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Posts from the ‘Sports’ Category

Monday Miscellany

Hockey is Canada’s ReligionSo blared the headlines yesterday after the second of our nation’s triumphs with skates and sticks on the Sochi stage.  For much of yesterday, Canadian media outlets were aglow with videos and tweets and updates about brave, patriotic Canadians getting up at ungodly hours of the morning and braving frigid temperatures to heroically make their way to the pub (sometimes, without even the lure of alcohol, if you can believe it!) to watch the big game.  There were even heartwarming video clips of mosques and churches that decided to show the game before morning worship.  The overall mood was exultant. This is what it means to be Canadian, we rehearsed to ourselves over and over again in myriad ways.  Read more


Our church has spent two hours over the past few Sundays wading into the potentially stormy waters of dialogue about human sexuality as part of our national church’s ongoing discernment process. Among the many interesting things that came up over the course of a very stimulating (although far too brief) conversation was the question of the boundaries of sin. “Why are we so hesitant to use ‘sin’ language?” was one question. Why indeed. It’s a good question. Read more

Play Without Me

I’ve spent a good chunk of the past day and a half or so in a hotel room while my wife attends a conference. This has afforded me the delightful privilege of uninterrupted time for catching up on a bit of reading, napping, going for short walks. And for watching sports.

I love sports. I have always loved sports, whether this meant playing or watching. As with many Canadian kids, when I was younger it was mostly about hockey, but I could watch pretty much anything—football, basketball, skiing, tennis, track and field…. Even baseball, if I was particularly desperate. Not curling or golf, though. Never those. And not boxing (we had mercifully not yet been presented with the disgusting abomination that is UFC at that point). Even as a child, I understood that one must have standards. Read more

We Don’t Know What or How to Value (Exhibit B)

My previous post was critical of our cultural obsession with celebrity and entertainment. I was a bit surprised by the amount of push back I received in various forums, specifically when it came to my views on the monarchy and its dubious (in my view) merits. But it’s relatively easy to be critical of institutions and entertainment options that I care very little for. I spend precisely zero time wondering about the ins and outs of the Royal Family, and I have never watched Glee. It’s not terribly difficult to be critical of people who obsess about things that don’t matter to me. But what about when the argument hits a bit closer to home? When it comes to the world of sport, for example? Read more

On Loss and Life

This morning I am grimly staring in the mirror at a large red scab that is rapidly moving toward full bloom almost directly in the middle of my forehead. An uncomfortable reminder, this, of the previous evening’s activities when, instead of making contact with the soccer ball as I had intended, I rather abruptly introduced my forehead to an opponent’s skull. This ugly scab seems somehow uglier as I reflect upon the game itself. Up 2-1 in the second half, then conceding three goals in about 10 minutes to lose 4-2—two of said goals almost entirely due to giveaways by the guy with the blotchy red forehead.

Sigh. Read more

Sex and Spectacle—This is Prophetic?

Like hundreds of millions of my fellow humans, I spent part of Sunday watching the Super Bowl. I don’t particularly care for American football (I prefer the real version, where they don’t wear armour and stop for a break every 10 seconds or so), but we were invited to someone’s place to watch the game, and there was to be good food and good people present, so off I went. And, leaving aside the mind-numbing tedium of so much advertising and hype and endless time outs (some unexpected) and the bizarre pre- mid- , and post-game commentary about how God may or may not have been involved in the outcome, it was a pretty good game.   Read more

I Felt Very Small

I spent my day off this week at the ski hill ninety minutes or so west of town. I skied a decent amount growing up, but once our kids arrived and I decided to back to school, skiing wasn’t really much of an option any more. It’s not a cheap sport, obviously, and certainly beyond the reach of a student trying to juggle studies with work and a young family. I don’t think I skied more than a handful of times during the first decade or so of my kids’ life. Read more

Monday Miscellany

It’s Monday morning, the kids are back in school, my Christmas flu finally seems to have released me from its miserable grip. A New Year has begun, and life is back to normal. A couple of miscellaneous topics and ideas for a Monday morning, then. These have very little to do with one another other than that they have been collecting dust either in my brain or in my “drafts” folder over the past little while. If this comes across as a rambling mess, or a series of incoherent rants, well, I blame on the accumulation of weeks worth of flu medication which has undoubtedly scrambled my brain. Read more

