From the ridiculous statistics department: Two days ago, on Wednesday, TSN announced, with great fanfare, how special this week's game between the Montreal Canadiens and the Toronto Maple Leafs would be. For it was the first time in 22 years that the two teams had played a regular season game on a Wednesday. Wow.
If you are having trouble not snorting your morning coffee while contemplating the complete insignificance of this fact, you are to be forgiven. Still, you might also consider that the admittedly silly attempt by TSN to find an obscure reason for all of us to care a whole lot about a hockey game was actually quite human.
Why? Because it seems to be just what we all naturally want out of our brief mortal visit to this planet: as much meaning, and value, that we can possibly squeeze from every event in our lives.
My three-and-a-half-year-old son, Louis Romero, demonstrated this desire for intense-importance-at every-turn only minutes after the TSN announced its frothy excitement about the exceptional Wednesday night Leafs-Canadiens contest.
Louis Romero had taken note of the numerous fox tracks criss-crossing the fields in front of and behind our South Melville home, and felt there was something extremely urgent that needed to be attended to in fox-land.
His concern was that the snow was, “Very deep, Papa, very deep, Papa. Foxes can't get home today.” Or in TSN terms, this was an extraordinary, and to his eyes, unprecedented event (the deep snow fall) that warranted all our attention, and immediate, very immediate, action. Which is why Louis grabbed a shovel and began to dig. And dig, and dig, and dig.
The result was that Louis created three paths for the foxes which, he explained, were dug so that all the foxes could go home, or get some supper, or run away “from the other animals.” Or put another way, Louis had found meaning in his passion for shovelling.
For what Louis wants to do most days, when he isn't sleeping, eating or thwarting his sister, Sophie Rigoberta, from fussing around with his toys, is to manage snow in and around his home. The fox tracks, thankfully, gave him a reason, a cause and a purpose for his passion (If only we could all find such depth of meaning, and less drudgery, when confronting the winter precipitation obstructing our doorsteps and driveways).
It is easy to laugh (cynically) at the TSN announcer who tried to sell us all on how amazing it was that the Canadiens and the Leafs were playing on a Wednesday. Easy because you could see in his eyes that he seemed to have been handed a file that he knew was frankly just stupid, but he had to access some kind of soulful amazement at how special Wednesday made this game.
Perhaps if TSN had chosen to hire a three-and-a-half-year-old to make the goofy Wednesday pitch, sincere enthusiasm might have carried the day (Wednesday) more convincingly. Or more to the point: every moment, every game, every shovelful of snow matters, because all of them involve a heartbeat. And heartbeats are finite. For all of us.
Campbell Webster is awriter and producer of entertainment events. He can be reached at email@example.com