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Sunday, 19 October 2008

TBC: One Hundred Greatest Canadian Sports Moments

Teebz's Book Club and Hockey Blog In Canada is proud to present another book that is rich in sports history. Today, HBIC is proud to present One Hundred Greatest Canadian Sports Moments, written by James Bisson and published by Wiley. Whenever someone speaks of Canadian sports history, you know hockey is going to be involved. The number of historical games that Canadian hockey teams have been in are numerous, but this book narrows it down to how significant some of those games were. Honestly, the history in the book of all sports played in Canada is impressive, and Mr. Bisson does justice to Canadian sports fans by covering them all in a Top-100 format of how significant these events were.

James Bisson "has been a reporter-editor for The Canadian Press newswire service since 2001. He also spent four years as an editorial assistant with The Score, an all-sports television network. HIs work has appeared in nearly 100 Canadian newspapers and he has covered over a different types of sports, including: NHL hockey, NBA basketball, Major League Baseball, PGA golf, Champ Car open-wheel auto racing, the 2005 Canada Summer Games in Regina, the 2007 Canada Winter Games in Whitehorse, the women's World Curling Championship, CFL football, and WWE wrestling". Pretty impressive resumé, I must admit. Clearly, though, Mr. Bisson has the experience in a number of sports to be able to comment on the top moments from Canadian sports history.

In the book, Mr. Bisson actually covers over 25 sports in the 100 moments, including such sports as figure skating, tennis, swimming, athletics, rowing, soccer, snowboarding, and others. A lot of the examples come from the world's greatest sports stage: the Olympic Games. The pictures are rich and vivid, and each moment comes with a great article describing how that moment should be remembered.

The list of athletes covered in the book are a "who's who" in terms of Canadian sports history: Terry Fox, Rick Hansen, Wayne Gretzky, Bobby Orr, Elizabeth Manley, Dave Stieb, Vince Carter, Steve Nash, and Mike Weir but to name a few. What will generate discussion amongst everyone who picks up the book is where these sports moments should rank in terms of the Top-100.

In terms of hockey moments, where do the Canadian World Junior teams rank? Where does the last all-Canadian Stanley Cup Final between Calgary and Montreal rank? Does Montreal's Stanley Cup run in 1993 make the cut, especially considering the ten overtime games they won? Does Sidney Crosby make the book with his short history of being in the spotlight? Is the Salt Lake City Olympic gold medal for the men's hockey team the greatest Canadian moment? What place does the Summit Series fall in at, considering the magnitude of Paul Henderson's historical goal? Does Henderson get his own moment?

All of these questions are answered in the One Hundred Greatest Canadian Sports Moments. The foreword, written by CTV's and TSN's Brian Williams, speaks about how Canadian sports is larger than just hockey. He speaks about how the entire Canadian population can tell you where they were when Paul Henderson scored against the Russians in 1972, where they were when Ben Johnson won the gold medal in 1988 in the Seoul Summer Olympics and then taken away days later, where they were when Donovan Bailey won the gold medal for the men's 100-metre race in the Atlanta Summer Olympics.

The most important part that Mr. Williams touches on is how sports arouses passion and initiates great debate. As a hockey fan, I can certainly agree with Mr. Williams as I looked for the hockey moments during the first time I flipped through the book before going back and reading it cover-to-cover. Much like McCown's Law: The 100 Greatest Hockey Arguments, this book will certainly stoke the fire of the passion we have for sports in Canada, and it will undoubtedly bring back memories of where you were when some of these moments took place.

Mr. Bisson's work in this book is impressive. The historical descriptions of events takes you back to the event, while the minute details help to build the second-by-second replay of the moment. It's this detail that makes the book so amazing, and makes me smile as a Canadian as I recalled these events. One Hundred Greatest Canadian Sports Moments is a fabulous book for sports history fans, is suitable for all ages, and certainly deserves the Teebz's Book Club Seal of Approval. Well done on a wonderful book, Mr. Bisson!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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