Watch the World Cup of Hockey, and root against Team USA

I hate these songs
I hate the words
That the singer is singing to me
I hate this melody
I hate this stupid ------ drum beat

But I'm not gonna tell anyone
What I'm really thinking about
Keep them conversations on the surface
Just keep on smiling
Just keep on saying
Everything's gonna be alright

I used to listen to this song more than I should probably admit. For whatever reason music has always helped me direct my thoughts and make sense of whatever chaos is going on around me. Turn Those Clapping Hands Into Balled Fists is one of those songs that just makes sense when you’re desperately searching for a direction in life while fighting the good fight to keep going on a daily basis.

And yet I find myself listening to it while rationalizing why I’m actually going to watch the World Cup of Hockey when it takes place in a couple weeks. I’m not even hiding my true feelings. I will watch it, and when I do I am 100% behind Team North America.

Why?

For one, the best American players are on the North American team. I usually like America, and in international competitions I certainly do. I want to root for the best Americans. The best Americans not named Phil Kessel are on Team North America. Phil, you may remember, got snubbed.

Team USA is a farce. Half of the roster has no business being invited to an American hockey camp. They think they are going to grit and grind their way to victory. Nothing good can come from this. If you want American hockey to be fun in the future then it is imperative that this USA roster gets bounced quickly, and hopefully by North America with hat tricks by Johnny Gaudreau and Dylan Larkin.

Most importantly this is a made up tournament with fake teams full of 65% of the best players in the world as of Labor Day. That percentage may drop before publication, given how many players are not going. This isn’t the Olympics. This isn’t 1996. Nothing good will come from America winning. The only good will come from North America embarrassing them into realizing that they need to select skilled players to match up with Canadian fourth liner Joe Thornton.

Team USA is boring though. There are fun storylines to follow.

Jiri Hudler, the newest Dallas Star and an actual good NHL player, isn’t on the Czech roster after he straight up ignored their phone calls. They snubbed him for Sochi. He said enjoy your made up tournament. What a delightful story.

The fake teams will have national anthems. Go ahead and back away from the screen for a moment and let that sink in. Made up teams will have made up national anthems and I guess we can’t really call them “national” either. Just when you think the NHL can’t do anything sillier they go and do this.

Bill Daly did say that anthems will only be played when the tournament is over and not before games, but why are we making up anthems? And since this is all fake anyways, why can’t Team Europe just use The Final Countdown so this can actually be fun? Why doesn’t the NHL like fun? Are we going to have to start calling them the No Humor League? You guys are expanding to Vegas. Loosen up a little.

Some Dallas Stars will be there too. Tyler Seguin will skate for Team Canada. Radek Faksa and Ales Hemsky will be on the Czech club. Esa Lindell will play for Finland. Yes, there are names missing. Jamie Benn is among the players who dropped out due to injury recovery. John Klingberg just isn’t on Team Sweden. Jason Spezza is Canadian so the chances were never high of him making it. So, if you want to watch some Stars play you can.

I don’t know. I guess I’m going to watch, but not with good intentions. This entire tournament is one hot mess cash grab that should make the preseason at least a little more entertaining. It’s full of made up teams using made up national anthems. If you’re going to watch then join me in rooting for the outcome that will help the US the most in the long term. Join our Mexican and Canadian friends in rooting for Team North America. Connor McDavid and Auston Matthews will lead us to the promise land. Let’s go.

Copyright 2016 WFAA


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