I’m one of those people who don’t often swear. Sure the odd “For eff’s sake!” might slip out, in general directed at myself for having been clumsy or having made a silly mistake of some sort. But, on the whole, I’m not really known for effing and blinding. In fact, at my old workplace my entire team would stand up and applaud whenever an actual profanity crossed my lips.
But..that’s the Everyday Me, in everyday situations.
Then there’s Ice-Hockey Me.
This is where all of a sudden, swept away by my passion for whichever team I happen to be rooting for in a game, I completely let go of my manners and some pretty shocking phrases get bandied around. There’s an audio-recording from a few years back of me watching a game between Canada and the Czech Republic where I can be heard suddenly shouting “Satans JÄVLA tjecker!!” [Google if you feel a translation necessary]. Being so completely and utterly out of character for me in any other situation, this phrase has naturally stuck with friends and family, and so these days, whenever the Czech Republic is playing they’ll be affectionately referred to as the “satans jävla tjeckerna”.
I’m not entirely sure what it is about ice-hockey that brings out this side of me. I like watching sports in general, but I rarely fire off such heated verbal bullets when watching figure skating or Formula 1. [Although, I do tend to shout a lot of "You idiot!"s at the telly when watching the latter – but that's more often than not directed at the commentators who seem to be perpetually trailing three laps in their commentary.]
As the Ice-Hockey World Championships are on at the moment it’s really reminded me how much I love this sport. I love everything about it, the pace, the physicality, the fight for every puck. Indeed, one of my favourite sounds in the world is the sound of a player being tackled into the boards. It may seem cruel, but it is SUCH a great sound. It really is!
Tre Kronor, the name given to the Swedish national ice-hockey team, has a pretty fine record as far as the World Championships are concerned. In the 80 years the World Championships have been played, Tre Kronor has ended up with a gold, silver or bronze medal 39 times. Pretty remarkable when you consider the size and population of our little kingdom. It becomes even more impressive when you compare it to the other great hockey nations; Canada, USA and Russia/USSR, who’ve got millions more potential raw talents to pick from.
My tiny little home town has produced a number of very successful NHL players over the years, and although boasting is viewed as a serious offence where I’m from, that’s really not bad.
Needless to say ice-hockey is BIG back home. It’s our national sport, and so when Tre Kronor wins we go all out to celebrate. When we lose, well – let’s not go there..
This year Sweden has not done all that well. We’ve scraped through, and somehow made it through to the semi-finals, but to say we’ve done it in style would be a undeniable stretching of the truth. It’s been more skin-of-our-teeth stuff, really. I mean, we lost to Norway, for crying out loud!
That said, we are in the semi-finals, and so the hope of coming home with gold medals round our necks is still alive. We could still win.
……we’re playing the satans jävla tjeckerna……
Snowball’s chance in hell!
I’m just saying..
PS. No, I don’t really hate Czechs. Of course I don’t. I’ve even watched ice-hockey with Czech friends. :)