballistic and taught an entire lesson on hockey vocabulary.
Tsk. They just don't have their priorities right in this country. At least the write-up in the sports section of the Japan Times had the appropriate attitude of reverence.