First, I offer a brief reflection on sports in a U.S.A. context, because I wouldn't dare to speak for another country's outlook.
- In the U.S., many parents or guardians get kids involved in sports for socialization just as much a physical outlet for all their hyperactive "kiddie-ness."
- We want children to learn about good sportsmanship to be prepared for life.
- Unfortunately, in many areas and sports, it's become a give-a-trophy-to-every-kid-who-plays P.C. nightmare, too. Because some want the kids to be spared the winners-losers conflict.
Oh, and here's one of those trite clichés all of the athletes out there will know and understand: when I played competitively, a loss like this didn't feel good but I went back to practices determined to not let it happen again. Ditto for when I coached.
So, back off of the Canadian women's hockey team for handing Slovakia an 18-0 beat-down in the Olympics.
- Slovakia 82, Bulgaria 0 in 2008, anyone? Et tú, Bruté?
- Yes, Canada and the U.S.A. have a stronger tradition and training system for women's hockey at this point. Other teams continue to advance theirs and this will be an evolving process.
- Both Canada and the U.S.A. are beatable, especially if you're Swedish.
The Olympic Games are about putting for your best effort against competitors from other countries. They're even about promoting goodwill, unity, and peace through sport. But the mere whispering of the phrase "Mercy Rule" is just asinine and contrary to the movement.
It's sport: there are winners and losers. The ladies who form Slovakia's women's team are big girls; they can take it.