Sunday, February 28, 2010

O Canada!

I packed my Team Canada hockey jersey that Andy had given me just before Team Canada won gold in 2002 ... I thought that, even here in Bangalore, a little extra support for our boys might be in order. And at 1:25 a.m. on March 1, 2010, my alarm went off and I pulled the jersey on and made my way down the stairs and across the way to the Chellis' living room where they had told me I could come and watch the game on their cable TV. I also took my computer, so that I could start on the TH grocery list in the "boring" parts of the game ...

The Olympic gold hockey game was not to be found on TV - I couldn't get the TV to work! - or by live computer feed outside of Canada and the U.S.

In desperation I even asked the hapless police men checking the verandah on their routine nightly patrol duty to please come inside and see if they could make the TV work! - No luck, but abject apologies and timid instructions to please lock the door after they left because it was "not good" for someone to be able to walk in like they did when I beckoned to them ... 

But I somehow found a blog - The Grinder - on Their regular bloggers for the NHL were sitting around chatting about which celebrities were in the audience, how certain players were cleaner shaven than others, interspersed - it seemed -with a few pithy comments about the game itself. One of them, it appears was actgually at the game. 

I was in the Chellis' living room all by myself, and then Dad popped by to get some water. He stayed for a period and a half, and left to go back to bed when Canada was leading 2-1 at the end of the second.

However, in the third period, some of us following along on the blog grew desperate to know what was actually going on, and we begged the guys to give those of us who could not access the game play-by-play. They (and particularly Sean Gentille) rose magnificently to the occasion.

Here are some snippets patched together to give you a feel of how I "watched" this brilliant end to a fantastic Olympics!


USA v. Canada Gold Medal Live Blog (02/28/2010)

2:46 bvalentine: Welcome ladies and gents to's Live Blog of the USA v. Canada gold medal game. I'm your host Ben Valentine and I'll be joined in a bit by Craig Custance and Sean Gentille.

2:49 bvalentine: This is it. For Canada, their trials and tribulations will all be forgotten if they come out from this with a gold medal. Really, anything less will be considered a disappointment despite taking out Russia en route to this final.

2:51 bvalentine: For the USA, it's been a great run. They've exceeded expectations, taking advantage of a weak group and a thrilling win over Canada a week ago to grab the easiest path to the final. But for those who questioned the talent of this squad, they showed with six first period goals against bronze medalist Finland they deserve to be here.

2:52 Craig Custance: Gentlemen - It's crazy here already. The anticipation for this game has been huge and every Vancouver bar has had lines out the door since 9:30 a.m.

2:52 bvalentine: Also looming in the back ground is that this is a rematch of 2002's gold medal game in Salt Lake City. Canada won that one 5-2 in front of the US home crowd. This batch of US players will be looking to avenge that defeat.

3:03 bvalentine: Guest spot from Don Cherry

3:03 bvalentine: Seriously, Mike if you want to be NBC's Don Cherry you need to go beyond the red tie. That suit is incredible.

3:03 Sean Gentille: Grapes is actually looking pretty restrained.

3:04 Sean Gentille: He looks like a cross between a mountie and an old-time movie usher.
3:04 bvalentine: Cherry is sporting a red suit with a maple leaf necktie.

3:04 bvalentine: Wow, Al Michaels: "I never knew Feb 28 was Halloween in Canada." Zing!

3:04 [comment from alyson] That suit was positively tame for Grapes

5:03 Our Father, who art in Vancouver, hockey be thy name. Thy will be done, GOLD to be WON, on ICE as well as IN THE STANDS. Give us this day, our hockey sticks, and forgive us our penalties, as we forgive those who crosscheck against us. Lead us not into silver, but deliver us to victory, in the name of the... FANS, ......CAN...ADA, and the PUCK. AMEN! ▌♥ ▌GO CANADA GO ▌♥ ▌

5:03 bvalentine: Luongo looks way too well groomed for a tournament.

