Hargreaves' Song Sunday July 2, 2006

I find it only fitting that on Canada Day, the ballsiest performance in two crucial matches of the World Cup was from a Canadian.

First off, losing again on penalties to an embarrassing Portuguese team is a pretty disappointing end to the World Cup for England. But watching Hargreaves’ inspired play yesterday was probably one of the most satisfying moments of this year’s tournament. Not only was his tackling constantly spectacular, but the pace at which he played throughout the entire 120 minute match was phenomenal. When you pill on the circumstances; England down their Wayne Rooney and team captain off on the sidelines, Owen’s performance was far more outstanding. From his game saving tackle on Christiano Ronaldo to his full tilt attacks at the Portuguese net in the final minutes of the game, Owen was phenomenal. Rightfully so, Hargreaves was declared Man of the Match by FIFA officials. And as he left the field he was given a heroic send off by 100,000 British fans, many of which were clamoring for his dismissal from the squad days earlier.

Which is why I think it was so that fitting that a Calgarian was the star of the match on Canada Day. There is this grandiose notion that Canadians are supposed to be strong, heroic and hardworking individuals who constantly perform in the face of adversity. It is something we have all been force feed since grade school. We all know the Canadian Way began with the victory at Vimy Ridge. But since then the national conflicts have been few and far between, so this notion has been had transposed on to our obsession with Hockey. Playing the Canadian way means you are playing with a special level of skill, grit and determination that no other nation can supposedly match; it’s just how Canadians play. It is how we defeated the dreaded Russkies in ‘72 and was how we recaptured the Olympic gold medal in Salt Lake City.

On Saturday Hargreaves brought that same intensity and everyone the world over witnessed it. With the Portuguese rolling on the ground as if their collective uteruses had exploded, Hargreaves kept on challenging their forwards with a furious intensity. He left everything on that pitch. He played in a manner that is usually only reserved for the legends of Hockey. He did everyone proud and played the Canadian Way.

I know it sounds like I’ve got a massive hard on for Hargreaves, but watching him blazing down the field and tackling with such authority was a very patriotic moment. I doubt I am not the only one in Calgary who felt the same way. It seemed like everyone at the Drum was screaming Hargreaves on. With that level of unity for one of our own and such an outstanding performance, it was truly one of the most rewarding ways to celebrate Canada.

So Here, here Mr. Hargreaves.

Categories: The-2006-World-Cup, The-Football, The 2006 World Cup, The Football, The Pop-Culture, The Soapbox

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I’m pretty sure that ‘the Canadian Way’ began with French and English Canada agreeing to work together in Parliament.
Or maybe it was when the Mounties helped keep peace in the West (“Why didn’t I shoot him?”)
Or maybe it was the Plains of Abraham… Or…

Damn you, Canadian Heritage Moments! You’ve warped my sense of history!

Jamie · Jul 3, 10:27 AM · #permalink

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