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  #6501  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 2:29 PM
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Interestingly, the old Winnipeg Velodrome built for the 1967 Pan Am Games had a football field in the infield... it was intended to accommodate amateur football which, as I understand it, was taking a real toll on nearby Winnipeg Stadium's then-grass surface and making it unsuitable for pro play.

Anyway, the scoreboard there was the only one I ever saw that said "Metres to go" instead of the standard "Yards to go"... I'm not sure if amateur football went through a metrification kick in the 70s or what. As pointed out though, going metric wouldn't affect the length of the field although I suppose it would make things more challenging for offenses by requiring an extra yard to be gained for a first down.
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  #6502  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 3:06 PM
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Canadians are famously ignorant of their own culture. It's both sad and bizzare that some Canadians define Canada by how unlike the USA we can be. Can you imagine Americans ditching baseball for cricket so they could be different from Canadians? Boycotting burgers because Canadians eat those? Never buying jeans again because they've seen Canucks wearing them? See how ridiculous this is? Canada and the USA are similar. That's just a fact and one Americans don't seem uncomfortable about one iota.

Educating Canadian children about Canada/Canadian culture is the only strategy worth pursuing. If we want the world to see these things as ours we need to take ownership of our culture rather than pretend that it wasn't ever Canadian. The latter gets us nowhere other than having to start all over again. It's tantamount to dismissing 200+ years of our history like it never happened.

I can't imagine any country's strategy to be: we're ignorant about 90% of our history so let's get that number to 100% rather than solve the problem. Even if people did adopt your suggestion it would be a lie. You can't change your history.
Note that I never suggested we go ahead with promoting rugby over football. Just saying that if athletic nationalism is the goal, it would likely be an easier strategy in the near-term. I agree that it would be far better to maintain hockey and football's primacy over sports culture.

The reason I think Canadians are more likely to care about if something's popular in the US too (aside from the obvious inferiority complex thing) is that Canadians assume that if it's popular in the US, it's an American thing. The US doesn't care if Canadians like their stuff because they see it as someone else consuming their products, whereas Canadians have lost touch with their own cultural products (in this case, football) and associate it with the US. For that reason, many things we do here independently will become attributed to the US because they do it there too. That's why as a cultural distinction, I think it'd be theoretically easier for us to go radically different, because even when we come up with something, I think it doesn't take long until people forget and assume it's an American thing. It's like when the world assumes Canadian musicians/actors are American, except we do it to ourselves too.
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  #6503  
Old Posted Jul 6, 2018, 3:18 PM
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The reason I think Canadians are more likely to care about if something's popular in the US too (aside from the obvious inferiority complex thing) is that Canadians assume that if it's popular in the US, it's an American thing.
More realistically, if something is popular in the US that means it's all over the media here too. I remember there being a good sized contingent of NASCAR fans in Winnipeg back in NASCAR's 90s/00s heyday... I'm sure a lot of it had to do with the fact that you turned on a TV on a weekend and there was NASCAR racing... you went to a store and there were NASCAR preview magazines (all created for the US domestic market) on the magazine racks. You went to Part Source or wherever and there were NASCAR souvenirs for sale. So not surprisingly some people took to it despite Canada (and the rest of the world outside of the US, I suppose) generally being a stock car racing wasteland.
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  #6504  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2018, 4:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Acajack View Post

Although I don't think the reason the CFL uses a field 110 yards long is due to to the Metric system. Pretty sure a Canadian football field was 110 yards long before Metric conversion in the mid 70s.
I found that part suspect as well. And it's been 110 yards since the 1860s, I think.
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  #6505  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2018, 8:39 PM
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Great times in Montréal today ! Sur le Plateau, ça déchire grave !!


L'Barouf par Hakaki, sur Instagram

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  #6506  
Old Posted Jul 15, 2018, 9:52 PM
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Was biking by the French Ambassador's residence this morning before the game and they were playing Queen's "We are the Champions". I thought, "you cheeky bastards!"

