Well, the afternoon Olympic hockey games couldn't have turned out better -- Czechs in, Canada out. I don't know why, exactly, I'm so anti-Canada, given that I've always had fine relations with that nation, and they have a number of players (Sakic, Pronger, Iginla, Blake, etc) that I like quite a bit. I suppose it's the crazed, nationalistic fervor that grips their media (and some fans) -- the belief that Canada has a sort of divine right to win everything, a moral supremacy over the other nations. It's like reading neocons writing about U.S. foreign policy.
Now if ever a team had moral supremacy, of course, it's the Czechs. Glad to see them win though I can't understand how a team almost entirely composed of goal-scoring maniacs seems to be unable to score. But they advance, and I'm happy.
The U.S., meanwhile, bounces out. I can't say that, in the end, I care that much. They keep sticking with the old guard to the point of foolishness, even though that old guard is composed of jerks and morons. Sure, there's a few Americans I like -- Miller and Weight come to mind, and some of the younger guys (Drury, Cole, Gomez) -- so maybe next time around I'll be a bit more willing to throw my heart to my native land.
But this time, I've been for the Czechs from the start -- the majority of my favorite players are Czechs anyway, and it's difficult to suddenly change course and root against them and for the Hatchers and Chelioses (Chelii?) of the world. Add in my noted rampant Slavophilia, and, well, the Czechs have my fullest support. Now I just don't have to pretend that it's divided.
And hey, it's also great to see former Thrasher Milan Hnilička doing well. When Hašek went down and Vokoun suddenly turned mediocre, I feared for the Czechs' fate -- but so far, ol' Milan's been strong.
The Swedes are next. Go Czech Republic!