Canadian sports media drives me nuts. It doesn't matter what's going on in the wider world of sports, the Canadian media always (and I mean ALWAYS) leads with hockey, stays with hockey and ends with hockey.
There are two major sports networks in Canada: TSN and Sportsnet. Because I don't want to pay for an expanded satellite TV package, I don't get either at home. And I don't miss them (except, maybe, during the CFL season because TSN has exclusive rights to CFL games).
Each offers a one-hour sports news show every day similar to "Sports Center" on ESPN. But every day of the NHL pre-, regular and post-season, these one-hour sports shows lead with hockey. It doesn't matter if a grand-slam tennis tournament, a major golf tournament, a high-profile university athletics tournament or any other important sporting event is taking place, TSN and Sportsnet always (ALWAYS) lead with hockey.
The only time they ever stray from this formula is during the Winter Olympics. They do sometimes put Olympic action first. Of course, it has to be Olympic HOCKEY action but still...
I was recently in Montreal for a couple of days during the Australian Open tennis tournament. This is the first of four biggies for tennis in any given year and features all the top players, usually playing at their best. This year's Aussie Open was one of the best in recent memory, with a wide open women's draw featuring both the new (like Wozniacki) and the veteran (such as Clijsters) players playing high-calibre ball and a men's tournament that saw the kings (Nadal and Federer) falter while Murray and Djokovic battled it out for the title.
Because Melbourne is on the other side of the world, the matches were played in the middle of the Montreal night. So I woke each morning thinking: hey, I'll be able to pick up the highlights on TSN or Sportsnet.
The joke was on me. Both one-hour shows went through the following cycle every day I was in Montreal (I am NOT kidding): NHL hockey for the entire first half hour of the show, then a commercial break, then a recap of the same hockey highlights they had shown in the first half hour, then briefs on any other sport that might be going on (NFL football, NBA basketball, MMA, minor league hockey, American college basketball), maybe 20 seconds on tennis, then back to yet another recap of the hockey highlights.
Ridiculous. Frustrating. Silly.
And the Canadian newspapers are the same. Hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey hockey something else hockey hockey hockey.
I hate hockey. When I was a sports reporter for a small-town newspaper in Northern Ontario in the late 1980s, I covered hockey at all levels. I was in rinks for about ten hours a day, seven days a week, eight months a year. Drove me crazy. Feet frozen and bored to tears.
So please, Canadian sports media, carve out a little time and space for something other than hockey. I'm beggin' ya.