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Et Tu, Janet Jones?

Let's establish one important fact right up front here: I bear no particular ill will toward Canada for its gold-medal victory over the U.S. men's hockey team. Sure, if it were up to me, I would have rather seen the U.S. squad win, since I'm all about root-root-rooting for the home team. And yes, I got a perverse thrill from watching the normally unflappable Wayne Gretzky's public freak-out after the boys from up north got smoked by Sweden and did their level-best to come within a hair's breadth of a preliminary-round loss to the Czech Republic. Throw in a medal-round defeat to, say, Belarus, and who knows -- the Great One might have been driven over the edge and right into a multi-state crime spree.

But Canada dispatched Belarus with ease and beat the U.S. team fair and square. Nothing wrong with that. Our neighbors to the north get the gold medal they've lusted for since 1952, the U.S. leaves Salt Lake City with a perfectly acceptable silver, and everyone gets to hear the stirring strains of "O Canada" during the medal ceremony -- it's hard to top any of that. Plus, a victory for Canada means gold medals for Brendan Shanahan and Steve Yzerman, who besides playing for the Detroit Red Wings -- known around the Michaels home as God's Own Hockey Team -- also provide potential names for my children, should I a) ever decide to reproduce and b) win an increasingly contentious argument with my wife, who shows no signs of compromise on this issue. Years from now, when little Yzerman Schmeiser Michaels runs home in tears after a particularly rough day at school, I think it will give him no small degree of comfort to know that his namesake was an Olympic gold medalist. And besides, I'll point out, you don't hear your sister, Tretiak, complaining.

What? You've never entertained thoughts of naming your children with the surnames of famous hockey players? And you're looking at me like I'm weird?

So, good for Canada. Three cheers for Canada. God keep their land glorious and free. O Canada, I'll stand on guard for thee. And that goes for the sublime Yzerman and Shanahan, the acrobatic Martin Brodeur, even ridiculous dwarf Theoren Fleury, whose gold medal will no doubt give him bragging rights when he returns home to Middle Earth. Nope -- not a thing about watching Canada beat the U.S. in men's Olympic hockey on Sunday bothered me one bit.

Until I saw Janet Jones.

As you are doubtlessly aware, Jones is the American film actress who wed aforementioned hockey great Wayne Gretzky back in the late 1980s. And since, by all accounts, the Jones-Gretzky union is a happy one, it's not surprising that NBC's cameras would find the Bridgeton, Missouri native at her husband's side for the greatest moment of his post-playing career. What you might not expect to see is Jones gleefully celebrating Canada's victory over her home and native land by happily jumping up and down and clapping her hands and generally looking pleased as all get-out that a foreign power had just punked out the U.S. of A.

You wouldn't think it would be necessary to say during this time of national unity and swift revenge against our enemies, but taking sides against the home squad doesn't seem like the best way of paying back the nation that bore you. Sure, Janet Jones may have looked fetching in her black shirt with maple leaf insignia, but her bouncy little victory dance seemed to be fueled less by relief that her husband could show his face north of the 49th parallel without having to don a series of disguises and more by her ingratitude for everything that America has done for her.

America, after all, is the country whose freedoms gave Janet Jones the opportunity to pursue happiness, whether it was in the role of Witchwoman No. 3 in "Beastmaster" or as Carla Samson in "The Flamingo Kid." It was America that allowed the freedom of expression which inspired the creators of "A Chorus Line," eventually leading them to cast Janet Jones in the tedious movie version of the overrated musical. And only in America could a young, blonde actress agree to star in a movie about gymnasts opposite of gold medalist Mitch Gaylord in his big screen debut and not have to worry about intrusion from the government or the authorities or even common sense.

Meanwhile, in Canada, they still view Janet Jones as the Yoko Ono of the hockey world -- the brazen hussy who bewitched Wayne Gretzky and lured him away from a Stanley Cup team in Edmonton and into a lifetime of championship-free hockey in the Lower Forty-Eight. For this, she is reviled in Canada to this day.

We never reviled Janet Jones here in America, not even after her appearance in "Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach." Though after last Sunday, maybe we should start.

Dick Cheney was at Sunday's hockey game -- or perhaps the E-Center in Salt Lake City has been his top secret hiding place all this time -- and, if the newspapers are to be believed, he's not the sort of guy to take a live-and-let-live attitude about this sort of thing. I'm still mildly surprised that, upon watching Janet Jones rejoice in America's downfall, the vice president didn't strip her of her citizenship on the spot in a tasteful-yet-heartless ceremony. At the very least, you can expect the Phoenix suburb where the traitorous Jones resides with her expatriate husband to be added to the Axis of Evil, with the carpet bombing likely to begin any minute now.

But until Central Arizona is nuked into glass, it's up to us to show the world we have no stomach for turncoats, not even pretty, blonde ones who appeared in "Staying Alive," the lackluster sequel to "Saturday Night Fever." We must turn our back on Janet Jones, just as she turned her back on this country. We must reject her and her foul works, averting our eyes whenever "Beastmaster" appears on cable and throwing every last copy of "American Anthem" into a bonfire.

Assuming we can find any, that is.

Because years from now, when I'm bouncing little Yzerman Schmeiser Michaels on my knee years and he asks me, "Daddy, who is that fairly attractive blonde woman whose grace and beauty inspires Mitch Gaylord to unleash the gymnastics champion within?" I don't want to have to say to him, "Why, that's Loni Anderson, son." But that's a sacrifice I'm prepared to make.


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