Canada, why you not very nice in Sochi?
This is what all Americans were thinking after the trouncing of the Canadians in the Gold Medal tournaments this past week.
They didn't shock me with their ability to beat America when it came to the 1-0 win against the men, but against the women (with one of the best teams in Olympic history set up by the USA Women) it was an utter disaster. Up 2 with less than 5 minutes left in the game the USA Women's hockey team collapsed and choked under the pressure of winning the gold. No matter what sport it is, you cannot lose a game with that amount of time left especially in such a high competitive atmosphere as the Olympic games and for that, we have to put the choke sign up for the USA Women in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
For the Men... let me just splurge about the men for about a paragraph or two... The Canadian team didn't just beat the USA Team, they took their souls. I know Finland is a pretty good team and they were definitely a challenge, but the USA Team didn't even compete with them. They also made numerous mistakes and were lackadaisical in several areas where they were screening their own goalie, Jonathan Quick was out of position on another goal, they gave up the second goal shortly after the first one, they missed on 2 penalty shots that could have given the USA hope, and it all caused the USA to lose 5-0 in the BRONZE (yes, the BRONZE Medal) Game. Don't tell me it doesn't matter because they were only going 'Gold or Bust' it's inexcusable to lose 5-0 in a championship round weather it's for bronze or for a participation slip. It's the freaking Olympics and the Men mailed it in when it comes to the final game.
To put some perspective on this I want you to think back to the 2004 Men's Basketball team. They had a gluttony of All-Stars with Carmelo, LeBron, Tim Duncan, Allen Iverson, and Dwayne Wade just to name a few. They lost to Puerto Rico and Lithuania in the Olympic Tournament which only allowed for them to enter the tournament to finish 3rd at best. Let me remind you, Tim Duncan was a back-to-back MVP, Iverson won MVP in 2001 and LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, and Dwayne Wade were supposed to be the future of the NBA at this time. We had the best players in the world and we couldn't compete with the likes of Puerto Rico? These guys also played quite often in the summertime and played against elite competition internationally quite frequently outside of the young guys on the team. This was an eye opener for the USA Men's Basketball squad quite similarly to the Men's Hockey squad this year in Sochi.
I understand the United States didn't create this sport, but we built it up to the level it is to day with the NHL and the promotion we put on in cities across the country. Yes, today it's not the most popular sport, but for it to get this bad this fast no matter the outcome where we can't even medal or at least force the Bronze medal opponent into an instant classic? Embarrassing. It's Canada's game, but it's our promotional slam piece. And damnit did we mess up!
See you all next week!