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  • The Reserve Squad: Cricket, rugby officials in panic over CBC coverage plans


    Canadian rugby and cricket officials were in a state of panic on Friday upon learning CBC executives have held preliminary talks about expanding the network's soccer and hockey "Day in Canada" coverage to include their sports.

    Saturday marks the 5th annual CBC "Soccer Day in Canada," which will focus on the "inspirational stories" related to the game in this country, ignoring the fact that Canada's international record would embarrass any nation on Earth except for perhaps South Sudan.


    "Noooo thanks. Nope, we're doing just fine with the nearly non-existent media coverage we have now," laughed Cricket Canada general-secretary Ravi Hazare nervously. "Sure, we're an obscure sport, but at least we still make our World Cup. Last thing we need is an ignorant public duped into thinking that because cricket participation is growing the sport is in wonderful shape. We're happy to remain a desperate underdog until we figure out a better idea, thanks."

    Canada Rugby president Tim Faldwell echoed those sentiments, also pointing to Canada's participation in rugby's World Cup.

    "We have limited resources for rugby in Canada, definitely," Faldwell said. "But that also means less money for top officials to squander while carrying on with a contemptuous disregard for the success of our senior mens' and womens' teams."

    CBC started its "Soccer Day" in a well-intended attempt to copy the success of its annual "Hockey Day" programming. However, according to rugby and cricket officials, the crucial difference is that Canadians actually play hockey well.

    The same officials said Canada's senior soccer sides appear to have become worse since the advent of Soccer Day.

    "Yeah, the CBC does fantastic numbers for the soccer World Cup every four years," admitted Hazare. "But then again, the average Canadian sports fan believes the World Cup is only open to countries from Europe and South America, so nobody bats an eye when we don't qualify for it. I'll be damned if cricket's going down that road."

    "Soccer Day" will consist broadly of two Womens' World Cup quarterfinal matches, neither containing the Canadian team, interspersed with endless images of boys and girls laughing and randomly chasing various soccer balls around various fields, learning incorrect and irreversible habits that ensure should they ever overcome the astounding odds stacked against them and one day represent Canada in a FIFA-sanctioned soccer tournament they are unlikely to either complete or receive even one pass, nevermind muster a shot on goal. "Soccer Day" is also mandated to repeat at least 17 times an hour that more Canadian kids play soccer than hockey.

    "All Canadians talk about is the *Canadian* tough-guy style, but they have no skills, no ball control," typed Canadian soccer critic Miro Klement, whose comments somehow appeared in this article without being solicited.

    "Yeah, more Canadians play soccer than hockey," he ranted in advance of Soccer Day. "But more Canadians walk than play hockey, and when was last time Canada won a racewalking medal at the Olympics??"

    Canadian cricket and rugby officials are planning a summit to brainstorm ways to stop the nation's public broadcaster from reinforcing stereotypes about their sports that only serve to prevent them from developing on any kind of serious level in this country.

    "Perhaps they could simply broadcast a "Republic of Doyle" marathon instead?" Hazare said optimistically.

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