I guess I should have just listened to Don Cherry who predicted Los Angeles would win Friday night and had gone to sleep. But no, I decided to stick to the bitter end.
That was the plan anyway.
I don’t know when I nodded off but I remember waking up at 3am-ish angry that someone had left the television on. I can always watch the condensed game but it’s not really the same.
It was also a time to take a look at the year in review at Hockey Night in Canada closing montage.
But, as we know, it was the closing of more than this season. It’s the end of Hockey Night in Canada as we know it.
You can’t help when growing up in Canada devoting Saturday nights to hockey. In my town, we could get three television channels – CKNX from Wingham and CFPL from London (both CBC stations) and CKCO from Kitchener. Every Saturday night, my brother and I sat on the floor watching hockey and eating popcorn that Mom had made – on the stove – no microwave stuff then. Dad, the world’s biggest Leafs fan would be in the chair watching along with us. I was the oddball, as a Canadiens fan, but hockey was hockey. I still love The Sweater by Roch Carrier!
We would watch the games until our heads started nodding and then it was off to bed. We watched commercials then too. Even though CKCO might have had something else on, you’d have to get up and turn the dial to Channel 13 and then go outside and turn the aerial. (Even typing aerial seems weird. Maybe I should have used antenna?) It’s my memory so bear with me.
Hockey was unique. Unlike American sports where the broadcasters change regularly, it was always Bill Hewitt, Ward Cornell, Danny Gallivan, Brian McFarlane who seemed to be right in our living room with us. Skip a few years ahead, it would be Ron MacLean and Don Cherry. For us, it was just part of growing up.
It’s sad to think that things, as we know them, will change. All for broadcast dollars but that’s our reality. It’s also the reality that your entertainment really needs to be delivered via satellite or cable television. Locally, we get lots of over the air American channels and in and out the digital signal of CBC. Fortunately, it and the local CTV station are available via satellite but not in high definition.
Now that hockey is over and the weather is so much nicer, staying indoors isn’t all that appealing anyway but, there will come a time this fall, when thoughts turn to hockey.
I hope that the successors to this part of Canadiana contribute and create new traditions.
Microwaved popcorn does the deed but it isn’t the same. It will be a challenge to follow the fabulous tradition of CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada.