On May 14th, Prime Minister Harper announced that our new international bridge between Canada and the US in Windsor will now and forever be called Gordie Howe International Bridge. What’s that all about?
Like many white small town/city Canadian kids, I was raised in an arena. If I wasn’t figure skating, I was watching my brother practice or play hockey. Or, I watched my friends play. I probably spent 80% of my youth in an arena. And truthfully, I love the sport. I think it’s an incredible display of athleticism and coordination. It’s full of anticipation and excitement. It really is a great sport. But if one more person says it’s my sport because I’m a Canadian, I’m going to scream.
In the last few years, somehow hockey has made it onto our 5 dollar bill, our passports and now an international crossing. This is getting nuts. It’s a sport, not an identity. And instead of recognizing a great war hero, a community leader or a legendary politician, this bridge has named after a very nice man who was good at a sport. Not to put down Mr. Howe, because he truly is an athletic legend, but come on, a hockey player as the name of an international bridge? Talk about a Canadian cliché, eh? Couldn’t we just have named a school after him like James Woods in Family Guy? I think that would have been more appropriate.
Maybe I’m different than most Canadians, but I don’t live and breath hockey. I don’t associate myself being a Canadian with my love of hockey. I like hockey. I don’t love it. Really, most of the biggest bullies I have ever met came from the hockey rink. I know the gross things that they do at parties and in their locker rooms. Many hockey players are the Canadian version of terrible Football players. That said, some of the best people I’ve met played hockey at some point in their life. But the difference is that they didn’t let it consume them, they didn’t find their entire identity in a sport that breeds douche-bags.
So with that, I’m going to list several names for our new bridge which would have been ether way better, or just as relevant as naming an international bridge after a hockey player:
- P. E. Trudeau Bridge
- The Peace Keepers Bridge
- H.M.S Bridge
- Home of the Caesar Bridge (just as irrelevant as hockey)
- Bacon Bridge (yup)
- Maple Bridge
- Ojibwa Bridge
- Bridge to Freedom (because America)
- Tecumseh Bridge
- Laura Secord Bridge (not the chocolate, but the hero the chocolate is named after)
- Kevin Vickers Bridge
- General Brock Bridge
- Poutine Bridge
While some of my recommendations are clearly ridiculous, the others would have been much more important to Canada’s legacy. It would have honoured those who protected our country from war, terrorism or just recognize the important role Canada plays in the world. Not just a sport that’s for rich kids because the equipment is way too expensive for anyone poor to play. Once again, no offence Mr. Howe.