Vulnerable

Wanye
April 02 2009 10:41AM

vulnerable

When we get greased we get hungover. When we get hungover we have unusual clarity of thought and 2 times out of 10 we get super vulnerable about stuff. This could be for a variety of reasons. Perhaps we have taken down a lady of questionable quality. Perhaps we threw a whisky bottle at a friend. Perhaps – well perhaps a variety of things Nation. We do a lot of questionable stuff.

Last night we went out and had ourselves a good ol’ time. Why not – we have nothing to be excited about anymore. All is lost. Afterwards we came back to the crib and read our most beloved non pornographic website into the early morning. And we have come up with one vulnerable conclusion:

What in the hell are we doing with our life?

We started this website because we love the Oilers. When we say things like “we have an Oilers garbage can in our room that we have owned since we were 7” we mean it. If you told us “Wanye, stand in front of a Souray slapper and somehow time will reverse itself and the Oil will make the playoffs” we would do it in a heart beat. Why is this? We have no idea. Something must have broken in our seven year old head that makes us live and die with the powerplay of the local hockey squadron. We can’t tell you when our Brother’s birthday is. But we can tell you that Jason Soules was one of the worst draft picks in the last 25 years. He didn’t even want to play the game professionally and still the Oilers drafted him in 1989. What the hell? Why do we know this?

Look what you have become “Wanye Gretz.” We invented an acronym suggesting the coach – a grown man of unusual dedication to the city of Edmonton and it’s citizens – be fired from his job. We call Dustin Penner – an obviously skilled but unhappy player – a Donair eating cylinder monkey. What the hell?

100 kidding points awarded

Let’s not sit around and kid ourselves Nation. Probably half of the Oilers could give two squirts of rocket sauce about this City, it’s fans or even really about the team itself. But before you get your gun and go looking for an undedicated Oiler know that this is the case all around the league. A lot of players view this as a job. A lucrative, groupie producing j-o-b. Gone are the days when a player will stick around here in the off season and his neighbor rebuild a fence over the summer. The instant the season ends most of these guys hop on a solid gold private jet and are summering in the South of France, eating truffles and drinking imported mineral water within 24 hours. That’s just the way it is.

But you know who is here in the off season? By complete choice? Craig MacTavish and Kevin Lowe. Let’s not kid ourselves here. These guys could be pretty much anywhere in the league, doing the same job and making the same money. They don’t have to put up with the snow and the lack of urban density in the downtown core if they don’t want to. They could be living in the Big Apple eating sushi with Keith Urban seven nights a week if they wanted. Instead they choose to live here in Edmonton and consider the South Side Keg to be a fancy place to take the Wife – just like we all do. Do we ever give them credit for sticking with it for as long as they have? Of course not.

Ales Kotalik was traded here and had no choice in the matter. Kevin Lowe returned here from the Big Apple to set up shop, build a mansion on the frozen tundra and do his best to make the team he unquestionably loves – a champion once again. MacTavish too. Let’s be honest – no one can question their dedication. Results? Sure. But in an era when most people view the NHL as a paycheck to fund their Faberge egg habit these guys care a little more about you, me and the City of Edmonton than we give them credit for.

Know who else cares? Ethan Moreau. We know this for a fact. Don’t think it just kills him that the Oil are going to miss the playoffs for the third time in a row and the second under his Captaincy? And what do we do? We tell him to hit the bricks. Steve Staios cares. Jason Strudwick cares too. Sam Gagner too cares bless his little heart.

And how do we repay them? By ragging on them mercilessly and demanding they be replaced with more high priced free agents who want to get the hell out of here at every opportunity.

100 more kidding points awarded

We have a sneaking suspicion that we are all kidding ourselves when we think we are the best fans in the league. With the exception of the Cup run, we collectively ride the Oilers harder than O’Sullivan’s dad when he was in Pee Wee. 99 minutes out of 100 we are filled with unbridled hatred and the other 1 minute we are irrationally euphoric and going through Sheldon Souray's garbage to see what kind of gel he uses. Know what that makes us? Good fans? No.

Insane stalkers. That’s what it makes us.

Things are clearly broken here in E-town. This team leads the league in least bang for your buck. The players in the room that care the most aren’t capable of scoring eleven goals in the third period and leading us to victory. The players that are capable of this feat don’t care enough to get off their platinum asses and do it with the season on the line. So what do we do? We learn the wrong lessons and rail road the well meaning role players and management out of town. We cheer loudly when a player comes into town hoping that this is going to be "the guy." Then when he isn’t the guy we turn on him too. Then we collectively blame the weather when they demand to leave.

