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Rick Reilly: condescending to Canadians, mouth-breathing tool

Feb 13, 2010, 12:30 PM EDT

I know, breaking news, right?
Rick Reilly used to be one of the most well-respected, insightful journalists working in sports. But now, with a buttload of money stuffed in his bank account courtesy of the Worldwide Leader, appears to be content writing insipid, idiotic drivel.
Case in point: his most recent column, “Oh, Canada: A guide to thriving in Vancouver, one smile at a time,” is so banal, so patronizing to Canadians that simply highlighting some of the more incredibly ignorant comments would not properly point out how low Reilly has fallen.
Instead, I will utilize a time-honored, classic blogger device: the Fire Joe Morgan-esque takedown. I will happily concede that no one can do it as well as the originating masters – and they were brilliant – but something needs to be done about the menace that is Rick Reilly before he sets back sports journalism another 50 years.

It’s always so cute when Canada hosts an Olympics. Canadians try so hard. This comes from living next to America and having an inferiority complex worse than Tito Jackson’s.

Holy crap, a xenophobic, haughty jab at the Canadians’ allegedly low self-esteem right from the get-go? Reilly really sets the bar high for douchebaggery right from the start. Oh, and a Tito Jackson reference? How 1986. Say Rick, is Tito’s inferiority complex better or worse now that his brother is dead? Wait, don’t answer that.

For instance, it’s rained every day I’ve been in Vancouver, athletes are starting to withdrawal because of pruny fingers, and Canadians feel terrible. They’re always saying “Gee, sore-ee about the rain, eh?”

Ha! Canadians have a different dialect than us and display all the qualities of a gracious, accommodating host! The nerve of those people!

Do you realize they’ve been helicoptering snow up to the mountain venues? Who does that?

Who does what? Try their very best to make the most of an unfortunate situation using every available resource and some ingenuity to ensure that an event watched BY THE ENTIRE WORLD goes off without a hitch? No kidding, Rick, what a bunch of ham-fisted morons! Geez!

These people are nice. Preposterously nice.

Nonsensically kick-you-in-the-crotch-and-give-you-an-icepack-and-some-ibuprofen nice? No? Not that much?

Aunt Bee in mukluks nice.

Ah, I see now how nice. Okay.

This is a country that has human-chomping grizzlies on every corner and yet chose the furry beaver for its national animal.

There are literally grizzly bears on every corner – most people don’t know that – the worst ones are the panhandling bears, holding up crudely made signs reading “WILL DO BEAR STUFF FOR FOOD” and who will try to clean your windshield with a salmon carcass. Freeloaders.

Here’s how nice:

Go on…

Twice already…

That means it’s a coincidence. If it had happened a third time, hoo boy, I don’t know what it would have been…

…Canadian mogul star Jenn Heil’s bus has broken down on the drive up from Vancouver to Cypress Mountain. And both buses were from California!

You’re kidding! They have American stuff up there?

Peter Judge of the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association was quoted as saying after the second time: “It was a bit of a concern.” A “bit of a concern”? If it had happened to an American star, they’d have made everybody responsible stand against a wall in front of a running 2010 Prius.

I’m racking my brain trying to come up with something here, but this previous passage makes absolutely no sense. Prius? What does that even mean?

Anyway, I think Americans who come to these Winter Olympics should try to be nice back. You can’t be nicer than Canadians, but you can try. Here’s how:

Okay, time to start jotting down notes, people.

&#149 Do not talk about hockey. A Canadian team has not won the Stanley Cup in 17 years. This is possibly because there are no more Canadian hockey teams left.

There aren’t?

OK, that’s not true.

Whoa. He had me going there for a second. Fool me once, Rick…fool me once.

Still, if Canada doesn’t win the gold in men’s hockey this time — something it’s only done once since 1952 — fans here might all throw themselves under stampeding moose.

Alces-assisted suicide is no laughing matter. It claims the lives of over 5,000 Canadians a year.

&#149 Use the “organics” recycling container in your hotel room. This is one of 14 recycling containers you’ll find there.

Canadians with their recycling. How very droll.

The mind recoils…

But unfortunately for us, Reilly’s mind always somehow manages to return to normal operating status.

