Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Two Sports Come Together

I was watching the Sabres and Penguins battle on TSN tonight, and, if you're aware, the CRTC has rules that state that Canadian broadcasters must show Canadian-relative commercials to its audience in Canada instead of the American commercials. Because of this rule, I happened across the new Under Armour commercial for the Olympics that combines a relatively new Olympic sport with one of Canada's most historic sporting events in the history of the country. I apologize for the auto-play, but you can click on the video to pause it to adjust volume if necessary. Here's Under Armour's new commercial for Canadian television viewers.

I'll admit that the commercial is done fairly well. The idea of pitching something to Canadians using hockey and snowboarding - two things we seem to do well in the sporting world - is a great idea, and to match up the audio with the snowboard race is pretty impressive.

At first, I was annoyed that Under Armour took a monumental series between Canada and the Soviet Union and marginalized it by having it work as a backdrop to a Canadian snowboard racer against three unidentified racers. That hockey series is still one of the defining moments in hockey history, and the skill set shown by both teams was an absolute delight in the eight games they played. It certainly takes a backseat to no one, especially not some unidentified Canadian racer clad in Under Armour gear.

But it occurred to me that this is an Olympic commercial, and that it's always the best versus the best at the Olympics. Like the Summit Series, the best competitors and athletes will compete against one another to be called the best on the planet, and that's something that doesn't happen very often. While I'm not willing to excuse the fact that they took a defining moment in hockey and in Canadian history to use as the backdrop to sell their gear, I have to admit that the commercial is pretty well-executed. Because it's for the Olympics and not just a randomly-produced commercial, I'll let this commercial slide when it comes to downplaying a significant moment in history. Under Armour gets a pass on this one.

Finally, I also watched the second episode of 19-2, the Canadian-produced series featuring my friend Jared Keeso. I am starting to really dig this show. It's gritty, it's dramatic, and the acting is solid in it. Adrian Holmes, who plays Keeso's partner in the series, is a great actor in his own right as well. I know some people will take me to task for this, but I really feel that 19-2 has a shot at becoming Canada's NYPD Blue. So far, I'm very impressed with the series. If you want to check it out, episodes can be watched online at!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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