DEAR JOHN....

Jason Gregor
October 31 2013 09:47AM

Breaking up is hard to do. I remember the first time a girl broke up with me, and after the initial blow to my ego, I vividly remember that I felt relieved. There wasn't going to be any tears. I guess I wasn't that into her, but it is funny to recall the sense of relief of not having to be the breaker upper.

Tears are always the worst part when you are the one doing the breaking up. You tell them you aren't feeling it anymore, and suddenly the waterworks come, then the guilt overrides you and you find yourself staying in the relationship for a few more weeks.

We've all been there, well, at least most of guys have. I'm not sure if a guy crying convinces a girl to stick around. I'm certain Wanye could enlighten us on that scenario...but I digress.

The first 14 Oilers games have been very stressful for you the fans.

Anger, disappointment, confusion, heartache and tinges of depression have engulfed you for the past 30 days. You honestly believed this year would be better. The Oilers told you it would be different.

Craig MacTavish's passionate speech about Bold moves had your loins burning with excitement. You and the Oilers were finally on the same page. Your relationship was on the road to repair. You told the Oilers you needed them to change and they did.

You couldn't deal with their indecisiveness any longer, so they got rid of Steve Tambellini.

You asked for more commitment, and the Belanger Triangle was bought out.

The one part of them that you always blamed; Horcoff, was traded.

You didn't want to deal with their baggage anymore, so Pettrell, Whitney, Peckham, Smithson and Hordichuk were flushed from the roster.

You wanted them to be stronger so Paajarvi was traded for Perron. They got grittier, and added an accent. You were giddy.

From July to September you were satisfied and felt secure in your relationship. The Oilers had listened to your concerns and addressed them. What more could you ask for. They were impressing you.

The preseason came and the so did victories. You hadn't felt like this in months. You started watching games in sweatpants instead of jeans so your excitement was more comfortable.

You started trusting the Oilers again, and then, like a well-placed kick to the junk combined with a knife in the back, the regular season happened.

Suddenly, they reverted to their old habits and as the losses mounted so too did your heartbreak.

The last 30 days have been tough, but I never realized how tough they were for Oilersnation until I received the following "Dear Oilers" letter from Joshua. 

Dear Oilers, 

First of all, let me apologize for taking the cowardly way out and doing this via a letter., We’ve been together so long now that I knew if I did it to your face you'd look at me with those Oil Drop eyes, remind me of the way things used to be, and I'd lose my nerve.

My needs aren't being met in this relationship anymore.

The red light isn't going off for me.
There just isn't enough action in the crease.
It seems like we never go out on a decent power play together anymore.
I don't feel supported in our own zone, and you forgot to kill our last penalty together!

I've loved and supported you through thick and thin, for richer or poorer, and even though I can’t afford to take my kids to the game and share them with you, I always felt like we had a great connection.

But there has to be a limit.

I still care about you and wish only the best for you.
 

Make changes to be better, but do it for you, don't do it for me.  

Until then, I think we should see other teams. Maybe it will re-ignite the passion that's gone from our relationship.

Maybe one day we can both look back on this and laugh. I'll just sit in my corner and look longingly at the standings, thinking of how things were. 

I love you. 

Yours in despair and loneliness,

Joshua
 

That. Was. Deep. Powerful. Poignant. Touching.

I'm sure Josh isn't alone, but will he be able to stay away? Many have tried, most have failed, and that is what is so frustrating about sports.

We'd never let a woman/man treat us that way, yet we continually forgive our favourite team.

For years I've tried to breakup with the Miami Dolphins, but every August I find myself looking at their roster, then at their schedule and I get sucked back in.

Those Bastards.

Joshua, I wish you all the best, and hope that you can be stronger than the rest of us. We say we will leave, but we never do.

Be strong, be brave and become a catalyst for change.

Godspeed.

P.S... No one will judge you when you come back. We've all been there.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
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#101 Randy35
October 31 2013, 10:15PM
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The Oilers said that they wanted to model thier team after the Red Wings. When was the last time you saw the Red Wings put every first round pick they get into the lineup the year they draft them? The Red Wings put their rookies in the minors for years to get their game, then bring them up hungry and eager to perform in the system taught by the same system the big teams plays. That gives incentive and makes the players want to perform at a higher level. When your whole team is comprised of rookies you have rookie team. Veteran teams will feast on them.

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#102 Moving Forward
October 31 2013, 11:28AM
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Lets move forward people-lets pay a little more and aquire Tootoo and Engelland and see how these two little tweaks add a whole bunch of life, spark and confidence to our soft,soft,small, highly skilled but very,very soft lineup.

P.S. Gazdic and MacIntyre are not soft but we need more Kaboom in our lineup...among other things...hey...its a start...how can things get any worse?

C'mon Mac T get on it!

PPS It's OK to trade Klefbom Mac T - he is very soft!!! ...hint...hint!!!

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#103 Lochenzo
October 31 2013, 11:34AM
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You think being a Fish fan is tough? I'm a Bills fan. Now there is depravity!! The only thing interesting to happen to the Bills franchise over the past 20 years was Flutie Flakes.

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#104 Joilers8
October 31 2013, 11:57AM
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Perhaps the Oilers should take down the protective netting around the rink, issue helmets with face guards to those fans affected by the removal of the net.

This way there will be some excitement at Rexall.

Yes I am stretching, but not too exciting at Rexall of late.

