Stanley Cup in Hockey Hall of Fame

The coveted Stanley Cup (Image via Wikipedia)

I heard a sports commentator today report that the Bruins won the Stanley Cup because later in the last game they started playing with physicality. Yup, that’s what the commentator said. So what is physicality anyway? It’s one of those sports-speak terms one hears all the time now, from announcers and commentators on sports news, sports channels and sports reporting. “He’s playing with real physicality now” the commentator says with genuine, straight-faced sincerity as if he’d just discovered something profound.  Oh, right, because before, when he was just running, kicking, tackling, punting, he WASN’T playing with physicality, he was just, well, playing?

It seems like physicality shouldn’t even be a word. It sounds like one of those made up words that sports commentators use. But turns out it is indeed a word after all. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary defines it thus:

“phy-si-ca-li-ty (fiz’ i kal’ i te) 1. the quality of being physical, especially when emphasized, or overemphasized.”

Okay, so basically physicality means being really, really physical. So if you’re playing a sport, running, throwing, tackling, whatever, you are indeed being physical, but if you’re playing really, really hard, then you’re playing with physicality.

Hmm. So take a professional sports team. It’s their JOB to play with physicality. That’s all they do. Yet, they cruise through the first half, or the first period, or whatever time compartmentalization that particular sport has, and they just…play. Just phone it in. Go through the motions. Then, when,  SURPRISE, team A discovers they aren’t beating the team B, they start playing with physicality, and win the game. Seems like they should have just done that from the beginning. Just sayin’.

Maple leaf money

Dear Canadian friends:

I’ve got your money. I want to give it back to you. Really, I do. Although your money is beautiful, with pictures of queens, reindeer, and large birds, and has charming names like Loonies and Toonies, unfortuantely, it’s almost worthless here. Our vending machines don’t want it. Coin Star doesn’t want it. No one likes to get it in change, and who pays with change anyway? The bank won’t take it. And I bet you folks would like to have it back.

I would come over myself and give it back to you but I can’t because: a) even though you’re very nice about letting me come in to your country, my own country insists on strip-searching me when I return, and b) I’m afraid I’ll end up accidentally bringing back more of your money with me, thus starting the whole process over. So you can see why I can’t come. But, you could come here and get it. Americans love Canadians. After all, you gave us hockey, Michael J. Fox and Canadian bacon. As a people, you’re wonderfully polite and kind, and have quaint expressions like “queuing up” which we find charming. Your national anthem, O Canada (which, thanks to televised hockey, I almost know by heart) is melodic and rousing. In fact, this past Canada Day, July 1 BTW,  my hockey-loving son and I faced Canada and saluted you with our own robust rendition.

But, I digress. If it’s okay with you, I’ll leave the money in a big paper bag just across the Blue Water Bridge. Come and get it whenever you’re ready. If your economy is anything like ours right now, chances are you’ll need it.  Thanks Canadian friends.



PS: Since you’re coming anyway,  maybe you can bring us some of your national health care. We can’t seem to get it right here, and you’ve been doing it for years, so you’ve probably got it down now.

O Canada (sung to the tune of O Canada)

O Canada, Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

(Images courtesy of Google)