What would happen if…


Bedroom closets are practical for storing newspaper cuttings, as all serious scholars know, but every five years or so the stacks must be sorted out for fear of marital discord. And that’s what I have been doing this spring to the disappointment of my forumbloggen friend(s).

Today, at long last, your wait for new postings is over. Please take a look at the following quote, and then read it again, savoring every single syllable: “Should ice hockey be banned right now, no one would miss it after two weeks.”


The aphorism appears to have been printed in a newspaper column here in Finland four years ago (if I didn’t misread the handwritten, almost illegible date). According to the columnist, an anonymous “ice hockey authority” had pronounced the witticism which, in my view, qualifies for a full-fledged prophecy.

Pierre Bourdieu once invited his readers to imagine a world without ads. What would your neighborhood look like without a single advertisement? It might be reminiscent of Scandinavian summer cottage surroundings, which surely is one reason why so many urban dwellers soon disappear into the woods.

Ice hockey, of course, has a pretty limited appeal in the global sports arena. Can we dare imagine a world without any and all sports?

The scenario boggles the mind. No fixtures, no result sheets, no record-breaking achievements? And a fortnight later all of it would be forgotten by the entire humanity!

I hereby invite astute authors and innovative academics alike to probe the ice hockey aficionado’s prophecy. Clearly we need to be ready for such a momentous eventuality.

Meanwhile, I pledge to give the cold shoulder to the 2016 Ice Hockey World Championship that will commence tonight in Russia and dominate headlines in this part of the world for almost precisely two weeks.


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