Guess they were right.

Then after the French win, my daughter says to me, "Well its the first thing the French have ever won in Moscow!"
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  #6507  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 2:41 PM
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TSN Original: My Way - The Rise of Cliff Thorburn - Trailer

Abandoned by his mother at the age of one, Cliff Thorburn of Victoria BC hit the road as a teenager. In pool rooms across Canada, 'The Grinder' survived the high stakes, and sometimes hazardous, world of gambling to become Canada’s first and only World Snooker Champion. Here's a sneak peek at the TSN Original airing Wednesday, July 18 on SportsCentre.

Aside from becoming World Champion, Cliff's immortal moment in history was getting the first perfect 147 score in World Championship history. This would be the snooker equivalent of Don Larson's perfect World Series game.

Also in the clip below, (Start at 42:10) you see fellow Canadian snooker "mafia" Bill Werbeniuk and Kirk Stevens both of whom were larger than life personalities on the snooker stage.

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The perfect game (below), start at 14:50 when the fun begins, if you don't want to watch the whole thing
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  #6508  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 3:41 PM
isaidso isaidso is offline
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Originally Posted by Laceoflight View Post
Great times in Montréal today ! Sur le Plateau, ça déchire grave !!
I noticed quite a few celebrating in Toronto as well although surely less than in Montreal. There are a lot more French in Toronto than there used to be.
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  #6509  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 5:30 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, I once saw Cliff play snooker at Silver Tip in Sauga just south of Hurontario and Dundas. That place was great. Down in the basement but much bigger than you'd think from seeing the doorway at street level. And quality tables for pool and snooker.

Was run by another former snooker champion. But Canadian, not World. And I'm pretty sure high stakes poker games used to happen in the backroom.

Anyway, a who's who of Canadian billiards used to play there. Russ Anber of TSN boxing and billiards and Jim Wyche, one of the top commentators of pool used to play snooker there as well.

Then there was guys like Eric Hjorleifson and former World and US Open champion Alex Pagaluyan. And Johnny Morra Sr. and Jr. I play Sr. in a handicapped tournament once and he whipped me. Jr. would go on to represent Canada a few times at the WC of Pool along with Pagaluyan. He once asked me to move from where I was standing because I was in his line of view for a shot. This was during a 40 man tournament with $20 buy-in. Those pros don't let their guards down for a minute.

Also, two time world champ Ralf Souquet, from Germany, would often stop at Silver Tip first before heading to Virginia for the US Open. Saw him once. Amazing to see the top guys in the world at something so up close and personal.

Cliff is a legend. Famous for being first outsider to win the WC. But also infamous for doing coke and getting banned. But apparently it was a common issue on the tour.

Even now, Ronnie O'sullivan, possibly the greatest ever, has admitted to drug addictions. In his case he says it's because of his depression.

Damn I miss Silver Tip. $6 flat to play pool from 11am to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday. The landlord of the plaza decided to tear down that section of the plaza and make way for Shoppers to build a stand alone store.

Anyone ever try snooker? I tried a few times back in the day. It's an exercise in frustration.
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  #6510  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 5:32 PM
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I was up at the cottage and drove into town, which is Penetanguishene, ON. Lots of French Canadian surnames due to the history of them migrating one province over for farm land. Though I've never actually heard anyone speak french in the 10 years I've been going. But there are quite a few indicators of French Canadian culture.

The France supporters outnumbered Croatia at least 20 to 1.
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  #6511  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 5:56 PM
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Originally Posted by megadude View Post
I was up at the cottage and drove into town, which is Penetanguishene, ON. Lots of French Canadian surnames due to the history of them migrating one province over for farm land. Though I've never actually heard anyone speak french in the 10 years I've been going. But there are quite a few indicators of French Canadian culture.