…as to what you’re supposed to put in the “organics” can in a hotel room, but the little sign says to put “meat, poultry, fish, plants and flowers.” That’s weird. I always leave my poultry in a gift bag for the maid.

This just in: Rick Reilly is such a benevolent individual, he routinely gives his chicken wing bones to the help so they can feed their family with his gnawed-upon waste.

&#149 Speak Canadian. ATMs are ABMs.

Gah! What am I supposed to do? I need cash, not ridiculous, different acronyms!

Street hockey is “shinny.” Butt is “arse.” Beer is “brew.” Stuff is “whatnot.”

For God’s sake, speak American, dammit! That’s an odd way of displaying you’re inferiority complex, Canadians. Making up different names for stuff. And it is stuff, not whatnot, ya imbeciles.

Newfoundlanders are “Newfies.” Never say the “g” in “ing.”

Strange. I have never once in my entire life heard an American not completely enunciate the “g” in words. Talk about lazy. Get me outta of this kooky country!

And yay is not a cheer, it’s a measurement, as in: “I’m lookin’ for my malamute, about yay big and yay long?”

Interestingly, the word “boo” is actually a little known unit of currency up in Canada. For instance, “Can you spare a boo or two?” is a question you will often hear if you are foolish enough to enter into conversation with one of those beggar bears.

&#149 Call Vancouver “Van City” or even “The Van”…

How about just Vancouver? Too conventional?

…but do not call it the name it hates: “No Fun City.”

I hate it when a city becomes self-aware entities only to act temperamental and sensitive in casual conversation. It reminds me of the time I was shooting the breeze with Chicago and accidentally referred to it as the “City of Lakes.” The damn town wouldn’t talk to me for a week!

It IS a fun city…

It IS?

…except that a lot of the bars close at 11.


In the morning.

Ahhh, you have fooled me twice with your wit, Rick Reilly!! I thought you meant 11 in the evening and that would be ridiculous! How would the “Newfies” get by?

&#149 And it apparently NEVER STOPS RAINING.

The great city of Seattle is grateful for this brief respite from Rick Reilly’s meteorological barbs. I know because Seattle shot me an e-mail informing me of this. Great city, great personality, that Seattle. Doesn’t care what you call it.

&#149 Use abbreviated words whenever possible. For instance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police becomes the “RCMP,” which becomes “the Armsee,” as in the sentence: “I sure hope Bode Miller doesn’t get pinched by the Armsees this Olympics. I got 10 Loonies on him.”

IDK what he means. But I will tell you this, RRIAMBT (Rick Reilly is a mouth breathing tool). To shorten it, you can just say “Rambit.” Try it, it’s fun.

&#149 Abbreviate your new friends’ names, too. Hamilton becomes “Hams.” If your friend’s name is already short, add “er” to it. This is how you get a sentence like, “Let’s go play some shinny, eh? You be Gretz and I’ll be Nasher.”

Please stop.

&#149 Compliment their national anthem. It’s way better than ours.

Traitor! The next thing you know this God-hating commie will be burning old Stars and Stripes!

&#149 Pretend that you have to plug in your engine block at night to keep it from freezing, too. Makes them feel better.

How so?

&#149 Go to Tim’s (short for “Tim Hortons”) and have a double-double (two creams, two sugars) and some Timbits (donut holes) and stand around and talk about curling. This will be a welcome topic. The Canadians are still great at curling.

You don’t say? And they have donuts and coffee up there, too?

You: The boys oughta do priddy good, eh?
Him: Oh, sure. The sweeps are beauties.
You: You thinkin’ they might be winnin’ and whatnot, eh?
Him: Boy, would that ever be neat!

It almost feels like I’m actually in a Tim’s, having a double-double and some Timbits. Look at that! Thanks to Reilly, I’m practically a Canadian already!

&#149 When referring to Elvis, be sure its Stojko not Presley.

It’s true. This goes back to the “Elvis Presley Denial Act of 1980″ enacted by Canadian Parliament.

If you’re talking about acting, don’t forget the god of all Canadian thespians — Lorne Greene from “Bonanza.” If your birthday is August 9, always look at the ground, shake your head and add, “The day Wayne was traded.”

