Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Stephen Colbert declares war on my home town

(Wow, all these posts in a single day! Some days are just better than others!)

Last night it finally happened. Stephen Colbert talked about my home town! No, not Glasgow, Scotland (where I was born, but of which I remember little), but Oshawa, Ontario. Actually "talked" is not entirely right. He dissed Oshawa.

Last year the Saginaw Spirit, a hockey team based in Saginaw, Michigan but playing in the Ontario Hockey League, held a contest to name their secondary mascot, an eagle. Colbert, who portrays himself as over the top patriotic, wanted the eagle named after him. He got it. The mascot is now known as Steagle Cobeagle the Eagle. Due to the name change — and Colbert's updates on the team's progress — the Saginaw Spirit had a big jump in clothing sales. They won their first seven games, too.

Last night Colbert was livid. The Spirit played the Oshawa Generals last month in Oshawa. The Generals won. After the Generals' first goal, Generals fans threw stuffed teddy bears onto the rink (for charity). Colbert is known for his hatred of bears. He took this as an obvious taunt. In retaliation, Colbert ranted against Oshawa.

I laughed my butt off (although that's not saying something, as I am a buttless wonder).

He started by calling the team and city "Oshawa Bin Laden". He mentioned that the Generals were named after General Motors. Oshawa is GM Canada's headquarters, as the McLaughlin Carriage Company became GM Canada (my high school was named after Col. R.S. McLaughlin, founder of the McLaughlin Carriage Company in turn-of-the-century Oshawa). GM was an early sponsor of the team (back in the 1930s). Colbert went on to mention GM's losses in their 3rd quarter earnings report, suggesting that if GM kept bleeding red ink they might have to disassemble the Generals' new arena for spare parts.

He did not suggest that Saginaw Spirit fans throw copies of GM's 3rd quarter earnings report on the rink whenever the Spirt score at home against Oshawa later this month. Nope, not at all. The fact that he announced a link to a PDF of the report was on the Colbert Nation web site was purely coincidental.

If you want to see the clip, you have to be quick. I couldn't find it on YouTube. I did find it on the Comedy Central site, but under a "last night's episode" link. It will probably be gone later tonight. Here's the URL though:

You'll have to scroll down to the video section.

Oh, and when talking about the teddy bears he mentioned the New Orleans Saints. "I have a lot riding on [the Bears'] next game against New Orleans. If saints can't beat bears, God is officially dead."

(Edit: I fixed the bit about the teddy bears, explaining that they were thrown for charity and not to taunt the Saginaw Spirit.)


Anonymous said...

Good show, funny comedy. I cant wait for the game on the 26th. But unfortunatly the bears were thrown for charity after the first Gennies goal, not to spite the great Colbert. It was before Xmas and the bears all got donated to kids whose family's cant afford christmas present.

Allan Goodall said...

Thanks for clearing that up!

I thought it was a bit... expensive, just as a taunt against a guy loosely related to the opposing team. I did go looking for information about the game, but everything I saw took Colbert's take on the game verbatim, so I thought maybe he was right.

For the record, I'd be willing to bet that Stephen Colbert the comedian did not think the bears were a taunt against him (the facts of the situation), but that Stephen Colbert the talk show host does believe it was directed at him (the "truth" of the situation). After all, the talk show persona is all about truth; it's facts he doesn't care about.

Michael said...

Did you hear about the follow-up to this story? Oshawa's mayor bet Colbert that the Generals would beat the Spirit the next time the teams played. The bet was that if the Generals won, Colbert would have to wear an Oshawa jersey for an entire show. If the Spirit won, Oshawa would declare an official Stephen Colbert Day in the city.

Last Friday night, the Spirit edged the Generals 5-4. So look for 20 March 2007 to be Stephen Colbert Day in Canada's motor city.

Allan Goodall said...

Did you hear about the follow-up to this story?

I heard part of it. I saw the show where Colbert accepted the challenge from Oshawa's mayor. I meant to comment on it the next day, but that was Friday and I didn't get to post much. I particularly liked how Colbert did not want his birthday to be Stephen Colbert Day in Oshawa, but rather he wanted the mayor's birthday to be Stephen Colbert Day!

I didn't know that the Spirit won, though I had intended to look for that today.

None of the stories I've seen mention whether or not Spirit fans threw copies of GM's report on the ice...