5:03 Sean Gentille: Fun Luongo fact: Those sideburns are drawn on with sharpies.

5:03 bvalentine: If Canada goes on to lose, I'm blaming his lack of scruff.
 5:10 Sean Gentille: This'd be a great time to commit a crime in Canada.

5:12 [Comment From Canadian in India] Can't get a live feed of the game; you guys are the only ones keeping me going!!

5:13 [Comment From Don] OMG my tv just died

5:13 Sean Gentille: oh god, this is too much responsibility.

5:14 [Comment From marcel] u guys should do play by play here i just lost reseption

5:15 bvalentine: what is wrong with televisions all of sudden?

5:15 Sean Gentille: Are you guys kidding?

5:15 Sean Gentille: haha

I don't get paid enough to be doing play by play right now

5:15 [Comment From Canadian in India] What Marcel said -- please!!!

5:15 [Comment From Don] i watched too much hockey with mine :)

5:15 [Comment From American in Philippines] Ditto for me. I'm dying not being able to see this game

5:16 Sean Gentille: Alright

Sean Gentille: 6 minutes left

5:16 bvalentine: Canada will reset in their end.

5:16 [Comment From jason] THKS SEAN !!!

5:16 Sean Gentille: Miller plays it behind his net, almost screws up.

5:17 [Comment From marcel] thanks

5:17 Sean Gentille: Suter leads the rush

5:17 [Comment From Canadian in India] I love you boys!

5:17 [Comment From Jack] QUACK QUACK QUACK QUACK

5:17 Sean Gentille: Failed wraparound, rebound covered by Luongo.

[Comment From Bomber] CANADA CANADA

Craig Custance: Team Canada takes a timeout

5:27 bvalentine: Well, they all should be well rested.

5:27 [Comment From Don] Go boys!comon

5:27 Sean Gentille: Good call by Edzo: Kesler is gonna have to win this on his backhand

5:27 Craig Custance: Pavelski is going to take it

5:27 [Comment From Imtiaz] USA! USA! USA! USA!!!

5:27 [Comment From Canadian in India] How much time left? Clock stguck on 1:00

5:27 Sean Gentille: Joe Pav, Parise, Langenbrunner

5:28 Sean Gentille: win US

5:28 Sean Gentille: behind hte net

5:28 Sean Gentille: toews clears it, back into CAN zone

5:28 Sean Gentille: pav shot, rebound

5:28 Craig Custance: 24.4 -- USA ties it

5:28 bvalentine: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

5:28 Sean Gentille: Parise

5:28 Craig Custance: Parise

 5:53 Sean Gentille: riser from JoePave

5:53 [Comment From pam] Go CANADA GO!!

5:53 Sean Gentille: Nearly a goal

5:53 Craig Custance: Crosby wins it -- place goes crazy.

5:53 Sean Gentille: OH MY GOD

5:53 Sean Gentille: Gold to Canada.

5:54 Sean Gentille: Crosby with the winner.

5:54 Craig Custance: The gloves and sticks of every Canadian player flies in the air.

5:54 [Comment From canadian] aweyeahhhhhhhh

5:54 [Comment From minime2410] not a bad year for him

5:54 [Comment From Jack] Sean - secretly pumped for your boy Crosby?

5:57 [Comment From Canadian in India] Sean, Craig, bvalentine -- you guys made my whole Olympics!

5:57 bvalentine: thanks.

5:57 Sean Gentille: Glad to do it guys, honestly.

5:57 Sean Gentille: Finally a full replay of the goal

5:58 [Comment From Guest] The legend of Sidney Crosby continues to grow

5:58 Craig Custance: They're rolling out the carpet for the medal ceremony.

5:58 [Comment From sheldonR] like i said more Crosby if they want gold

5:58 Craig Custance: Crosby's fourth goal of the tournament.

5:58 Sean Gentille: Chipped it back in to Iginla.