The France supporters outnumbered Croatia at least 20 to 1.
Historically, I should say "French Canadians" have never really supported France in international sporting competitions. It's not everyone for sure but the French national soccer team has however created a bit of a buzz here, this year, in 1998 and also for some Euro tournaments too.

So it is a noticeable fairly recent development (if 20 years is recent) to have a good number of native francophone Canadians (not talking about people originally from France living in Canada) even paying attention to French sporting exploits like this.
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  #6512  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:09 PM
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^ Isn't that just the World Cup experience in Canada in a nutshell, though? Since we never qualify anyway, everyone just latches on to some country that they have at least some slight connection to, no matter how tenuous, and adopts them?

(I'm not slamming the practice either, it's obviously a lot more fun to watch the tournament when you have an emotional stake in the outcome. One of my relatives gave me a Poland jersey complete with my name on the back even though I couldn't name you a single Polish player... but just the act of having my own team in the race made it more interesting...)
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  #6513  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:16 PM
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So I've been watching the Quebec news channels who have live coverage of the celebrations in Paris this afternoon (early evening there) and it's totally INSANE.

It's really worth it to find video of the motor coaches with the team on the highway approaching the city, with hundreds of motorcycles and scooters that broke through police lines and which followed the players' motorcade all along, taking videos and photos. Very dangerous actually. And traffic totally stopped in the other direction with people standing on the roof of their cars, standing on guardrails in the middle of the highway, and also hundreds of people on overpasses they were passing under.

On a broader Canadian level, every time I see something like the World Cup I am always a bit bittersweet. It always seems like we're on the outside looking in. Like we're on the outside looking in as most of the rest of the world lives a "moment".

Trying hard to think of something that could provoke celebrations like this in Canada. Or even "moments of convergence" that simply happen when the national team plays group games, or games in the knockout stages.

The closest thing I can recall was the gold medal men's hockey game at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. But was it really on the same order of magnitude? Was the atmosphere even like it was in Croatia (who lost) yesterday afternoon? I wasn't in Croatia, so I can't say for sure. But somehow I doubt it.

Apologies for this moment of Canadian Debbie Downerism. I've been watching the French go apeshit on and off for the past 24 hours. Maybe it's getting to me!
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  #6514  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:34 PM
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^ Isn't that just the World Cup experience in Canada in a nutshell, though? Since we never qualify anyway, everyone just latches on to some country that they have at least some slight connection to, no matter how tenuous, and adopts them?

(I'm not slamming the practice either, it's obviously a lot more fun to watch the tournament when you have an emotional stake in the outcome. One of my relatives gave me a Poland jersey complete with my name on the back even though I couldn't name you a single Polish player... but just the act of having my own team in the race made it more interesting...)
I get that but it's a bit different because the mainstream media in Anglo-Canada doesn't cover one team as though it's a quasi-home team. It's not quite like that in the Quebec media, although it ebbs and flows. But if the French team is successful, then they've been jumping on the bandwagon since 1998.

Quebec's news channels wouldn't pre-empt their programming for live coverage of the victory celebrations of Argentina or Germany.

And CBC Newsworld and CTV News Channel did not cover the party in Paris live today either.

I wonder what CBC and CTV would have done had England won the WC. Obviously we won't know for a while (or maybe ever) but in my observations they tend to be more "catholic" (equitable coverage and enthusiasm) in their coverage than the Quebec networks are - although as I said, France doesn't get full "home team" treatment here either.
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  #6515  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:34 PM
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Originally Posted by megadude View Post
Anyway, a who's who of Canadian billiards used to play there. Russ Anber of TSN boxing and billiards and Jim Wyche, one of the top commentators of pool used to play snooker there as well.

Anyone ever try snooker? I tried a few times back in the day. It's an exercise in frustration.
I used to play a lot, would still, if I could see half decently.

