Thursday, April 7, 2016

The world turned upside down

There's something fundamentally wrong with the world when people in Toronto soon will be watching baseball while people in Miami will still be watching hockey.

One Blob's opinion.

Look. I get it. Hockey's global now, infiltrating even places where it once would have fit like mukluks in Tahiti. And so this won't be the first time we'll be watching the Stanley Cup playoffs emanating from Jerryville, the Florida Gulf Coast or the country music capital of the world.

Because, yes, Dallas, Tampa Bay and Nashville have all secured playoff berths. Ditto Florida, Anaheim and Los Angeles, where the Kings have won two of the last four Stanley Cups.

Hockey's as regular a thing there now as red carpets. They even played an outdoor game there, a couple of hockey teams skating around in 70-degree weather while the fans sat and watched in shorts and Oakleys.

Mystery, Alaska, it wasn't.

Nor Edmonton, Calgary or Montreal, for that matter. Which is what makes this all seem freshly weird, all of a sudden.

See, it's not so much that they'll be playing hockey (and perhaps hoisting the Stanley Cup) well into May in Florida and California. It's that they won't be playing hockey (or hoisting the Stanley Cup) in the place where the sport is the staff of life itself.

For while Florida and Tampa Bay are in, all of the Canadian teams are out, playoff-wise. Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Vancouver: None will make the playoffs this year. So, yes, they'll be outdoors watching the Blue Jays execute the hit-and-run while people on South Beach are indoors watching the Florida Panthers execute the hit and ... hit.

And that is some strange business.

It's as if, a month hence, they decided to run the 100th Indianapolis 500 on a go-kart track in Nepal instead of at the Speedway, the most famous race course in the world. It's as if the Red Sox decided to play all their home games in Wembley Stadium instead of Fenway Park. It's as if ...

Oh, heck. I don't know. It's as if Donald Trump decided to run for President, and people actually took him seriously.

Oh. Wait.


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