Guest Author - Kevin Thorburn
CTV has announced that they have “saved” the hockey song from oblivion buy purchasing the rights to the 40-year-old ditty. The tune, written in 1968 by Dolores Claman of Vancouver, has been a mainstay on CBC’s Hockey Night In Canada and the announcement has produced an outpouring of emotion and outrage across the nation of Canada. This song is heralded by many as being as important as the Canadian national anthem.
Let’s get real for a moment. The word that CTV used – saved – may be accurate after all. CBC’s HNIC show has deteriorated over the past number of years. After such top notch on air personalities such as Foster Hewitt and Danny Gallivan we have been subjected to the likes of Bob Cole, Ron MacLean and an aging and increasing belligerent Don Cherry. The show is weak and is resting on its former glory instead of moving into the future. With any luck, this will serve as a wake-up call to the show’s executives letting them see that they need to clean up the cobwebs and make the show fresh and, most importantly, efficient.
The CBC began a nation-wide contest asking for submissions to try and replace the song with the winner receiving $100,000. They announced the contest before the song was purchased by CTV which shows just how seriously they tried to obtain the rights. Remember, of course, the CBC is a publicly funded company so, while the hockey fans are crying about the loss of this tune, those that don’t see the jingle as being as important as some would assert would have a bone to pick with the government had they been able to shell out the three million dollars that CTV reportedly paid.
Will this contest inspire the talented Canadian musicians to put their efforts into penning a top-quality ditty for this century? It just may. There is a lot of talent and the money for the winner is nothing to sneeze at. Hopefully, the CBC’s judges will choose something that didn’t come from some hack that blew the dust off his ‘80’s keyboard and threw something together. Still, quality aside, change is usually not welcomed and fans won’t want to part with the familiar.
Hopefully, TSN and CTV can take this iconic tune and integrate it into some quality broadcasting because make no mistake, this jingle is important to the hockey fans of Canada.