The Outsider: Charles Darwin and the Origin of the Sport
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | March 22, 2018|
Have you ever burst out laughing at something funny, only to then stifle your mirth, and jerk your head in each direction to check that no one heard or saw you, because the thing that had you in hysterics was a thing that almost everyone you know would be horrified at? You know, the kind of side busting humour that could be a small child running headlong into a lamp post or, gramma sitting down and missing her chair. Or worse.
I had one of those worse moments just the other day, but thankfully I was alone driving in my truck.There I was, pootling along, taking the garbage to the landfill, listening to the marvelous Mr. Michael Enright on Sunday Edition on the CBC. It was a rerun of an old program and he began his introduction to the next guest by asking us listeners, “where do you think hockey was invented?”
Now, without wishing 90 per cent of you to stop reading here, I have to admit I’m not much of a hockey fan. I think my eyes (and perhaps my mind) move too slow for the sport. I can’t follow the puck. I’m more of a cricket man, but that’s an aside.
“Where do you think hockey was invented?” he asked again and my interest began to wane but only for a moment because his guest, a Jean-Patrice Martel, answered very matter of factly, “England.”
It’s a good job that I wasn’t taking a sip of my double double at that moment because half of it would have been sprayed across the windshield. I’d have choked on the other half and probably swerved into a ditch while having a coughing fit. As it was, all I did was burst out laughing. And, then, just for a moment, I panicked, in case I’d been caught in the act of openly mocking hockey here in its heartland.
This past president of the Society for International Hockey Research had uttered words so incredulous, so sacrilegious that if he ever visited Haliburton County, I’d bet he’d be chased out by an angry mob wielding pitchforks and fiery torches!
But, oh how I laughed. It seems that jolly old Charles Darwin and chums were knocking around the bung from a beer keg on the frozen River Thames before much of Canada had even been settled. And, to make it worse (or funnier, depending upon your wish to be run out of town), Mr. Martel went on to say that certain aspectsof the game evolved from the older English game of soccer. You know, that one where the players fall over squealing at the merest hint of rough play.
Are you still reading? Are you smirking with me, or are you frothing at the mouth while trying to Google my address? If you are the latter, I apologize, and if I can make it better I should add that Mr. Martel did say that the modern form of the game evolved in Canada ... In Montreal, part of the country that doesn’t even want to be
Bahahahahahaha! Oops, sorry.
Er, go Leafs?
WILL JONES - is The Outsider