Stephen Colbert seems to loathe the Oshawa Generals because he’s in deep with the Ontario Hockey League’s Michigan-based Saginaw Spirit.
He’s adopted the Spirit partly because fans of his television show, The Colbert Report, voted him as the namesake of the team’s new mascot Stephen Colbeagle The Eagle, through an online poll. For the U.S. franchise every game is a big one USA v. Canada, another Miracle on Ice the making. And Colbert knows that this makes for great TV.
Globe and Mail, Sports, Jan 27, 2007
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The hoopla, hijinks and saber-rattling on the Colbert Report escalated to such extent that Oshawa Mayor John Gray confronted Colbert on the eve of the teams’ big-game in Saginaw last night (Saginaw won 5-4). They negotiated a wager if the Generals win, Colbert would wear a Oshawa jersey for a full episode of The Colbert Report. If the Spirit win, Gray would decree Colbert’s birthday Stephen Colbert Day in Oshawa, Ont. Colbert agreed but opted for the day to be on the mayor’s birthday March 20, instead of his own, May 13.
The Spirit were born when the North Bay Centennials moved to Saginaw after the 2001-02 season.
Initially, Colbert invited Spirit fans to toss copies of the General Motors’ annual report, a 150-page document, onto the ice when Saginaw scored its first goal. The fake news anchor used fake footage to stake a claim for retaliation after he showed what appeared to be fans in Oshawa’s General Motors Place pelting the ice stuffed animals. Colbert construed this as a “personal attack.” Actually, the footage was from a different game, against the Kitchener Rangers, and turned out to be an annual, pre-Christmas “teddy bear toss” for charity.
Colbert called off his initial stunt in favor of the new deal with Gray.