This is the Wrongest Thing Ever

Okay, so I am a negligent hockey fan who doesn’t even live in Canada anymore. But HOW HOW HOW can “Hockey Night in Canada” exist without its theme song? This is an outrage!

A “saddened” CBC formally announced Friday it is dropping [the

popular theme song]2 to Hockey Night in Canada because of a contract

dispute with its composer – but the death knell for the country’s

“second national anthem” hasn’t sounded just yet.

Shortly after

issuing a statement expressing his “huge disappointment” that no deal

could be reached with composer Dolores Claman and her Toronto agent

John Ciccone before a 5 p.m. deadline, CBC Sports executive director

Scott Moore told Canwest News Service the network would “never say

never” to restarting negotiations if there was a chance of keeping the

famous trumpet fanfare on the air.

“If, in a future time, they

would like to come back to the table … I guess it’s an important

enough cultural icon that we would consider it,” Moore said. “You can

never say never.”

And so the long-running feud over the theme’s use on the country’s

flagship sports program appears to be headed for overtime – even after

the CBC declared an end to the 40-year tradition that has produced what

is probably the country’s second best-known tune after O Canada.

So with the theme song allegedly gone, now CBC can go ahead with some new contest inviting prospective songwriters to come up with a new theme. I predict the network will magically find some money to pay Claman and the theme will be back on the airwaves by October. The Winnipeg Sun’s Tom Brodbeck agrees:

It’s not a matter of if the pointy-headed bureaucrats will sign a

new deal to ensure Canada’s second national anthem is used to open

CBC’s first televised NHL game next season, it’s a matter of when.

Canadians don’t rally around many issues with the kind of rage required to effect change at the national level.

We’re a lethargic, accepting lot most of the time, not easily moved to storm the Bastille with pitchforks and baseball bats.

But take away our hockey sticks — or cancel the Hockey Night

in Canada theme song, same thing — and a March of a Million Hockey

Nuts sporting Don Cherry masks will descend upon Parliament Hill with

more vengeance than an angry mob of Winnipeggers about to lose their

NHL franchise.

Cancelling the HNIC theme song is like telling Canadians they

can’t drink beer anymore. You might as well try to ban street hockey.

Except, um, they did in my hometown….but the sentiment still applies.