5:58 Sean Gentille: Got past Rafalski

5:58 Sean Gentille: Iginla to 87: Game.

5:59 [Comment From jeff] 87 buries it.

6:02 Sean Gentille: Iginla is a guy everyone should like, frankly.

6:09 Sean Gentille: 87 to Nash right there: If you played on my wing for a full NHL season, the over/under on goals for you would be 75.

6:09 Sean Gentille: I read his lips, he said it, I swear.

6:10 Craig Custance: Crosby will be the last to get his gold medal.

6:10 Sean Gentille: Huge pop for Iggy.

6:10 bvalentine: Wait till Sid the Kid gets his.

6:11 Craig Custance: It's unbelievable how much Crosby outclassed Ovechkin in this tournament.

6:11 bvalentine: I don't remember him like that at last year's all star game.

6:12 bvalentine: What's up with those medals?

6:12 Sean Gentille: They're awful.

6:12 bvalentine: They look partially melted.

6:12 Sean Gentille: They look melted.

6:12 Craig Custance: Standing for Canada national anthem.

6:13 Sean Gentille: Don't forget the words now, boys.

6:14 bvalentine: If the US had won the game, I might have actually sung the star spangled banner in my living room.

6:15 [Comment From Canadian in India] I'm singing O Canada here in Bangalore at 4:45 a.m. local time!

6:16 Sean Gentille: Canadian in India: Congrats, that's bizarrely heartwarming.

6:17 Sean Gentille: ^meant sincerely

6:19 [Comment From Canadian in India] You have no idea what your play-by-play meant to this Alberta girl with no way of knowing what was going on except for you! Thanks so much!

6:20 Sean Gentille: Man, that's great. Glad to do it.

6:21 Sean Gentille: Alright, lads/lasses, that about does it for me.

6:21 bvalentine: Thanks Sean and Craig

6:21 Sean Gentille: It was a pleasure hanging out with all of you over the last week or so.


PS: And the icing on the gold-medal cake??

Raja, our dear friend who cares for almost all the day-to-day running of the college campus, just brought tea up to Dad's and my rooms. He had NO IDEA of the momentousness of the occasion -- but what he happened to wear today is the red Canadian Olympic tee-shirt given to him earlier by Deborah!

He congratulated me on Canada's win, shaking my hand vigourously, and then Dad took our picture. Raja, you made my day even better!!!


  1. AWESOME!! But really, we should have thought about Skype... we could have streamed it to you live! Glad you got to be a part of it anyway and feel the excitement along with the rest of every single Canadian. Fabulous!

    (That's not just any Raja... that's one MahaRaja!! :)

  2. Well, we thought of you as the game was on - what a celebration! Your sister Deborah was beside herself at the end of regular time. Could hardly breathe, speak, see straight ... had to pray! Your sister Cathryn could literally not stand up when Canada won! Her legs collapsed. So I guess no matter where we were, no matter what time of day or night, no matter how great or poor the quality of the reception, the game mattered to us!!! O Canada was sung with gusto, standing up, here in Hawkville too.

    Sean Gentille lives up to his name! Great quote: "Iginla is a guy everyone should like, frankly." ... yes. And I like his "^meant sincerely!" THAT was heartwarming! The world is a beautiful place when people connect :) Thanks for sharing.

  3. that made me cry. i don't know why, but i'm sitting here with a box of kleenex beside me, bawling my eyes out - especially at the dialogue at the end.

    i'm glad you got to be a part of the game.

    come home soon!!!

  4. Kimberley, I was crying too ... What is WITH Team Canada and how DARE they make us care so much?! Still, it's nice to know that no matter where we are in the world, we all love Canada and we all can appreciate human compassion, such as Sean Gentille showed that night (and he's an American, to top it all off!!).

  5. Bronwyn, Cath, BA, Debs, how much I missed being with you girls! Happy birthday, Beth! What a wonderful end to a celebratory weekend!


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