The Spectacle

Exactly two minutes from the time I began to write this sentence, the opening ceremonies for the Games of the XXX Olympiad will begin in London. And, for the first time that I can remember, I find that I could not care less. It’s strange because I like sports. Quite a lot, in fact. But so far, I have precisely zero interest in this ceremony or these Olympic Games.  Read more

A Beautiful Time for the Beautiful Game

Ah, it’s a beautiful time of year to be a fan of the beautiful game. The European Championships from Poland and Ukraine start in 60 minutes, Canada plays its first game of the second round of 2014 World Cup Qualifying later today in Cuba—and, to top it all off, the U12 team I coach broke a streak of who knows how many losses in a row with a draw and a win this week!!   Footballing life is good.   Read more

Chiefs Win

In my previous post I referred to a friend who passed away this week, and said that we “grew up” playing hockey together. What I didn’t mention is that we still played hockey together, if only for a few months this year. Read more

Peace, Pietism, and Personal Branding

Part of this week was spent at a gathering of Alberta Mennonite pastors just north of Calgary. The drive alone would have made the trip worth it. I had forgotten how spectacularly colourful autumn in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains can be! More importantly, though, it was a good opportunity to connect with new colleagues, as well as to get a sense of some of the strengths, challenges and theological perspectives of a conference that is still fairly new to me. Read more

Run For It

Conversations with a few friends over the last little while have got me toying with the idea of attempting a half-marathon later this year. I have taken a few halting steps (literally and metaphorically) towards this goal in the last few days, but it remains to be seen if these will be sustained. It’s not hard to jog for a few kilometres in the midst of what has been a glorious Alberta summer, but when the cold and the wind make their inevitable appearance? Well, let’s just say that my resolve will likely face a more formidable test. Read more

Real ____ Would Never Do That!

I just returned from a glorious five days spent motorcycling through Washington and Oregon. We crossed the border into the United States last Sunday and then headed over the Cascade Mountains, wound our way down to northern Oregon, then meandered through the central part of the state, before heading back north up the Oregon Coast, and catching a ferry back to Vancouver Island from Port Angeles, WA last night. All in all, a fantastic trip. Read more

About Time!

On April 28, 1996, the city of Winnipeg, MB lost its beloved NHL Jets. The Jets became the Phoenix Coyotes due to a combination of the financial realities faced by a small Canadian city, a weak Canadian dollar, rising player salaries and NHL commissioner Gary Bettman’s idiotic insistence that the National Hockey League needed to grow in places like Phoenix and Miami and Nashville and Atlanta. You know, places where it snows approximately never. Read more

Christmas Confusion

I couldn’t help but chuckle at the conclusion of tonight’s edition of Coach’s Corner on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada. Cherry’s shtick was his usual combination of lightly-informed, opinionated bravado and Canadian hockey machismo, but as is increasingly often the case, it was also the opportunity for him to step up his soap box. Read more

What’s Old is New Again (NHL Style)

According to WordPress’s new, more comprehensive statistics page the second-most popular post I have ever come up with—at least according to number of page views—is a post from last year on hockey jerseys (naturally, of course… What else would you expect, on a blog that deals primarily with faith-related subject matter?).  Apparently I am not alone in my life-long fascination/curiosity with hockey jerseys!  So, because fall is here and hockey season has officially begun, I thought a hockey post might be fun for a holiday Thanksgiving Monday (my apologies to the non-hockey aficionados who read this blog :)). Read more

Beautiful… as Long as You Like Soccer

Over the last few weeks, my morning routine has involved waking up, tiptoeing down the hallway to avoid waking everyone else up, putting the coffee on, and catching a World Cup match before work. It has been delightful, and I am already dreading the end of South Africa 2010. This morning’s game (a 2-1 win by the Netherlands over mighty Brazil) had it all—colour, drama, suspense, amazing skill, some great goals, a bit of nastiness, and the right result! I can’t wait for the other three quarterfinal matches today and tomorrow. Read more