Ask yourself the hard questions Nation. Look your bloodshot eyes in the face and really ask yourselves these questions:

  1. Of everyone collecting a pay cheque from Kay-Z this season – who is the most dedicated to the team we collectively love? Outside of a handful of players in the room who really cares about restoring this team to the glory of years ago? Is it the 20 something millionaire that can’t wait to get his last paycheck of the season so he can go to Kelowna and ball like a member of G-Unit? Or is it the two middle aged men who still get up in the morning, look at the frozen wasteland that is our City and think “yep. This is where I want to be. This place used to be the shit and it I could make it awesome again.” The only the only people in the league who will ever think this way are the same people we are demanding get boxed up and shipped the F out of town.
  2. Lame ass audio clips aside - are we really holding up our end of the bargain as fans? We have watched games in a great many arenas now. Half of the fans in Anaheim are just excited to see ice for heavens sakes. They don’t care about the coach making third line players into grinders. Hell they don’t even know what a grinder is. They stand up at the weirdest points to cheer. They all look confusedly at each other when icing is called. We sit and scream at one another how a guy that is on pace to score 17 goals should be sent to the ECHL where he play third string goalie. You know, to teach him a lesson. Are we really the best fans in the league?
  3. Would you want to play here in Edmonton if you were in the NHL? The cheques cash the same all over the league playboy.

We pride ourselves on ripping on the Oil whenever we get the urge. We get a special little thrill every time one of you good people join in, comment on an article or send us an email. We are thunderstruck at the popularity of this website and that real journalists like Robin Brownlee and Jason Gregor have humored our little business and treat this thing seriously. And what do we do the instant we have the privilege of being able to address our fellow Oilers fans? Things like this:

"It is you who is letting us down Edmonton Oilers. Get that very, very clear in your collective minds."

And who are we again to talk like this? Nobody? Oh that's right. Nobody.

A MacT/K-Lowe-less future

This team is clearly broken. The statement we have heard is that “this is going to be the busiest off season in the history of the Oilers.” Who is going to come back here and replace the departing folk? More high priced players who don’t really give a shit? When MacTavish leaves and Kevin Lowe finally decides “screw this. I have shaved a good ten years off my life for this team and for this City. I’m going to assemble a kick ass sword collection and mail it in” who are we left with? Will anyone in power even remember when it was expected to win a Cup in this City?

When they go, so goes the last link to the Oilers expecting to be a contender year in and year out. Then it’s going to be a bunch of hired guns who collect the cheque and the only link to better days will be that dented Oilers garbage can in our room.

Great.

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Blog so hard motherf**ckers try and find me. Email me at wanyegretz@gmail.com or tweet me @wanyegretz provided it is about Jordan Eberle or babes.
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#51 Chris
April 02 2009, 01:55PM
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Maybe it's time for some incrementalism...(small often unplanned changes)

I've been guilty of wanting this roster "blown up". I'm over emotional and I care too much... MacT and Lowe are probably guilty of the same. There have been toooooo many player/personnel moves in too short a time. The Oilers lacked puck moving defencemen... two years later they have too many puck moving defencemen and lack grit on the back end... This offseason the temptation may be to swing too far the other way; and so on... It might be time to keep what we have; making only two or three roster changes. Address the need for an additional physical D-man, an experienced faceoff/penalty killing center, and a goaltender. This kind of approach won't be popular; but the Oilers probably have a better chance of success staying the course rather than completely reshuffling the deck. As fans, we say we want change... What we are really want is success!

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#52 mazola
April 02 2009, 01:57PM
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When I was a kid I grew up hating the team that knocked the Oilers out of the playoffs. NY. LA. Calgary. Any city with 'Stars' attached to it.

And who do the kids today have to hate?

Math.

Each year we wait as the Oilers are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

There's a generation of youth being brought up with an unhealthy distaste for mathematics simply because it has been the Oilers most potent rival for oh-so-long.

The Oilers could do wonders for public education (and increased Math scores) if they'd just get into the playoffs and get beaten by a real flesh-and-blood lineup in a respectful fashion.

Is that asking so much?

Oilers, won't you think of the children? Won't you think of our future?

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#53 Word
April 02 2009, 01:59PM
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The Oilers are alot like the Simpsons. So much of the support is based on a product that was delivered in the past and isn't being lived up to anymore.

Just like episodes of the Simpsons the Oilers used to be good, so we watch them, force a semi-nostalgic tributory smile when they try, and then feel genuinely unsatisfied within 30 minutes but can't bring ourselves to hate them.

In fact, the Oilers are ALSO alot like a good buddy from High School or University that used to be a Good-Time-Charlie 'till he shacked up with a girl named Captain No Fun... Nevermind, one analogy is enough.

