Little buzz for Olympic hockey this year

Even in Canada, the country of hockey, it’s asking a lot to expect people to stay up to or get up at 3 a.m. to watch an Olympic hockey game, but the CBC says that’s what you get by having the Olympics in South Korea this year.

Even bars seem to be throwing in the towel. Some, that have been traditional places to to drink a game away, report that they haven’t had a single reservation for these Olympics.

The various governments are trying. Toronto lawmakers have passed legislation allowing bars and restaurants to start serving alcohol at 7 a.m. on Feb. 19, 23 and 24, when the semifinal and final men’s and women’s hockey games will be played.

In Vancouver, things are tough because the government is reluctant to approve anything with drinking since hockey fans rioted after the Stanley Cup finals in 2011.

One bar owner in Montreal laments that most of the prime drinking hours coincide with Olympic curling. Curling is not a sport that draws them in, apparently.

It’s not just the time zone difference that accounts for the lack of interest in hockey. The NHL kept its players home this year, diminishing the quality of the competition.

  • Jack Ungerleider

    “Curling is not a sport that draws them in, apparently.”
    That’s odd, I thought Curling and drinking went together. Sort of like bowling and drinking. 8^)

  • Bob Sinclair

    There are curls with the stone and then there are the 12oz curls.

  • FWIW: I love watching Olympic® curling.

    • jon

      in college we got cbc, I think it was the first year for olympic curling, and it was on constantly… Pretty fun to watch.

      Few years back got to try it for real in blaine for a work team building exercise… it’s far better to play than to watch…

      (We also got to watch the US v. canada hockey game on both NBC and CBC… announcers were different and often said completely contradictory things, with in seconds of each other… “The US isn’t out of this game yet.” “Well there is just no way for the US to make it back into this game now, ay.”)

      • And…Last night I watched the US mixed-doubles curling team get completely dismantled by a South Korean team who could land their rocks with surgical precision. I was mightily impressed.

        /Never tried curling. I’d probably hurt myself.

        • jon

          It’s actually not that physically taxing…
          Let me rephrase that… it doesn’t actually have to be that physically taxing… you can use a pusher stick to move the rocks around so you don’t even need to bend over to throw the stone…

          Overall minimum physical exertion is about the same as walking around outside in a minnesota winter (except it’s usually warmer in the rink.)

          • I’m thinking about the balancing part when I chuck the rock. I’d probably wear my hockey helmet.


          • Joseph

            I tried curling and found it to be very physically taxing, especially if you are not great at balancing. Also, to do the sweeper job right, you have to not only brush and keep brushing with no breaks, but you have to brush while pushing down into the ice. After trying my hand at curling, I can truly say those guys are athletes, and have my respect!

          • jon

            If you can walk on ice you will be fine.

          • I can use skates, right?


  • Jim in RF

    “Little Buzz” <- pretty crafty, B.C.

  • Alex

    “The NHL kept its players home this year, diminishing the quality of the competition.”

    Wouldn’t it be such a shame if the Olympics became a competition for amateurs again…

    • wjc

      What does that even mean these days? No World Cup skiers. No figure skaters. No snowboarders. Only a small fraction of Winter Olympics participants would qualify.

    • But it was never a competition just for amateurs, at least in hockey. It was for some countries, but not for others.

  • Zachary

    I’m excited for Olympic Hockey! Not going to go to a bar and watch it, however.

  • KTFoley

    There’s a college town in upstate New York where one can likely find an open bar and/or a rigged-up CBC video stream to watch Olympic women’s hockey this week, no matter the hour. Five alumnae are playing for Canada.

    And yet, as gleeful as that makes me here in St Paul, I won’t be setting any 3 AM alarms to see it live.