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It’s clear that Canada is more divided than ever before.
The country is increasingly splitting into smaller and smaller tribes, partisanship is at a record level, regions are divided, separatism is rising, and any sense of national unity is evaporating.
With all that in mind, the upcoming Grey Cup battle between Winnipeg and Hamilton offers a badly needed opportunity to bring Canadians together.
It’s not just because the Grey Cup is a venerable Canadian tradition, it’s also because football teams themselves offer a way for us to think about Canada and enhance our faltering unity.
Teams bring people of different backgrounds together under a common team identity, wearing the same uniform, pushing towards the same goal, and looking out for each other. Over time, teammates start to think of themselves more as part of the team, and less as whatever group or “tribe” they may have originally come from.
Teams come together to fight against their opponents, stand up for their teammates who get hurt or attacked or mistreated, and make tremendous physical sacrifices for each other and for their team’s chance to win.
We’ll see that tonight in the Grey Cup, and we need to start seeing it in our country itself.
For that to happen though, we need to understand that the “post-nationalism” being pushed by the elites would be like a football team not asking their players to wear the same uniform, not use the same playbook, and say all that matters is their individual stats, rather than actually winning the game as a team.
If a football team tried that, it would be total dysfunction, players would be pissed off at each other all the time, they would form into little cliques, conspire against the coach, and would get beaten repeatedly by their more united opponents.
So, as we watch the Grey Cup today let’s be inspired by the unity and sense of purpose of the teams on the field, and realize the importance of achieving that same unity in our nation.