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#105 Serious Gord
October 31 2013, 12:40PM
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Greatest song about breaking up - ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHOf3s70w-c

Do give it a listen.

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#106 achcht
October 31 2013, 01:33PM
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RexLibris wrote:

So, basically something along these lines...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dca_pS9bQE0

I can't find it now, but there was a similar "its not you, its me" breakup video done by a Leafs fan a few years ago. Great stuff.

I think you might be referring to this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcEink9PE9k

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#107 S cottV
October 31 2013, 01:54PM
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Hopefully the Oilers stop the bleeding and start looking like a team going in the right direction - even if the dreadful start turns out to be, too deep a hole to make a legitimate playoff run. My expectation for the Oilers at the start of the year, was for a serious run at the playoffs - that most likely, would come up just short. I suppose a serious run is still possible but the team really looks in disarray under Eakins, his systems and choice of "go to" players. We all or most - like MacT, but his choice of a rookie coach really doesn't look good at all. Eakins apparent up tempo - pressure forecheck / d zone / penalty kill, all out effort - "approach" is causing a lot of confusion and problems. Overplay at the wrong times will leave you unneccesarily exposed and we have certainly seen the results in the back of the Oiler net. Playing smart - pressuring at the right times and laying back at the right times is something that most successful teams / coaches employ. I think a rookie move perhaps supported by an old guard "run and gun" offence first mentality, that still handcuffs the Oilers organization. Interesting for an example - that the last time we saw the Oilers mix in some pressure forecheck with some lay back trap, the team was one win away from a Stanley Cup. "Patience" / "Picking your Spots" and systems that support this in conjuction with "pressure" / "compete hard" allows a young team to find "balance." Putting RNH, Eberle and Yak out against an opposition veteran first line with instructions to "go-go-go get it" is a sure fire way to go minus 2 for the night. Throw in J. Schultz and its a minus 4. An evolution into smart - balanced - play is the way out of this mess for the Oilers. Don't know why the Oilers never seem to consider a guy like local product - Ken Hitchcock. Sure - you may have to eventually fire him, but that is after 3 winning years before the players end up tuning him out - probably for the wrong reasons....

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#108 Rama Lama
October 31 2013, 02:43PM
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Hemmercules wrote:

This team and season are a steaming pile of crap right now , but I have to agree with Mact. Can't make a trade just for the sake of making one, if and improvement is there and the deal is good, go for it. But don't get fleeced your first season on the job 15 games in.

Start press boxing these guys when they think they can play soft and float around. Someone needs to give Yak another wake up call on how to play a hard shift every shift. I thought I saw on oil change that Eakins isn't even on the ice for practice half the time. Get out there and motivate/teach your system, obviously hanging around in the stands watching practice isn't working out too great.

Anyone who thought they would storm into the playoffs this year is delusional, but this is looking pretty bad. No quick fixes though so we wait.

I will still watch some games but like others here, I need to keep my distance a bit. So many hours watching so many loses takes its toll after a while. Thanks heavens I live far enough from Edmonton that I haven't spent too much on tickets these last few years.

Great comments on management.

If I managed my team like Eakins has done, I would have gotten fired by now. If you are the coach of a team that is losing, why on earth would you sit up with the reporter at practice?? Does Eakins have that much history with Smith and Buchburger that he trusts them to roll-out his system?

He does not even seem to know which players play which wings so sitting up in the stands with Bob Stauffer ( his professional apologist) seems we-todd-did!!!

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#109 Dog Train
October 31 2013, 03:02PM
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The reason this season hurts so much is because it was supposed to be different. New coach, new GM, no Horcoff. Everything should be fine right? Apparently not. The Oilers will not win in this league constructed the way that they are. Too many entitled players. The sad thing is there is no quick fix. The culture of losing runs so deep that I truly believe the only way out of this is to trade one of the wunderkids. Moving Hemsky will not get anybody's attention even though he has been one of our harder working skill players. Moving out bit pieces in our bottom six or third pairing will not change the fact that our top players get schooled by the other team's top players on a nightly basis.

This season is basically lost already so I'm not suggesting that Mactavish panic and ship Yakupov today or anything like that. I'm just saying that by the end of this season, the Oilers need to get used to the thought of building this team around 2 or 3 of RNH, Hall, Yakupov and Eberle.

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Blood is colour Blue

Cheer for Oil until I die

No matter how bad

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#111 Rod from Viking
October 31 2013, 08:57PM
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RexLibris wrote:

So, basically something along these lines...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dca_pS9bQE0

I can't find it now, but there was a similar "its not you, its me" breakup video done by a Leafs fan a few years ago. Great stuff.

That is absolutely hilarious, Jason should run a contest for a disgruntled Oil Fan video, he had great response to The Prancercise Parody and this would help reduce the stress of the die hard Oiler fans.

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#112 RealFakeDiesel
October 31 2013, 11:06PM
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It takes strength to stay in a relationship through the crap too!

Through sickness and health.

There was jokes made about 'jumping' after tuesdays game and my Dad told me the only place I would be jumping was on the couch to watch Saturdays game.

He was right.

GO OIL!

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#113 Aitch
November 01 2013, 05:39AM
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I tried to leave in the Fall of '91 after the Messier and Fuhr/Anderson deals were completed. Didn't happen. Couldn't do it then. Probably not gonna do it now. And I'm out on the Rock. So, I'm am literally losing sleep over this team.

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