Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Oh Canada

The following post is inspired by a tweet - I just could not find a way of getting this down to 140 characters

"Budweiser will be the Official Beer of both Vancouver @WhitecapsFC and the @BCLions #BCPlace"
from miss604 (Rebecca Bollwit)

Frankly I care little about sports - soccer or football mean little to me. I perceive them to be part of a process by which the populace are distracted. The coverage and analysis of sports is part of "news" - and arguably more thorough and certainly more keenly followed.

I grew up near the Boleyn. The home of West Ham FC. And many people I have met have assumed that in some way that must mean I am a "supporter". Actually no. The behaviour of soccer fans in Britain in the sixties and seventies was horrific. Slicing up the competition was taken literally: razors were taken to away games by the InterCity crew.

Local loyalty actually means less and less. Even in places like Green Bay - where (NFL) football is practically a religion.

Budweiser is weak American beer. It resembles only the authentic article - lager brewed in Budvar, in the Czech Republic - only in name. The US brewer has even taken the brewers of Budvar to court to "protect" their brand name - derived from that town but traduced by a drink that could not be sold as beer under the German "Rheinheitsgebot".

"Budweiser has placed an even greater emphasis on its American heritage since early 2009, describing itself as "The Great American Lager". " source

But BC Place, the BC Lions and the Whitecaps are Canadians in a Canadian city. Where we are a bit particular about our beer. In fact I know many Americans who used to come to Canada for the beer. They themselves are increasingly turning to craft beers -which is very good indeed.

Many of our own brewers have been absorbed by international conglomerates. Business only recognizes national boundaries when it suits their marketing purposes.

It is all about money. Anheuser-Busch has plenty of that - and they bought up Labatt.

The one thing that all Canadians have in common when it comes to defining our identity is that we are NOT AMERICANS. Of course, our present government in Ottawa has been very happy to be seen as America's little brother for the last five years. I doubt many Canadians are actually very happy about that. Even the ones who measure our success in terms of the value of our dollar against the greenback because it gives them more buying power when they go cross border shopping.

I won't be attending any Whitecaps or Lions games. I will be surprised if there is anything to attract me back to BC Place, despite its new roof. Been there. Didn't like it. Their choice of beer means that I would not even be able to take solace in something nice to drink while I am being bored. I would like to think that some other Canadians will agree with me.

1 comment:

mo-NEEK-a said...

I wholeheartedly agree.

Last year I purchased season tickets for the Sounders FC here in Seattle and was pleasantly surprised to find Qwest Field serving Jones Sodas - a local Seattle company (recently purchased by a California company, but at least it was another smallish entity). I had a lovely bottle of rootbeer at every match. Until, sometime midseason, they changed vendors to Coca-Cola! Now, not only is the little guy usurped by a global conglomerate, but I can no longer get rootbeer - tho I do have two choices of chemical-laden diet cola (ugh).