I am sure I met Cliff back in the 80s, good guy. He is revered in the UK as one of the game's legends. He was there during the heyday of snooker which was great for a snooker fan like me because Canadians did quite well. They were the Crazy Canucks of the Green Baize, you could say. Thorburn the Grinder, Bill Werbeniuk the People's Favorite, and Kirk Stevens the Teenage Girl's Pinup. Add Jim Wych and Alain Robidoux and Canada was well represented.

A good tribute to Cliff below, with his fellow Canadians (start at 2:08).

Video Link


"I had this dream a couple of weeks before that I had a perfect game in the world championship." That memorable moment, however, was both one of the highlights and low points of his career.

As he was about to celebrate his historic feat, the phone rang. It was his wife Barbara telling him she had suffered a miscarriage.

"I'll never forget this photographer saying, `Come on, Cliff, smile. It's a big day.' And there I was listening to my wife telling me she had lost the baby."

The tragedy, however, resulted in finally bringing British snooker fans to Thorburn's side. Until then he had been the outsider who was almost resented for winning the world championship three years earlier.

"I was sort of like the Russian hockey player to Canadians," he said. "It was a, 'He's good, but he's not one of us,' sort of thing."

British fans and the media, however, scurried to his side when they learned of the miscarriage.

"I guess they saw a different side to me," said Thorburn. "They realized I was human."
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  #6516  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:37 PM
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h^ Yeah, fair enough... there's nothing in English Canada that could really come close to uniting soccer fans the way that Quebec fans can get kind-of, sort-of get behind France. I didn't get the sense that anyone here was rooting for England as a default home team, except for people with English roots (the same way that Portuguese-Canadians cheered for Portugal).

Personally I don't think an England win would have been treated any differently by the Anglo-Canadian news media than France's win was, except maybe there would have been a bit more coverage on the national news given that CBC and CTV have significant bureaus in London.
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  #6517  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:41 PM
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h^ Yeah, fair enough... there's nothing in English Canada that could really come close to uniting soccer fans the way that Quebec fans can get kind-of, sort-of get behind France. I didn't get the sense that anyone here was rooting for England as a default home team, except for people with English roots (the same way that Portuguese-Canadians cheered for Portugal).

Personally I don't think an England win would have been treated any differently by the Anglo-Canadian news media than France's win was, except maybe there would have been a bit more coverage on the national news given that CBC and CTV have significant bureaus in London.
I wonder what the impact of the diversification of Quebec's population will be on this. As it stands now the population is still very predominantly of long-established French origins (a fact which does drive a lot of this, in my observation), but things are moving in the direction of Anglo-Canada and the U.S. and a broader mix of francophone people of all origins.
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  #6518  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:47 PM
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Cliff is a legend. Famous for being first outsider to win the WC. But also infamous for doing coke and getting banned. But apparently it was a common issue on the tour.
He wasn't the only one, but thankfully the lovable rogues' legacies weren't tarnished too much but remembered fondly.

Sex, drugs and...more drugs: 7 players who prove snooker is a bad-ass sport
Jimmy White’s recent revelations have caused a stir but the sport has seen its fair share of bad-boys.
the42 Apr 17th 2016

Top Drunks: Big Bill Werbeniuk
The ballad of Big Bill
Jon Tait drunkard.com
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  #6519  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 6:51 PM
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The closest thing I can recall was the gold medal men's hockey game at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. But was it really on the same order of magnitude? Was the atmosphere even like it was in Croatia (who lost) yesterday afternoon? I wasn't in Croatia, so I can't say for sure. But somehow I doubt it.
September 72, nuf ced.
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  #6520  
Old Posted Jul 16, 2018, 7:12 PM
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^ Perhaps the rest of the world didn't pay that much attention to 1972 or 2010, but that doesn't make it any less meaningful for Canadian fans. On that note, I doubt the Americans beat themselves up very much that they didn't make the World Cup or because their most important sports championship, the Super Bowl, is a purely domestic competition with a trivial international fanbase.
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