Sunday, March 1, 2015


Last week I wrote about Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Outliers, in which he professes the iron fact and law of Canadian hockey:  In any elite group of hockey players – the best of the best – 40 percent will have been born between January and March, 30 percent between April and June, 20 percent between July and September, and 10 percent between October and December.

Checking on Gladwell’s theory with my favorite National Hockey League (NHL) scout, Brad Hornung, we did some quick calculations for the three Western Hockey League teams we observed over three days.  We checked out the REGINA PATS, the SASKATOON BLADES, and the RED DEER REBELS.  Here were the results:

Of the 23 players listed on the current REGINA PATS ROSTER, 52.17 percent were born in months of January, February, and March.  (Five were born January, four in February, and three in March.)

On the BLADES’ ROSTER of a total 22 players, three were born in January, three born in February, and four born in March.  These 10 players make up 45.45 percent of the team.

On the 23 player roster for the REBELS, one was born in January, five born in February, and six born in March.  A total of 12 out of 23 players with birthdays in January, February, and March, or in another term, 52.17 percent… the very same percentage as that of the REGINA PATS ROSTER!

Expressing this same information to my university ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY class, one of my students, Jo, pointed out the seemingly significance of height.  Each of these three Western Hockey League teams also exhibited a preference for tall orders.

On the PATS’ ROSTER of 23 players in total, 18 were six feet and taller (78%).  On the BLADES’ ROSTER of a total 22 players, 10 were six feet or taller (45%).  And finally on the REBELS’ ROSTER of 23 players, 21 were six feet or taller (91%).

Malcolm Gladwell stated that his book, Outliers, is not about tall trees -- it is about forests.  Today, I’m going to be writing about tall trees.  And these tall trees skating in the Western Hockey League are seemingly the last cuts and the last ones standing in the hockey land of the giants.  My blog today is to be a tale of the tall – not at all a tall tale.  To abrogate such birthday statistics as presented last week would be ridiculous, and to abrogate such height statistics today, too, would be, I think, na├»ve.

Brad and I (not by chance) just last night watched the REGINA PATS play host to the MEDICINE HAT TIGERS (another a-go-go team in the Western Hockey League).  What contributed to the PATS loss were two goals shot from the point, one wrister and the other a slap shot, by Defenceman, TY STANTON, who stands at 6’4”.  In the Western Hockey League, the MEDICINE HAT TIGERS, like the SASKATOON BLADES, are known for their smallness –  only 11 of their 24 players (46%) are six feet or taller.

I was busking in the NETHERLANDS, the real Land of the Giants last summer.  We, Americans and Canadians, stand to be the shortest populations in the industrialized world, our average height for males being a mere 5’10”.  The Dutch men will stand tall against us at an average height of 6’1”.

This leads me to the pinnacle point of this blog entry.  There are definite advantages to being a Brogdingnagian in America. (And forgive me, dear readers, for my seemingly sexist pontifications ... keep in mind that I'm a BUSKOLOGIST!)

For you guys: 

  • Being a guy you must know that everyone prefers tall for a sexual partner.  (This is true for opposite sex and same sex relationships.)   
  • Tall guys make up a disproportionately large percent of company CEO’s.  
  •  Tall guys can actually become one among the tall, dark, and handsome cliche.

For you girls:

  • Hot gams!  Need I say more?   
  • Like it or not, tall girls will always attract attention.  
  • Guys like long legs.  Tall girls are often described as either statuesque or modelesque.

For you guys and you girls:

  • As well as the sexual advantage, there is the sports advantage.  Having height helps in Basketball and Volleyball, and having long skating legs is a definite asset  when playing the fastest game in the world.

I must confess that my snappy title for this blog today was meant to be Aesopian in nature – conveying a rather innocent finding to you, shorter outsiders, whilst providing hidden meanings to we, inside, taller conspirators … if you know what I mean ... wink wink nudge nudge ...

For example, one fine day on BUSKATION last summer, a girl came up to me and said she was attracted to me because I WAS TALL!  I am 6'1". 

Hmmm …

To close, here is a picture of that brutto tempo busker who marched in my CHAUCERIAN PARADE this past week.  It was minus 11 degrees Celsius (12 degrees Fahrenheit) when I took this picture:


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