But I have learned, in my life as a sportswriter, that big-time Sports and big-time Politics are not so far apart .... They are both a means to the same end, which is Victory .... And why not? Victory is good for you and don't let anybody tell you different.
Hunter S. Thompson, 2003
It is too bad Ken Dryden looks to have no chance of becoming the next leader of Canada's Liberal Party. Canadians like to puff out their beer bellies and say, "Hockey. Hockey. Hockey. Hockey all the time," but they have yet to make a professional hockey player Prime Minister. Lots of hockey players have had good runs in politics like Dryden, who has reached the level of federal cabinet minister. There seems to be a glass ceiling hockey players are not allowed to break through. Used to be retired hockey players mostly became firefighters where they could drink, chase skirt and keep playing hockey just as much as ever. Now they have so much money they usually become land developers so they can drink, chase skirt and play hockey just as much as ever.
The good thing about Dryden not becoming the Liberal leader is that Bob Rae may still get the job and one day soon become Prime Minister. I had a couple of beers with Bob Rae before he became one of Canada's better known politicians. It would be pretty fucking cool to be able to tell people I got loaded with the Prime Minister once.
Drinking beer, watching the snow outside turn back into muck I have today been reading Michael McKinley's big hockey book. It is filled lots of great stories but no explanation for why Guy Lafleur or Bobby Orr have not become our Prime Minister. One story is about the 1920 Canadian Olympic team, aka the Winnipeg Falcons, sharing a boat headed to the Antwerp Games with some members of the motherfucking Women's Christian Temperance Union. Alan Woodman, one of the Canadian Falcons who won the gold medal, remarked in a letter to his mother that, "They do their best to make things miserable for everybody." Prohibitionists never change, just the shit they want prohibited.
Of course making things miserable for everybody is what politics is all about - perhaps that is why hockey players, who prefer to bring joy and beer commercials into our homes Saturday nights, are not given serious consideration as Prime Ministers. Not even Gretzky.