^^ US cities and towns where the NCAA is #1 also tend to be cities/towns with no professional sports teams to speak of. Chapel Hill has North Carolina, South Bend has Notre Dame, Tuscaloosa has Alabama, and there are 100+ other places like that. They exist in densely populated areas by Canadian standards so you have a huge population within an hours drive with no other option but the nearest NCAA team.
There are a few exceptions to that rule like Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, and LA but in those places people follow both the pro teams and the NCAA not one over the other. The NCAA, for the most part, fills a void when there's no professional team to get behind. Due to the massive size of the US, there are a ton of cities and towns like that. This in turn helped develop the NCAA into what we see today.
In Canada we don't have the population to support 2 well developed sport systems: one pro, one university. We can barely support professional sports on our own: the CFL. The closest we get is the relevance of university sports in the Maritimes due to a dearth of pro teams and the interest in Laval football in Quebec City. Quebec City has no CFL so Laval filled that void. As there are so few places like this in Canada, university sports have never been able to reach its potential or compete with pro sports here.
If Canada had 150 million people spread out over our southern third I bet things would be vastly different.
Originally Posted by Acajack
Part of the sensitivity likely comes from the fact that iconic Canadian stuff that has some measure of universal appeal is pretty elusive or not always apparent for a lot of people. Hockey is one of the most obvious exceptions to the rule, which is why some people can be so obsessive and even defensive about it.
But as I said in another post, it's not abormal to have one sport totally dominate fan interest in a country. Many countries are like this (at least inasmuch as there is only one team sport that has ubiquity) but that sport is almost always soccer of course.
Agree with all of those points.
For most of our history we appropriated culture/traditions from elsewhere, altered it, and developed something new. Baseball and football are good examples of that. What's different now is that domestically developed culture is being challenged by a completely foreign product like soccer.
When culture changes there will always be those that resist it negatively by lashing out. You see it when McDonalds opens outlets in France and you see it here when soccer makes inroads in Canada. It's healthy and preferable to accommodate soccer but a problem arises if it's at the expense of our own domestically developed culture.
In a perfect world they'd be room for all of it. In the real world people worry that a piece of our culture that took generations to develop will eventually wither and die. It doesn't help when many people seem to have such indifference to sports like hockey or Canadian football. It only fuels the resentment.
The resentment to the rise of basketball is bizarre though. It's not something we've imported from Europe or Asia. I suspect hockey folk who do that are the same that hold the view that HOCKEY = CANADA and therefore nothing else qualifies as Canadian culture. It's a very narrow view and a bit insulting to the other facets of our culture at the same time.