2013.06.08

The saddest thing about Canadian culture is the lack of media we’ve made about hockey. That means I’ve watched them all. So here’s a short list of films I can recommend: YOUNGBLOOD; BREAKFAST WITH SCOT; MYSTERY, ALASKA; and, of course, the MIGHTY DUCKS trilogy.

The hands-down greatest cultural product Canada has made is THE HOCKEY SWEATER, written by Roch Carrier and made into an animated short directed by Sheldon Cohen. It’s about a kid whose mom buys him the wrong team sweater, but it’s also about Anglo and Francophone Canada, and it’s quoted on the back of our $5 bill. It’s just about everything you need to know about being Canadian.

I’ve read and liked THE MEANING OF PUCK and THE STICK, both by Bruce Dowbiggin. Mordecai Richler’s sportswriting collection is called DISPATCHES FROM THE SPORTING LIFE. Stephen Brunt at The Globe and Mail is a great sportswriter. TROPIC OF HOCKEY by Dave Bidini. I haven’t read, but can recommend, THE ANTAGONIST by Lynn Coady, THE GOOD BODY by Bill Gaston, and KING LEARY by Paul Quarrington, which are all sad novels about retired players. Canada doesn’t really know how to write about winners.