Was chatting over at LT's the other day and frequent commenter (there, not here) Smarmy Boss made the point to me, after I ranted for a little bit about something or another, that really the whole thing should not be taken that seriously, its just games after all. I'm paraphrasing but I think I'm representing what he said fairly.
Now the reality is that I don't take it all that seriously, which of course is going to sound funny coming from a guy who has written hundreds of posts on the subject of the Edmonton Oilers but it is true. I certainly cared far more about sport when I was younger, when I had a lot more time on my hands and a lot less to care about. And when it comes to the Olympics and for that matter if the Oilers were to ever make the playoffs again (hahahahahaha, my imagination really does know no bounds, I'm like a child), then I certainly can become quite obsessive. I lose sleep during the Olympics, if you can imagine, (I also teared up quite frequently and still do as I see the retrospectives now airing on the anniversary) and although the memory is quite foggy (Iwas barely out of short pants!) I know that I took the 2006 run quite to heart.
When it comes to the Oilers right now I really can't be bothered. I like a lot of the players but the management has so completely botched it that I really can't get behind the organization very much. So on Saturday afternoon as the club that was put together to fail did so, again, I was forced to listen to Kevin Weekes sing the praises of a thirtieth place team and especially their disaster of a goaltender, although even Weekes slipped when he said that Khabibulin had not played really poorly in all of the games during his losing streak. Just the majority I guess, eh Kev?
But with Weekes and then the interviews with Lowe and LaForge I got the overwhelming picture in my head of the three monkeys. You know the ones - hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Because the franchise is in the toilet and nobody has a bad thing to say about it. Its truly amazing.
And then of course, as I wrote about earlier, I went to play hockey myself and had a ball. The Girl From Rawlins Cross used to shake her head at the fact that here I was, a fairly well read fellow, a fairly bright urbane guy, into the arts and knowledgeable about the world and politics and an eager cunnilinguist and here I was a living breathing hockey player. Like she expected that as a hockey player I had emerged from a block of ice with a jutting brow, looking like Dion Phaneuf you know. Hockey Player Smash Vase! She couldn't put it together and she could not figure out the attraction at all.
Of course anyone who has played team sports, not just hockey, knows the feeling. The camraderie. The pure joy of it all. There is no other way to describe it and I won't even try.
Back to the Oilers though and they sucked ass again on Sunday and Monday the headlines read about Himself coming down from the mountain and demanding that the club play hard.
Oh dear, it truly is to laugh. I wonder what the vets think when they look around at the kids and the over the hills gang and the scrubs - I know that if I were 27 and 83 I would be pretty fucking happy because one way or another I'm out of here in just over a year.
Whitney and Gilbert must figure its like a life sentence at this point.
There was such an odd collision of events over the last few days though, it really got me thinking. We had the team sucking ass, as it usually does, and bookending this were the appearances by Lowe and Tambellini, the two architects of this mess. And in the middle of it was the latest presentation of Oil Change where a panel of Edmonton media concluded that so far the club deserves a passing grade as they flounder towards another last place finish.
And in the comments of the Tambellini story there were all sorts of comments defending Tambellini because he is stuck with all sorts of horrible contracts that he has been bequeathed, never mind the fact of course that the worst of these is the one for the goalie that he signed, and on top of that the Oilers have tons of cap room as it now stands with which they could improve their club.
And its just six months into a rebuild the chorus sang, never mind the last four years out of the playoffs.
And damnit, Horcoff, Hemsky, Penner and Gilbert are the problem.
Oh me oh my.
So a part of me, a dark, dark little part of me that thinks dirty little thoughts and awful things and has unnatural urges, would love to see the handful of good players on the club traded for picks and middling prospects because we all know that will work out well and at some point I figure the worm has to turn for the guys who ran this franchise into the ditch. Right? Right?
Its always the players and the coaches but the guys who took a club from a break away from being a Cup winner to very possibly two consecutive last place finishes are still making a whole lot of money, all the while spouting off about culture change and doing things the right away.
LOL as the kids say.
But when Joanne Ireland leads off her column on Tuesday night's win with a tribute to Dopey and how he got the boys to finally!!! care!!! then you can see why Lowe and Karl Pilkington get their free pass. The media, for the most part, although Terry Jones is starting to get cantankerous, have given the men at the top a free pass and the fans are happy to turn around, bend over and take it.
So as fans we get what we deserve and I'm just as complicit really because here I am, complaining about these twats, but I still watch the games when I can.