Blame Pepsi for that Silver Medal

On Wednesday morning, millions of Canadians woke up with a terrible hangover – an anguished realization that their junior team lost to the Americans in the gold medal final. It was a valiant effort and an exciting finish, but it just wasn’t enough. The result ended Team Canada’s run at an unprecedented 6 straight World Junior Hockey Championships. Shit.

They lost to the Americans of all teams! Why couldn’t it be Sweden or Finland? I’ll never complain about losing to the Scandis. But the U.S.?! Argh. It’s like watching the high school jock steal a pretty girl away from a really likable guy she had been dating for 5 years in a row. That jock won’t treat her right! Sure, he’ll be nice to her for a couple of weeks. But then he’ll grow tired of her appreciation of foreign cinema and quirky sense of humor. And then he’ll dump her and forget all about her because he heard through the grapevine that Becky Anderson likes him (and she totally puts out!). Meanwhile, the forlorn likable dude will always love that girl. And he’s going to do everything he can to win her back (probably around January of 2011).

Now, I’m as heartbroken as the next maple syrup-blooded Canuck, but I think we need to take an important lesson from this experience. And the lesson is this: YOU CANNOT MANUFACTURE NATIONAL PRIDE!

I’m talking to you Pepsi. “Eh-Oh-Canada-Go?” What in the holy hell is that?! What do you take us for? Shame on you Pepsi for trying to make us look like a bunch of dim-witted corporate-shilling assholes. And maybe, just maybe, if we, as a nation, weren’t so irritated and distracted by this pathetic excuse for a marketing campaign, we would have cheered just a little bit harder. And that could have made all the difference. Maybe a fraction of a decibel more cheering and clapping would have pushed those boys a little more and they could’ve gotten the job done. Maybe the puck dropped in overtime and there were Pepsi Reps in the stands yelling at the fans, “Okay, everyone together now – Eh-Oh…!” And the fans looked at each other and said, “What the shit is this? We’re in overtime for the gold here. Sit down you Pepsi peon mo-fo!” And in that moment, perhaps there was a brief lull from the stands, and the players thought to themselves, “What happened to the fans? I thought they were behind us.” And that deflated them, and the fire was gone. Truth is, we were there the whole time. It’s Pepsi’s fault. Yes, that’s right – I blame Pepsi for the loss.

I still don’t get it. Cheer Nation? What does that even mean? It’s as bad as “What is G?” – the annoyingly abstruse ad campaign by Gatorade (coincidence that it’s another Pepsico product? I think not!). Really though, what the fuck is G? I believe it to be the seventh letter of the alphabet and an impossible-to-find spot on the female body. Perhaps you have something further to add. Tell us. We didn’t bring it up. You did! Fill us the fuck in. Similarly, you can’t just make up something so ridiculously abstract as “Cheer Nation” and expect it to be blindly co-opted by 30 million people. What would happen if I suddenly started telling people, “Hey guys, I’ve decided that I want you to start calling me ‘Bonfire'”? You want to know what people would start calling me? They’d call me Will. Why? Because that’s my fucking name and unless I start making a habit of burning bales of hay in my front yard, no one will ever call me ‘Bonfire’ or any other nickname that I give myself. That’s not how it works. And that’s why “Cheer Nation” was a colossal fail at the World Juniors in Saskatoon. I wasn’t there, but in each broadcast of the games, not once did I hear that ridiculous chant coming from the stands. Someone correct me if they were at the games and they heard people who were big enough tools to actually fall for this pitiful marketing tactic. But I think it’s safe to say that, as Canadians, we would never be that stupid. Why? Well for one, it’s an embarrassingly lame chant and I think anyone with an ounce of self-respect as a human, regardless of their nationality, wouldn’t be caught dead letting those words escape their mouths. In fact, it’s offensively bad. It’s about as tasteless and unimaginative as a high-school drama class production of an episode of Jersey Shore. It’s the cheer equivalent of proposing marriage at a Red Lobster. I even heard it described as “a tacky and arrogant attempt to sell mediocre cola” by that insufferable, self-unaware woman at work who always tries in vain to get everyone together on Friday afternoons (“We’re all totally going for wings tonight!” “Uhhhh, I’m busy.”).

Secondly, Canadians take their hockey seriously. Our love is built on its traditions and, above all else, the purity of the game. That asinine chant was the biggest “fuck you” to hockey fans since the fuzzy blue puck debacle that American TV execs tried to implement back in the mid 90s. There’s a reason that nonsense didn’t last long. It’s an insult to the beautiful game of hockey. We don’t suggest the Americans should jazz up baseball by adding a slip’n’slide in between 2nd and 3rd base (although I would watch that). Why? Because it’s important to maintain the sanctity of the games. And with Cheer Nation, Pepsi tried to take a steaming hot dump squarely on centre ice. Well guess what Pepsi? We’re going to shovel it up and drop it right back on your unsuspecting chest. I’m never drinking a Pepsi product again. And neither should anyone else who believes in Canada, and hockey, and everything that’s good in the world. I’m dead serious. Never again. No more Pepsi. Get me a Coke. It tastes better anyway.

Eh-Oh-Pepsi-No-Mo.

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One Response to “Blame Pepsi for that Silver Medal”

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