Ten Things I Think I Think – Pre WRC 2010

This is a very special time of year. Thus, this is a very special episode of the Ten Things I Think I Think.  The NRL season is getting underway and there are some things that are staying the same (Catherine Cartier scoring like crazy), and some things might be changing (Gatineau is 2-2).  But for now, all eyes are on Tampere, Finland and the World Ringette Championship.  Since Ten Things is already based on Peter King’s NFL columns, this preview will be based on John Buccigross’ season previews on ESPN.com.  All previews are song lyrics….. cause that’s just how we roll around here. 

1. I think that if you watched the Closing Ceremonies at the Olympic Games you may have thought two things: a. Wow, the New Pornographers are incredibly good, how did I not know about them already; and b. Nothing good can come after the phrase, “Ladies and Gentlemen, Nickelback”.  Having learned this lesson, I am going with the best musical act Vancouver has ever produced (yeah, I said it, Mr. Bryan Adams) with Use It by the New Pornographers:

and two shapes in the dark;

across the way know the price of flight;

its weight and size;

if you’ve got something;

that sheds some light;

use it tonight, tonight.

If Canada has something that sheds some light, they will use it in Finland.  Nothing is going to be left on the ice. Period.

2.  I think that there is quite a bit of new blood on Team Canada this year.  Fourteen of the 22 players on the playing roster were not on the playing roster in Ottawa in 2007. Two of the key new elements are from very small towns, but will play a very big role.  Jennifer Hartley has really come into her own as a member of the Edmonton WAM!, and Kailee Dundas of the Calgary RATH has continued to be an offensive and defensive force in the NRL and onto Team Canada.  Hometowns: Hartley – Balzac, AB.  Dundas – Hussar, AB.  Naturally, the band that comes to mind…. Rural Alberta Advantage, because we are going to have a huge Rural Alberta Advantage over in Finland.  Their lyric: 

Edmonton’s just a four-night bike ride outta town

A best of three final, and a round robin game against Finland.  Four nights, and we get back to where we were in Edmonton – World Champions.

3.  I think that if an NRL team had the following players:

– Chelsea Stone (Edmonton WAM!)

– Kari Sadoway (Edmonton WAM!)

– Catherine Cartier (Montreal Mission)

– Heather Konkin (Edmonton WAM!) 

You would probably think, “that will be a pretty good team”.  Well, those players are on Team USA and Team USA might be able to make some noise if everything falls into place.  Thus, the message for Finland and Canada comes from the band Spoon: 

you got no fear of the underdog;

that’s why you will not survive.

Take a night off against Team USA and you can expect to pay a price.  A healthy fear of the underdog will be in place for games against USA and against Sweden.

4.  I think that we are not done forgetting Ottawa quite yet.  It has driven us for three years now and been the force that has prepared Canada for the challenge of Tampere.  James Morrison nailed it when he said, “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You”.   

I got my hands up to take your aim

Yeah I’m ready

There ain’t nothing that I won’t do

Walk a thousand miles on broken glass

It won’t stop me

From making my way back to you

It’s not real until

You feel the pain

And nothing ever hurt like you

Nothing hurt like losing the Sam Jacks trophy.  But Canada is ready to walk a thousand miles on broken glass to make it back there.  You can be sure of something this time around – Canada is ready.

5.  I think that a musical version of the Ten Things I Think I Think without a Glee song would be weird.  I think we could go a lot of directions with this one.  I mean, “Sweet Caroline” would be pretty good, “Express Yourself” could work, “U Can’t Touch This” would be fun, and “Empire State of Mind” would get a rare dose of Hip Hop into the Ten Things.  But really, if we are going to use a Glee song, it should be “Dont Stop Believin”.  Definitive Glee song, great lyrics and the inspiration for the Chicago White Sox’ run to the World Series. 

Strangers waiting

Up and down the boulevard

Their shadows searching in the night

Streetlight people

Living just to find emotion

Hiding somewhere in the night

Finding emotion will not be a problem in Tampere.  Thus, this song is good, is from Glee and the lyrics basically have nothing to do with anything else in this article. 

6.  I think that this song works for two reasons.  One, the Cambridge Turbos provide a big part of this year’s Team Canada with four members on the team (Jackie Gaudet, Jennifer Wakefield, Vanessa Cowlen, Meghan Pittaway) and they live in the shadow of the stunning Niagara Escarpment.  Sarah Harmer also lives near the Escarpment and sings about it too, with her song The Escarpment Blues (the video is from Mamma Yamma’s Kitchen on CBC Kids.  A surprisingly good source of new Canadian music by the way).  Her lyrics here, speak to the size and strength of the Canadian team:

If they blow a hole in the backbone

The one that runs cross the muscles of the land

We might get a load of stone for the road

But I don’t know how much longer we can stand

The backbone of Team Canada is big, it is the muscles that run across our land.  The Finns are no shrinking violets either, but they will have to contend with a big, strong, fit team in Team Canada, especially when trying to break into the triangle.

7.  I think that Minnesota is not really known for its music scene in general. But the genius of Prince, the Jayhawks and Wilco all trace back to Minnesota.  Minnesota, coincidentally, is also the last American host of the World Ringette Championship (we in the know, call that a segue!).  During these WRC, Canada will face adversity.  A tough game, a bad goal, a great goal, something.  After all, the other team is good and they are going to want to win at home.  So, Canada needs to take the advice that the Jayhawks gave to Marina in Save It For a Rainy Day:

Don’t look so sad, Marina

There’s another part to play

Don’t look so sad, Marina

Save it for a rainy day

As long as there is another part to play, Canada will not have the luxury of looking sad.  Losing a game? Win the next one… Taking a penalty on a questionable call? Kill it off…. Just keep working, and don’t look sad, because that can wait for a rainy day.

8. I think that two Saskatoon Wild players will have something to say about this tournament before all is said and done.  One is Canada’s Erin Cumpstone.  The other is her linemate for the last two years, Salla Kyhalla who is playing for Finland.  At the WRC, they are both going to see a very different side of their former teammates. 

Like Erin and Salla, Joni Mitchell is from Saskatoon, and Joni Mitchell wrote Both Sides Now, the definitive song about seeing things another way:

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air

And feather canyons everywhere, i’ve looked at cloud that way.

But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.

So many things i would have done but clouds got in my way.

Canada will have to help make sure that, like the clouds, Salla does not get in our way!

9.  I think that there are four players on this team that were on the 2002 World Championship team (Jackie Gaudet, Jenn Wakefield, Keely Brown and Barb Bautista).  For them, it has been a very long wait between opportunities to hoist the Sam Jacks trophy.  Tampere provides another chance…….. At Last.  Like Beyonce (and Etta James before her) these four know what it is like to have found the dream, and now want to capture that dream again:

The night I looked at you

I found a dream that I could speak to

A dream that I can call my own

I found a thrill to rest my cheek to

A thrill that I have never known

10.  I think these are my non-WRC thoughts of the week:

a.         I think that the baseball playoffs are utterly irrelevant.  That is too bad, good baseball is fun to watch.

b.         I think that you need to get your alarm clocks warmed up.  The start times for the gold medal games from Finland:

Game 1 – 6:30pm in Tampere (8:30am on our West Coast)

Game 2 – 6:30pm in Tampere (8:30am on our West Coast)

Game 3 – 2:30pm in Tampere (4:30am on our West Coast) 

But if you do wake up early, you will be rewarded with the webcast produced by Finnish national broadcaster YLE and distributed by Eurovision.