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Listen Up! Reilly has some stale Canadian cliches to tell you about

February 12, 2010

Boy are we all in for a treat today! Reilly has penned his second masterpiece of the week! Boy oh boy!

Apparently Reilly’s been hanging out in Vancuover this past week. And decided that it was really important that he write a  column listing a bunch of Canadian cliches. Woo Hoo!

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.

Hey look at that, Reilly just psycho-analyzed an entire country. Also, I bet Tito’s pretty OK with not being Michael Jackson right around now. I wonder if Reilly knows that Jacko’s dead. I bet he doesn’t.

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

Well, everyone does that if you’re hosting the winter Olympics and there’s no snow. You need snow for skiing. How else do you propose they get it up there?

These people are nice. Preposterously nice. Aunt Bee in mukluks nice. This is a country that has human-chomping grizzlies on every corner and yet chose the furry beaver for its national animal.

Did you know that the United States also has grizzlies? As well as many other deadly animals…but our national animal is the bald eagle. Canada also has two national animals: the other is a horse…for whatever that’s worth.

Here’s how nice: Twice already, 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! 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.

Well, an American star wouldn’t do that. He’d go to prison. But…whatever. I mean, it is a bit of a concern. This is dumb.

Look, I don’t really have any special affection for Canada. I went to college with some Canadians. I like them. They’re nice people. But they’re not comically, border-line-retardedly nice like Reilly is portraying them. Plus…really, it still boggles my mind that Reilly can get away with this sort of crap. What’s the point? This has nothing to do with sports except that he’s in Canada for the Olympics. Criminy.

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:

• 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. OK, that’s not true. 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.

Good luck not talking about hockey in Canada. Just because they haven’t won in awhile. That’s like saying don’t go to Philadelphia and talk about football.

• Use the “organics” recycling container in your hotel room. This is one of 14 recycling containers you’ll find there. The mind recoils 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.

Duly noted. Thanks for the advice, Rick.

• Speak Canadian. ATMs are ABMs. Street hockey is “shinny.” Butt is “arse.” Beer is “brew.” Stuff is “whatnot.” Newfoundlanders are “Newfies.” Never say the “g” in “ing.” And yay is not a cheer, it’s a measurement, as in: “I’m lookin’ for my malamute, about yay big and yay long?”

Oh those crazy Canadians and their weird words! Sure, Canadians say some goofy things, but so do Southerners and people from Pittsburgh and Boston. It’s basically just a dialect, and besides, Reilly’s examples are pretty tame. I know a lot of Americans who say whatnot.

• Call Vancouver “Van City” or even “The Van” but do not call it the name it hates: “No Fun City.” It IS a fun city, except that a lot of the bars close at 11. In the morning.

• And it apparently NEVER STOPS RAINING.

• 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.”

Right, because Canadians are the only people in the world who abbreviate shit. Good gracious, you suck, Rick.

• 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.”

Again, people everywhere do this.

• Compliment their national anthem. It’s way better than ours.

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

Does it really make them feel better? I doubt it. Plus, Vancouver isn’t all that cold compared to, like, everywhere else in Canada.

• 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: 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!

Ah  yes, the Tim Hortons bit. That’s so fresh. No one has ever noticed the many, many Tim Hortons in Canada before. How astute of you, buddy. Oh, and curling, too. Nobody has ever noticed that some Canadians are into curling before either.

• When referring to Elvis, be sure its Stojko not Presley. 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.”

I bet that’s not true. I bet Elvis Presley is still more famous in Canada than Elvis Stojko. That’s just a hunch though.

• 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!’”

So many people do this. Also, of all the Canadians I know, none of them do this. It’s true.

• 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!”

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


I’m really perplexed as to how this is acceptable to ESPN. The man is just listing a bunch of stereotypes about Canada. I’m not offended by that or anything. I’m not trying to say he’s being insensitive or xenphobic. Because that would be stupid. I’m just saying, how does this pass for sports journalism? Especially really expensive sports journalism.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Brandon permalink
    March 1, 2010 12:45 pm

    Thank you for this article!! I’m a Canadian and I agree – I’m not offended or sensitive about this, I just don’t get how this makes the FRONT PAGE of the most popular sports network in the US. These stereotypes are so outdated – nobody cares about Elvis STOJKO and NOBODY says ABM’s – I’ve never even heard that expression. RICK – talk about SPORTS – that’s why we go to I just don’t get how he’s still on that site.

  2. chuck2 permalink
    August 12, 2010 10:00 am

    Vancouver’s warmer than many places in the US, too, like Philly, for example. Wow, did I just use a shortened name there? I hope the cops don’t bust me for it!

    Who in Vancouver talks about Newfies? It’s as likely as people in Escondido telling you that the slang term for Maine is “Downeast.” Ri-dic-u-lous.

    It’s “surrey,” not “sore-eee” or whatever Rick thinks it is. And many Americans say “yay big” in addition to “whatnot” as previously noted.

    The Canadian national anthem is not way better than ours. It is to Canadians, sure.

    Rick, if you want to sound worldly and knowledgeable, mention the Italian national anthem, which is way cooler (not necessarily better) than ours, and way cooler than anybody else’s. You should have heard it if you were in Torino four years ago.

    I think Canadians would mention Shatner before they’d mention Lorne Greene. Idiot. And maybe, you know, Danny Akroyd or Mike Myers? John Candy? Other Second City folks? Keanu? Jim Carrey? Michael J. Fox? Moron.

    I think Rick is such an obvious and insufferable geeky a-hole that not only does he have no friends, NO ONE will talk to him in all the bars he hangs out in.

    I love this website. Keep up the great work, eh? Oh wait, I’m American. Keep up the great work, huh?

    • Ghoki permalink
      June 20, 2012 8:48 pm

      I agree with you on much of what you said (mostly that Rick sucks ass), but he wasn’t referring to “Surrey” as in the place in BC. He was referring to how we Canadians pronounce the word “sorry.” We do indeed say “sore-ee” for the most part while most Americans tend to say “sar-ee.” Not sure how the Canadian way is worse, but at least Rick was accurate on one (and only one) point.

  3. December 2, 2010 11:01 am

    gretz post :)

  4. Alex permalink
    November 13, 2012 10:10 pm

    This entire blog is just you ripping on Reilly’s jokes. Its pretty clear to anyone with a brain that the majority of his articles are written in a comical tone, such as the entire above article about Canadians. The fact that you have created a blog to analyze his sense of humor, and comment on his articles as if they were serious, is pathetic at best and a sad indicator of your intelligence.


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