In an attempt to shake off the late-winter-damn-the-oil-suck blues we decided to go to Dallas last week and watch Erik Cole and his beloved Hurricanes play some southern hockey. One of our Wanye Goals™ in life is to see a game in all 30 cities in the NHL.
This is actually quite achievable given that we have:
a) no family
b) no assets
c) no interest in acquiring either a or b anytime soon
As a result of this lifestyle, American Airlines Centre was arena number 11 for your ol pal Wanye. We had given some serious thought to actually going to see Cole in Carolina but that is where *the thing* happened back in 2006. We shan’t set foot down there any time soon thank you very much. Instead we boarded the ol auto-gyro for the home of Slim Thug, Paul Wall and the Dallas Stars. For those of you who follow us on twitter you already know all of this and were unfortunately treated to a series of rambling picture attached tweets as we wandered around Texas. That’s being connected for you!
*dead silence among non twitterers*
Talking with fans
One of our favorite things to do when we go on a road trip to watch games is go and get in the face of the local fans. This is particularly entertaining when the Oil themselves aren’t playing in the game, yet we are all in the face of the fans with our Oilers gear, asking Oilers related questions and lecturing them on the many ways their local squadron pales in comparison to the greatest team on Earth.
We had one of our better encounters after being on the hunt all night for a Canes fan wearing a Cole jersey. Our original intention had been to buy him/her a beer and discuss our collective favorite hockey player. In the bar at the AA Center after the game, the OilersNinja spotted exactly that and we made a bee line for a 50-ish dude from Raleigh who had made his way to Texas to see Stars v Canes. It’s important to bear in mind at this point that we had already attended this St. Patty’s day block party at SMU earlier in the day:
In addition we had also gone for pre-game tequila shots at a place called La Condesa and had crushed a good half dozen hockey beers during the game.
In our mind the conversation went something like this:
WG: Good evening fellow Erik Cole fan. Care to sit and reminisce on our the hockey player for whom we share a common affiliation?
ColeFan: Of course my good man. Care to have a snifter of port whilst we converse?
In reality the conversation started something like this:
WG: BLARGGGGH! You love Erik Cole?? Me too, and I came here from way the hell up in Edmonton to see him play and remember when you idiots won the Cup in 2006? Were you able to tear yourself away from NASCAR to watch the game long enough to see them raise the Cup? You dirty SOB *hiccup* you don’t ev-
ColeFan: Uh, who the hell are you exactly? You smell like a bottle depot. Why are you so pale? When was the last time you saw the sun?
WG: Oh sorry! I guess you forgot *waves arms around wildly* that hockey was invented, refined and dominated by CANADIANS in CANADA. *assumes bar fight position while yelling unreasonably*
Luckily our boy Bruce was a good sort and was able to talk us down off the ledge and get us into a semi coherent state where we stopped weeping openly about Cole’s departure. Then he told us the most interesting story.
The Erik Cole Story
It’s little secret that Cole was very popular in Carolina. He had played there for a long time (insert stats here) and was a member of that damned Canes squad that won the Cup in 2006 after cheating and betting on themselves to win.* Little did we know though that ‘Canes fans actually credit Cole for the win in ’06. Our boy Bruce was shocked that we were an avid Erik Cole fan. As he put it: “I am surprised that you are a Cole fan. Did you know that everyone in Carolina basically gives him credit for the Canes being able to finally put away the Oilers in Game 7 of the finals? His return was a big inspiration and most of the team listed his return as the reason that Carolina was able to win the Cup. When he got traded to Edmonton my buddy and I laughed that it would be like if the Oilers had won the Cup that year and Pisani had been dealt to Carolina. We wouldn’t have wanted him in a Canes jersey and we were amazed the Oilers would even trade for him.”
Now obviously we were so shocked we needed to have a drink. After we had bought our boy Bruce a beer too, we continued our conversation and we laughed heartily at Pitkanen being a Cane and then brought Cole back up again. We explained to Bruce that whether Cole was the reason that the Canes had won the Cup or not, we had enjoyed him in Edmonton despite the fact he was having a tough time and that he seemed to be turning the corner when he got dealt.
Bruce was quick to put us in our place on that one too. “When Cole left all us Canes fans were in shock. That Pitkanen is no good” *to which we laughed heartily again* “and Cole was a big deal. But as the season wore on the rumors got louder and louder that he was coming back to Raleigh. Right around the time that the rumors got the loudest – mid February – was when Cole really turned it on so that he could get the deal he wanted which was back to the ‘Canes. When he returned it was though he had never left and it was all a bad dream.”
Bad dream? Stanley Cup winning inspiration? Showcasing himself for a trade? Had always intended to go back to Carolina? What in the sweet holy hell is going on here Nation?
If there is one thing we can’t stand it’s people who put their own names on the back of their Oilers’ jersey. If there is another thing we can’t stand it’s an unloyal sissypants who tries only when it suits his selfish needs. If Cole’s desire was to return to Carolina the entire time he was here then we say good riddance to disloyal rubbish.
So in conclusion screw you Erik Cole. You caused the Oil to lose the Cup, you came here on a temporary basis and used your Jedi Mind trickery to make us into fans. Then you stuck around for awhile, played well below your potential and bounced back to whence you came which your fans believe was your intention all along. Worse yet we personally picked you as our star for the year and defended you for close to 6 months.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, Erik Cole you’re dead to us.
*dusts of hands, tears off Erik Cole underwear and lights them aflame*
*this is true look it up
Sean Avery’s place
Whoa! See this pic right here? That’s Sean Avery’s condo in Dallas. Apparently it’s the most gigantic penthouse around complete with a half-sized NBA basketball court inside the condo. Apparently being a complete and utter asshole is a lucrative business. It puts a new and even more annoying spin on Avery who also has cribs in New York and LA. “Think I am a mean spirited hack” he could say “why don’t we settle this on the basketball court. The one inside my condo in Dallas.”