Slapshot, the New York Times’ hockey blog, considers Michael Ignatieff’s hockey watching, as revealed in Adam Gopnik’s profile for the New Yorker.
Ignatieff notes the contrast between being a professor, writer and navel-gazer and being a politician. “The thing that politics most strongly resembles is being on soccer teams and hockey teams when I was a child,” he says. “It’s not a lonely writer in his den thinking thoughts.” He mulls the question further and tells Gopnik of an experience he had not too long ago with his wife.
“What is it that a great politician knows? What is that form of knowledge?” Ignatieff asks. “Last night, Zsuzsanna and I were watching the Detroit Red Wings goalie, and he knows something; what is it that he knows? What is it that a great politician knows? The great ones have a skill that is just jaw-dropping, and I’m trying to learn that.”
Presumably Ignatieff was watching Chris Osgood. (Disturbing news for Canadians? They’ve got to hope he was watching Osgood in the playoffs, not the regular season.) To American ears, it’s a bit weird to hear a national politician comparing anything to a living, breathing goalie — although to these particular American ears it’s a real pleasure.