An Open Letter to Calgary


Dear Calgary,

We’ve never gotten along, you and I. I’m a born-and-raised Edmontonian, and the simple blue-collar life here in Central Alberta doesn’t really jive with the metropolitan, white-collar lifestyle of the City by the Mountains. You like your freeways, we like our stabbings… Our two cities are like night and day in a lot of ways. What little we do share in common is hardly enough to make us drinking buddies. So we’ve settled on rivalry.

But certain cruel twists of fate sometimes mean we’re rooting for you. Like last night. We wanted you guys to win. Really, we did. And our motivations may have been selfish, but I think we can both agree that we’re living in unusual times. Times that mean the Oil have two games left before the end of the regular season. Times that mean we’re trying to sneak into the top eight teams in the west. Times that mean even though it’s “spring” it’s still really frickin’ cold outside—cold enough to refrigerate our beer the natural way while we watch teams we wouldn’t normally watch duke it out.

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You guys took on VanCity yesterday. We eked out a win against you guys the night before and that was pretty devastating I know. We did it in your building. We did it in spite of the mouth-breathing “C” of Red booing every time a Calgary player fell or took a dive because you thought a penalty should have been called against the Oil. But come on, you guys. You’re pros. You’re pros and you gave up six goals to Van. And we’d probably be pretty ambivalent in any other situation. But you’re really messing with our playoff drive.

We don’t have much choice now but to hope you keep losing. There are a few scenarios we’ve worked out but this one is our favourite:

Edmonton wins its next two games for four points. Nashville only gets three points in its remaining three tilts. But here’s the kicker, Calgary. And you’re going to take this personally. Because it’s personal.

Since you’ve gone 4-6-0 in your last ten, we need you to lose to the Canucks again. And, in a perfect world, we’d like to see you end the season without winning a game from here till the end, but we don’t want to be petty. And then we need the Canucks to choke against the Avs, but you can let us worry about that.

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When that happens, Edmontonians will build a human pyramid on Churchill Square as a demonstration of our pride. No need for any collapsible laser-domes. A new arena will appear floating above the downtown core on a cloud, with ample parking and bus access for all citizens. Ticket prices will drop, so that even the homeless can go to games. The Utopia we’re trying to build up here in Central Alberta will be complete.

You haven’t completely cooperated with us, Calgary. But we know you’ll come through. You’re as curious as we are to see how the Oilers would do in the first playoff round. So thanks in advance. We appreciate your utter lack of effort.


DJ Spin Cycle

  • Flame-on-oil

    As it often goes in sibling rivalries, that fateful annual checkup arrives and its determined scientifically (although we had all known for some time), that the younger brother is finally taller (and likely gets more girls) than the older. Oddly, what the older brother does is tries to compensate by putting the younger down for irrelevant, arbitrary things, in an attempt to reinstate their dominance (read: whining about Calgary fans booing). They try to explain how things are going to get better (i.e. with a rink downtown), all the while ignoring the fact that the younger brother did that quite some time ago… for the Olympics that they hosted… just saying…

    For a displaced Calgarian, who has lived a few years in the Capital city (which remains so due to the extreme expense in moving the Legislature to Calgary), I can say that I enjoy Edmonton and Edmontonians. I love the festival atmosphere of the summer, and the welcoming nature of the people. The proximity to mountains isn't great, but thank god we have hockey to keep us entertained during the winter. And while nobody is too fond of that weird hippy cousin, Vancouver, I am still glad to see them keeping the Oilers out of the playoffs, so Edmonton doesn't get the idea that they're somehow better than Calgary.

    As an olive branch, I would like to offer the City of Edmonton (via one-way Greyhound ticket), the miraculous Mike Keenan. May he bring as much success to you as he has to Kristian Huselius' career.


    A team with a 50-goal scorer…err… almost 50…

  • fyvmvv

    Flame-on-Oil. I think you could be more appropriately named Boil-on-Ass of Human Race. In about 220 or so of your own words you have captured the reason I could not live in Calgary.
    When you drive out of the trailer park tomorrow on you way to the local Macdonalds to work you shift take this thought with you. Drive down to Calgary and wrap you arms around your 5 Stanley cups…Oh that's right you only have ONE. Okay, when you drive out of the trailer….

  • Little Fury

    Question for Flame-on-Oil: if the Flames are so good, why are they so bad? I mean, you're talking about a team that's in a fight for it's life down the stretch against teams like Robert Luongo and the injury-riddled and rookie-laden Oilers. Hardly a perfomance to crow about. And the best part is, the Oilers are young and have plenty of room to improve. Calgary, while still having a superior core, does not. So even if we lose, we win. El. Oh. El.

  • mAD~mOD

    Don't beg Calgary, it's better to lose after this run that to lick the Calgary teet and drop a yea's master, thank you master. Don't beg that team isn't worth it.

  • milli

    Awesome. You know the greatest thing about the Lames? How Sutter has locked up the core of his disfuncional, underachieving team for years to come!!!! Great work Sutter, your a lenend, Burke would be proud.

  • jay ohare

    Hey ilike your sympathetic letter wanting for our flames to fan the flames a little harder so use guys can make the playoffs too…well maybe next year eh boyz? u guys did do really well right at the playoff drive and u did beat us in our own city so hats off to you! but in the end the best man was left standing and that leaves you guys sitting on the bleachers cheering us on!