Volume 95, Issue 59

Thursday, January 17, 2002
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Editorial Cartoon

Editorial Board 2001-2002

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Finally, London hockey fans have a chance to wave their fists at the real thing rather than watching it on television.

There's no need to pay upwards of $100 to see a NHL game in Toronto when serious, quality hockey is being played on our own campus. For the first time ever, Western will host the Queen's Cup – the Ontario University Athletics hockey championships – from Mar. 8-10 at Thompson Arena.

It isn't often that Western gets to host tournaments for any sport, even though many of our athletes, as well as our facilities, are of some the nation's highest calibre.

Western's puck handlers are in the midst of a hugely successful season with a record of 16-0 – their dreams of hoisting the cup this year are far from being fairy tale.

Hosting this tournament will hopefully give the team the recognition they deserve and allow the London community to finally embrace the sport so commonly associated with being Canadian.

The Western men's football team tends to be a limelight kleptomaniac, despite their numerous playoff chokes in recent years. It seems only fair a lesser-known and more successful team, like the men's hockey team, be given their time in the spotlight.

Without events like Homecoming to mark this semester's calendar, the championships should be considered a much-needed opportunity to promote school spirit.

One can only hope such a chance to promote hockey, the facilities Western has to support such an event, as well as the positive impact it can have on morale won't be passed by.

If Western plays its cards right, proper publicity and media coverage could open further windows of opportunity for similar events. Western needs to prove it is capable of hosting such events and that campus has the facilities to accommodate them.

Besides, it's about time Canadians take a lesson from the United States and celebrate college sports with the same enthusiasm.

In the U.S., entire communities come together to watch high schools play football, while entire states come together to watch university teams. Despite their backgrounds, Americans from all walks of life sit side-by-side to cheer on a sport that has become part of the cultural iconography of their country.

It's a shame Canada doesn't have the same love for their games.

Hockey is one of Canada's proudest traditions and has produced some of our greatest heroes. Names like Maurice Richard, Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe and Wayne Gretzky are synonymous with the word hockey itself.

Considering the quality of Western's hockey team, fans are bound to get a taste of great hockey action. Though Don Cherry will not be giving colour commentary during intermissions, rest assured Canada's game will be well represented on the ice.

The only thing that remains in doubt is our national game's representation in the stands.

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