Team Canada selection stops the madness, for now
The announcement of the Team Canada hockey roster at noon Wednesday put an end to approximately 376 consecutive days of media speculation on who might be on the team, who might not be on the team, who should be on the team and whether the team should have whole-wheat or regular toast for breakfast on Day 1.
Now we can begin a month of intense speculation on who should have been on the team, who will play with who and which player is most likely to break his stick first.
Lord help us.
That's not to say there isn't interest. Anytime Canadian hockey players skate for this country, millions drop what they're doing to watch. Take the world junior tournament, for example. An average audience of 2.5 million sat through Team Canada's opener on Boxing Day.
This says a lot about Canadians: We love to see international hockey involving our team and we're sadists. The score was 16-0, folks. And still you watched it all.
While TSN is claiming a record for a preliminary junior worlds game, the fact is that under the new ratings system just about everything is a record. Heck, The Score hit 398,000 for its top 50 plays of the year on Christmas Eve.
But the fact is the Latvia-Canada slaughter topped Hockey Night In Canada's Leafs-Habs offering by more than 500,000 viewers. And it was about half of what the Grey Cup drew. If Canada makes the final, the 5 million who watched the Grey Cup could pale in comparison.
Here are the top sports ratings in English Canada for the past weekend, according to BBM overnight figures:
1. Junior hockey worlds, Canada vs. Latvia, Saturday, TSN: 2,500,000
2. Junior hockey worlds, Canada vs. Switzerland, Monday, TSN: 2,088,000
3. NHL, Canadiens at Maple Leafs, Saturday, CBC: 1,934,000
4. NHL, Canucks at Oilers, Saturday, CBC: 1,304,000
5. NFL, Vikings at Bears, Monday, TSN: 1,137,000
6. NHL, Hockey Night In Canada pre-game, Saturday, CBC: 848,000
7. NFL, Early games, Sunday, CTV: 695,000
8. NFL, Chargers at Titans, Friday, Sportsnet: 661,000*
9. NFL, Cowboys at Redskins, Sunday, TSN: 595,000*
10. Junior hockey worlds, Slovakia vs. U.S., Saturday, TSN: 339,000
11. NBA, Pistons at Raptors, Sunday, CBC: 295,000
12. Figure skating, Grand Prix final, Saturday, CBC: 281,000
13. NFL, Broncos-Eagles/Jets-Colts, Sunday, Sportsnet: 270,000*
* Viewers for U.S. channels not calculated.
OTHER STUFF: I don't care what the broadcasters say, there's still something unseemly about watching CTV-Rogers Olympic consortium announcers hogging camera time during the torch relay. ... Old-time Leaf fans might want to check out a website devoted to old-time Leafs: