Now that we are approaching 45 hours since we stopped partying as though our life somehow depended on it, we can start to reset our brain-o-meter from “Vegas” to “reality.” For those of you who were fortunate enough not to be subjected to our drunken Twittering we went down to LV as part of a 31 man crew, in town to celebrate three simultaneous bachelor parties. We gambled, drank like the Russian Navy on temporary shore leave, unsuccessfully tried to bargain with Ladies of the Night and generally behaved like the type of degenerates that have allowed Steve Wynn’s bank account to swell up bigger than Dustin Penner in the offseason.
As part of our vacation we placed our 5th annual bet on the Oilers to win the Cup. We can tell you that the Bitter Disappointment of 2006© was impossibly magnified by the $10 bet ticket that was on our fridge the entire season. It just sat there for almost 9 whole months, judging us. “All it takes is one Cup win Wanye and this rich bounty of 500 plus dollars is all yours.” We alternately yelled and kissed that ticket as the season wore on, until the climactic drunken-tearing-into-shreds post G7 loss.
But this article isn’t about the disappointment of 2006 – it’s analyzing the possible disappointment of 2010.
Placing the bet
Saturday afternoon we walked up to the Sports Book at the MGM Grand to place our $20 bet on the Oilers to win the Stanley Cup. We were shocked – shocked!- that the NHL odds for next season weren’t occupying a prominenent place on the immense odds board being scrutinized by the gambling zombies in attendance. A wide swath of society had turned out to place sports wagers – from the dangerously skinny to the morbidly obese, from all walks of life and every economic station on the line. There they were, milling about and bathed in the warm glow of screen after screen of betting odds.
Once we had made it to the front of the startingly long line, we demanded to place our bet on the Edmonton Oilers to win the Stanley Cup in the 2009-10 season. “The who?” asked the bored lady sitting in the betting cage. “Why the greatest team on Earth my good woman – the Edmonton Oilers” we calmly replied. “Don’t y’all wanna see the odds list first?” she helpfully queried. “Ma’am,” we countered, “simply take this American Currency and place it directly on the shoulders of one Mr. Pat Quinn and one Mr. Tom Renney. It’s going to be OK I can assure you.”
“So ya’ll, basically throwing y’all money away?” our newly minted mortal enemy absently asked as she punched the requisite information into her computer. Shocked at her ignorant attitude we tried to explain the sheer genius of the wager. “Well see, what you need to remember is th-” we began before being interrupted. “Cawse at thirty-five to one y’all placing your money on a lawngshawt…”
It was at this point – when a lady whose very employment depends on people placing risky bets calling us out – that we launched into a rant describing of the long road to ruin the Oil have been on of late and made attempts to tell this uninterested stranger how the Vegas odds are incalculably wrong. “Listen honey” the lady drawled, after humoring our impassioned pleas on behalf of a team half a world away, “I just take these here bets, I don’t make them odds.”
It got us to thinking
As we walked away with our betting ticket for next season we started to wonder what a reasonable expectation for next season will be for the Mighty Oilers. Don’t get us wrong – if you ask us how the Oilers are going to do next year we would shout “82-0 BITCH and four straight sweeps right to the Cup!” Then we would laugh heartily and fondly imagine some sort of parallel universe where the Oil are capable of this feat while furiously rubbing a rabbit’s foot for luck.
If someone dares to take exception with our prediction or sadly pats us on the shoulder, we will immediately punch them square in the face. But sometimes late at night, when we lie in our bed beneath the warmth of our Hanna Montana bedspread, we secretly wonder what a reasonable expectation for next year will be.
Really how good can we expect the Oil to actually be next season?
We always have the highest expectations – and rarely if ever do any of them fall short. But when it comes to the Oilers this season we are caught in a bit of a quandary. Last summer we were over optimistic – fresh off a barn burning run featuring nary a single Oilers veteran player. “Look at all these super rookies!” we can remember excitedly exclaiming to the Nation, “It’s a wonder that four separate Oilers aren’t nominated for the Calder Trophy this season!” Then we would laugh heartily and furiously rub a rabbit’s foot for luck.
This offseason we are dejectedly over pessimistic – or so the hope goes. We can’t understand how a team that was picked by some to win the division last year could so spectacularly mess the bed down the stretch to miss the playoffs. There is seemingly little fire in the belly of these 23 professionals. The entire time Dany Heatley was kicking our fair Team in the face, did you see any of the multi-millionaires currently employed by the Oilers publicly coming to the defense of the team?
How about you Shawn Horcoff? Did you come out and say “we will be fine without Heatley. Trust me and my $192 million dollar contract?.”
And you Captain Ethan Moreau. Were you holding a press conference the next day to discuss how wonderful the team is going to be next season regardless of a blockbuster trade?
Rest assured we are firmly in our seat at the front of the Oilers bandwagon. Even if they go 15-65-0-2 we will faithfully watch every game and spew venomous bile from our seats high up in RX1. If they go 65-15-0-2 we will sass talk that bastard TLP within an inch of his very life and proudly go about town telling anyone who will listen that “we knew it all along.”
Perhaps it’s time to start thinking about reasonable expectations for 2009-2010.