Editorial – A day in the life

Jeff Burgar

“We’re gonna yank ‘em! We’re gonna kick ‘em! Rip ‘em! Tear ‘em! Take ‘em and roll them around and rip ‘em to pieces! Then we’re gonna slaughter them!”
Inside the arenas, outside the arenas, in bars and at home, Battle of Alberta crowds were going wild. Even if the crowd was just one! Along with a cat, dog or budgie. A great series. In fact, according to the noise of fans alone, it was a fantastic series. Playoffs are indeed hockey at its best.
NHL playoffs are not even the loudest. NASCAR stock car racing has much bigger crowds. An average NHL hockey game full house is 17,000 people. A major race averages 100,000 people with many races much bigger. Premier League soccer is almost 60,000. American football brings in 70,000 or more. All are outdoor, but crowd size and enthusiasm makes a lot of noise.
There is magic in sports, no doubt about it. Magic in the competition. Magic in the battle. Magic in the stands, on the air, and even in the news reports.
Media tries very, very hard to capture that magic. Put it in a bottle and sell it to others, so to speak. So few times do we succeed.
For the most part, fans do not cheer at movies. They do not raise the roof when a new car or truck model arrives. Super Bowl commercials are praised, but do they pull viewers from their sofas and chairs and have them screaming and shouting? Does a great sale at the local furniture store create rave reviews in media?
Even the famous ticker tape parades in New York City, besides the fact there are no more stock market tape machines to make the blizzards of ticker tapes, are few and far between.
Even so, music bands, singers and some entertainers can do it. Bring people to their feet. Shake the building. Leave the fans thrilled. Even a few politicians are successful. Donald Trump, yes. Hillary Clinton, not so much.
In some cases, a dreadful politician will bring out the crowds. Perhaps not in the numbers of a playoff hockey or football game, but one can say logistics and venue are usually not perfect. Ask the Freedom Convoy. Would they have had more supporters out if they had rented a stadium or arena. They still got publicity, even if Central Canadian media didn’t like them.
Speaking of such, we think it very likely Prime Minister Justin Trudeau could get a crowd of haters to fill a stadium someplace outside of Toronto. Calgary, yes. Edmonton, maybe not so much.
In all this, there is much hand wringing over divided nations, divided states and provinces. Earlier, we said we in media try very hard to capture the excitement of sports. It is not only media. Everybody wants to blow the roof off with their ideas, plans and publicity.
Sports is said to be a release valve for the tensions and pressures of everyday life. Sports is also the model business, politicians, political parties, social groups, unions and so much more all try to copy. It works! People in every walk of life everywhere want to gin up support for their ideas. Nothing new here.
The quote opening this column? Coach Calhoun from the movie Grease in 1978.

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