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#54 AlBundy
April 02 2009, 02:01PM
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Peace and love everyone. We all love MacT and Lowe for what they have done to Edmonton and the Edmonton Oiler team. Peace and love baby, where's that swimmer with that b@ng when you need him

Peace and love brother, Oil win tonight and are right back in it.

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#55 risto
April 02 2009, 02:02PM
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Wanye, I set them up for you to hit them outta here!

Slow Lowe and Silver Fox - Wanting to stay here, that's a red herring because they are not taking a "hometown" discount to stay and are in fact making oodles of dough.

Go Oilers! (something clever about Shark soup)

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#56 OOF
April 02 2009, 02:03PM
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Never commented on this site before, but damn Wayne, this is an epic piece.

You've successfully shamed me. I am, by all accounts, a MacT and Lowe hater.

You've made me feel shame for that.

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#57 GSC
April 02 2009, 02:12PM
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There comes a point where you have to move on from the past. The fans and the organization alike need to do so, it's been 18 years since the last Stanley Cup and this league has changed dramatically since then. It's time to stop being blinded by the brightness of the past and find some new blood that can look at this organization with a fresh set of eyes and no favours to keep in mind.

It's nice to think about the past and have some elements of those glory days around, but when it completely clouds one's thinking, it has gone too far. The time has come to make changes, changes for the better.

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#58 roughneck
April 02 2009, 02:16PM
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I was totally with you until the clarity of thought thing, then my ADD kicked in and that does offer some intrigue.

Apparently I am not getting greased enough, a possibility not fully endorsed by the woman (thus the intrigue.)

So in a quest for greater understanding I shall slide up to the cash box and take down the entire 400 dollar offering, invest it in ummm I guess 20 premium doubles (factoring in the 10% gratuity....) and hope to be suitably entertained in my heightened state of non awareness.

eagerly awaits the epiphany to follow with mischievous grin embossed on countenance.

but honey?...... wanye said!!

* books room* * *throws out tattoo parlor cards* * *Stencils name in shorts**

lets go oilers!!!!!!!!!!

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#59 Hottuna
April 02 2009, 02:33PM
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Here is what I think.

How about we stop paying lazy ass players like hemsky OOOO he has talent...yeah use it buddy, and Horscoff who plays like a girl and can't score for his life. I could go on and on. I`m so sick of them doing nothign game in and game out. Then they try really hard though late in the third period just to remind you that they are in fact just super lazy. If I wasn't a die hard Oilers fan I would hate this team, because there is nothign I hate more than lazy hockey players.

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#60 Dennis
April 02 2009, 02:38PM
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Mazola: Well done!:)

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#61 Librarian Mike
April 02 2009, 03:59PM
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GSC wrote:

time to stop being blinded by the brightness of the past and find some new blood that can look at this organization with a fresh set of eyes and no favours to keep in mind.

There's a quote I'm reminded of. It goes something like:

"Remember when" conversations are the lowest form of discourse.

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#62 Simpsonite
April 02 2009, 07:58PM
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Penner rules. He'll be ok. He is still suuuper young. He is the only one who will face a Souray shot...who also rules. Patience is key here. They will have to really giver to make the playoffs this year but they ain't out of it yet. And Lowe has moved on. Let's see what Tambalini does. And MacT, ahhh he is good and he did take the Oil to the 7th of the final...that is nothing to sneeze at. And if Moreau doesn't get hurt last year for the ENTIRE season, I bet they make the playoffs. Everybody take a deep breath, this team will prevail. They have do...I gotta bottle of rum riding on it and I like my rum...G'Oil!!!

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#63 Sandra
April 02 2009, 08:50PM
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Hemsky must want out of Edm.

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#64 Sandra
April 02 2009, 08:52PM
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With the comments from Staufer, I think Hemsky is gone.

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#65 sens and oil
April 04 2009, 10:01AM
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i agree with everything said. being to almost every oil game this season its a grave yard in there..as far as mac t goes, its not so much hes a bad coach its just time for a change. since the cup run how many players have we shipped out or got rid of..hell since the lockout. weve tried blowing up the roster and bringing in fresh faces but its the same result. the only logical thing left to do is switch up the coaching staff. and not just mact but huddy, moore and bucky. the old boys need to go. just look at the pens. im obviously not comparing the two but they had a coaching change and damn,...there on fire because thier being told to have fun, play there game and not some system. aswell look at the hawks this yr...same shit different pile. with the exception of rock solid goaltending....guys we have a very talented team with a good mix of youth. vets skill and grit...so as fans lets embrace this instead of being so thick headed

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