Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Where will you be in 2010?

There's not a lot of news coming out of Sens Land these days, unless you're a fan of golf tournaments and/or endless and pointless speculation. So, like many Canadians, I'm desperate for whatever hockey coverage I can find. And that means one thing: provoking more NHL players to assault cab drivers.

...but seriously, it means it's time to start thinking about the winter Olympics (and not just because I'm losing weight while I'm writing this due to the heat wave in Ottawa).

With the Olympics in Vancouver now less than 6 months from commencing, I began to think about where I'll be watching the game in February. A couple games at home with a beer, sure. But for the finale, I'll be in a bar on Elgin St. or in the Byward market, awaiting the parade of frozen and all-too-enthusiastic fans to Parliament Hill.

The City of Ottawa is uniquely equipped to throw a good party during the Olympics. Undoubtedly, the federal government will be acting like it's their Super Sweet Sixteen (not that I ever watch MTV... ), and will put up some TV screens, flags, and some events to help Canadians feel united... and I intend to take full advantage of them. The Games are all the way across the continent, but the spotlight will still shine partly on the Nation's Capital.

Also, the important hockey games will probably occur during a east and west coast-friendly 10 pm time slot, allowing for plenty of pre-game beer and celebrating. Yes, the party in Ottawa will be sweet, and we should take full advantage of it.

So I present to you the bars where I will attempt to watch the 2010 Olympic men's hockey finals (and the likely outcome):

1. MacLaren's (301 Elgin St.) - Many large hi-def TVs and the food isn't too expensive... but it will be packed many hours before the game. (Peek in, then dejected walk away).

2. Earl of Sussex (431 Sussex Dr.) - Great mix of class and fun at this bar, but I'm not sure if they allow yelling amongst all the leather-bound books and air chairs; low ceiling in areas not great for excited jumping up and down. (Discover patrons are watching obscure rugby tournament and reading novels instead, head back to Elgin).

3. Sir John A. (284 Elgin St.) - Not a lot of TVs, or sitting areas near them. Bar will undoubtedly be packed full of rejects from MacLarens. (Land up staring at back of black and red silly top hat in crowded standing room, trying to see the TV; enjoy second period while top hat man goes for a smoke).

Wild card: Minglewoods (
14 Waller St.) - Okay, this is the last straw. It's 9:30 pm, and I'm freezing my freezing my butt off from walking around Ottawa all evening. They have a few TVs and the occasional chair amongst the discarded popped collars and loop earrings from the previous night's festivities; cheap beer. (Sing '¡ole, ole, ole, ole!' with group of people who are drinking red bull and vodka, and clearly don't understand hockey, while Toews scores the winning goal on Martin Gerber and team Switzerland; Sens promptly re-sign Gerber following tournament.)

PS: I'm a fan of the black jersey they used in 2006, and strangely attracted to the yellow ones that were rarely used in other tournaments.
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