UPDATE: Stephen Colbert does a bit on the controversy, and in only two minutes manages to eat a hot dog, wave around a flag (and a gun) and sing about punching beavers in the face. Now that’s versatility! Take that, Flip Wilson.
Look, there’s only so much that any of us should write about what amounts to a jingle (note: does not apply to my 340-page Ph.D thesis: “Subtext, Nitrates and One Man’s Sexual Awakening: An Academic Study of the Oscar Mayer Bologna Song”).
But before we put the controversy over the Hockey Night in Canada theme back in the Tickle Trunk, knock off for the day and go pound back a few and cruise chicks with Finnegan – we invited Casey to come but he offered up some excuse about being “a homosexual, obviously… were you not paying attention as a child?” – I invite you to peruse this blog entry by the daughter of the song’s author, Dolores Claman. It purports to offer the real story of CBC’s behaviour during negotiations over the theme’s rights.
Did you go read it? I’d say it has the ring of truth to it. I’d also say it had the ring of Scott Moore is a big huge doofus to it.
Is there really any doubt what happened here? Moore and CBC got Excited by the reaction to this past season’s Exciting National Contest – during which people from across the country, many of whom could not sing their way out of a sing-even-somewhat-on-key-and-we’ll-let-you-go-free prison, submitted video of themselves committing unspeakable acts of tunelessness upon Stompin’ Tom’s The Hockey Song.
Understandably, CBC executives wanted another Exciting National Contest. Meetings were held. Muffins were eaten. Taxpayer dollars were used as napkins and to make origami versions of Kelly Hrudey’s hairdo. A decision was reached: let’s have an Exciting National Contest to pick a new theme song! It’s perfect!! (Wait! First we’ll have to endure a full week of ridicule and the worst possible publicity in which our lack of respect for hockey tradition and dearth of business acumen is showcased for all to see and laugh at – but other than that, perfect!!)
CBC doesn’t deserve a good idea, but here’s one anyway: forget the Exciting National Contest. Instead, try to salvage some dignity and manufacture some new tradition (which Scott Moore can later desecrate at his convenience) by a) securing the rights to Stompin’ Tom’s The Hockey Song, and b) swiping a page from the TV show Weeds (and one season of Monday Night Football, if memory of Britney Spears gyrating to some verse about the Philadelphia Eagles serves) by having the tune performed each week by a different musical artist – The Hip one Saturday night, Arcade Fire the next, Anne Murray after that and Trooper when some band phones in sick at the last minute and it’s a choice between Trooper and some stray dog outside the studio that howls when you hold a pork chop over its head, and even then the recording engineer will stare at the dog for slightly longer than you might expect, thinking, “Maybe I can work with this…”
People would each week look forward to finding out who’d be singing the opening theme, CBC could release a full CD of Hockey Song covers featuring everyone from Gordon Lightfoot to Feist and Scott Moore could still be a doofus. It’s a win-win-doofus situation.