Yes, I remember that day like it was yesterday. I will tell you this, the Sands was totally hosed by the MGM when they traded Wayne Newton for Tom Jones straight up. Eventually forced them out of business.

&#149 Never say “said.” Say “goes,” as in: “So Lindsey goes, ‘I’m freezin’ way up here in just a bikini.’ And I go, ‘Linds, it’s a bitchin’ career move!’ And she goes, ‘K, but it’s colder ‘n a Newfie’s arse up here!'”

Rick Reilly actually goed that to Lindsey Vonn? Crazy.

&#149 If you’re a snowboarder and you snap your neck in three places doing your Double Fakie Ollie Grab and they’re putting you in the ambulance, smile and go, “It’s fine! Canada’s got free health care!”

I bet you Reilly wishes he could have this one back, and I’m not talking about the weaksauce free health care bit.

But if those bastards say anything about their dollar being worth more than ours, slam them in the nose with your organics can.

But what about all of these chicken wing bones? Oh, that’s right, I already gave them to the maid. Thanks for the tip, Rick Reilly!
Oh, Canada: A guide to thriving in Vancouver, one smile at a time [ESPN]

  1. Tom - Feb 13, 2010 at 6:06 PM

    The “comment” I (a Canadian and Vancouverite) just sent to Rick Reilly is below. Understanding that he will not be reading such things (if paying attention to actual people was his focus, he would never have written this article), I thought I’d post it here.
    Thanks for your article, Out of Bounds…
    “Hey Rick Reilly,
    That was one of the most patronizing, ill-informed, gutless articles I’ve ever had the misfortune of reading. I appreciate that the vast majority of your time in this city has been spent sitting in the corner of the hotel bar “observing” the stereotypical traits that you gleaned for your definition of “Canadians,” but there’s no justification for sharing that tripe with the general public. I don’t bring my feces to work, why do you?
    It only seems fair to point out that this unwashed scrotum of an article does more to define the antiquated, out-of-touch old school American sports journalist (that’s you) than it does to define Canada. Your misguided, slanderous, and just plain inaccurate claims, your condescending assumption that you can essentialize a nation as a guy who “covers” SPORTS, and your lazy generalizations about all things Vancouver reflect a cultural and professional arrogance that looks particularly appropriate coming from a hairless weasel-face like yours. (Apologies, descended to your level of shallow, cheap insults for just a moment…).
    I take solace in the fact that your bigoted voice is perhaps the least respected in sports journalism, and that the reaction to this article has been consistent and widespread. It’s YOU who should be focusing on your apologizing.
    For the record, don’t come back here.”

  2. Tapps - Feb 15, 2010 at 10:58 PM

    Yeah dude, it got worse today…and then he basically made his wife the hottest image search on the internet.

  3. Hipolito M. Wiseman - Feb 23, 2010 at 12:19 PM

    A huge benefit

  4. Matt - Sep 24, 2010 at 9:52 AM

    Yeah… as a Canadian myself I was kind of confused. I was almost more confused at this article than I was when an American travel brochure I was saw referred to “Provinces” as “Providences”…. both such articles only prove that you do not have to be intelligent to be in the media…. and obviously proof readers are non-existant in the US.
    For one, he makes it sound as though there’s only one accent in this country…. this may be very surprising for Americans to think about… but Canada’s actually kind of diverse. If you look at that map of that enormous country above you… it would seem strange to consider it may not be completely homogenous. Second, this guy got the slang completely wrong… RCMP are not “Armsees”, we nickname them “RC’s”… i was wondering what the hell he was talking about until i realized he misheard it… Canadians also love when hockey is brought up.. he makes it sound as though we’ve lost our hockey touch… over half the NHL is Canadian. Yes, a Canadian based team has not won in a long time, but there has not been oen team since that has won that has not been majority Canadian. The cup definitley spends most of its time here… despite recent cameo appearances in the host US city whose franchise wins it. Soo ree boat the Olympics too eh? haha.
    I realize he was trying to joke around when he wrote the article… but to people that actually take it seriously, it was extremely ill informed and borderline fabricated and falsified.

  5. IncentiveSpirometer - Oct 13, 2010 at 12:37 AM

    It is a powerful self breathing tool you must have.