A city in ruins

We had the chance to read Brownlee’s uplifting article a few days back and we had another reason to be happy we left town — we are unfamiliar with the locations of suicide stations over here in Europe and so the show had to go on.

And are we glad we chose to soldier on! How the tides have changed! Four straight wins! Lubo on fuego! Fourth line domination! It makes us want to commandeer a flight home and begin preparatory planning for a Stanley Cup riot/parade! You there — order some streamers, illegal Mexican fireworks and disposable cameras to capture all the soon-to-be-bared bosoms. Step lively mind you! The Oil are back!

Or maybe not

How apropos that the next stop on the Wanye 2009 World Tour™ hath done brung us to Rome — a city more famous for what it was in the past than what it is today.

People come to Rome largely to look at the old ruins and exclaim in wonder "Wow, this place must have been awesome once upon a time."

Romans — now called Italians, apparently — will try and tell you that it’s still pretty radical, but the only real thing it has that makes it stand out from other big European cities is the ruins of its former glory.

"Remember when Rome used to rule the world?" these ruins seem to suggest. "Well, now the Coliseum looks like hell, there hasn’t been a Caesar in years and the only Roman soldiers you see in the streets are actors that charge two euros to take a novelty picture."

*Picture missing as it wasn’t worth 2 Euros*

We hope to high heaven that the sun hasn’t officially set on the once glorious empire of the Edmonton Oilers. Will tourists one day wander around looking at the remains of RX1 and remembering better days?

"This is where post-season hockey was once played," guides might proclaim pointing to the banners that flutter high in the rusted rafters, as actors dressed as champion Oilers players pose with tourists for a couple bucks a pop.

Mildly depressing thought isn’t it?

The arena in Rome blows

Consider this our rousing support for Kay-Z’s proposal to build a new arena. Our words may not carry the same weight as a David Staples endorsement but dammit we are out seeing the world! We have comparable scenarios with which to compare scenarios!

Take a gander at that pic above. Would you want to take your life in your hands and take that staircase to your seats? How is this facility supposed to host sporting matches, rock concerts or other large-scale eventery? Where is Caesar supposed to put on his games to benefit the glory of the Roman Empire? It can’t be in this obsolete pile of bricks and the citizens of Rome have no one to blame but themselves. Would it kill them to brace some of the crumbling sections or slap a coat of paint on this thing? Huh? HUH?

This stadium is in absolute ruin. Broken seats, crumbling aisles and a completely inadequate luxury box count for a facility this size. This is what happens when you don’t build a new facility every generation or so, Nation. Sure, you can get away with it for a few hundred years thinking "Oh, this is sufficient for the time being," but sooner or later team revenues fall, fans become less willing to sit on crumbled bricks instead of plush Corinthian leather seating and all of a sudden BOOM! your empire crumbles to dust and your team can’t win a game to save its life.

A plea

For heavens sakes start building a new arena ASAP. Use all the government money you need to Kay-Z, don’t even worry. That’s what a three per cent provincial sales tax is for.

Isn’t that right, super sexy lingerie mannequin that a drunken Wanye mistook for a real woman, only to cross the street only to be bitterly disappointed by?

Totally.

  • Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

    Thanks for sharing. Super cool read.

    Can we assume next stop is in Spain for a bull fight? I can see some Oilers parallels there too.
    Plus, I heard you can have a one-in-a-lifetime very special dinner after that kind a show…

    Anyway: to your 'let's-build-the-new-arena-sooner' pitch: have you considered that it might be worth just keeping the Rx until it reached the Coliseum state in order to increase our tourism revenues in the future?

    Wouldn't that be neat: Edmonton, Rome of the Americas 2205 – come celebrate 200 years since the last Game 7!

    Keep up the good travels. Ave Wanye!

    • BarryS

      We think we have it bad trying to build a colosseum, can you imagine the outcry if they decided to renovate the one in Rome to it's former glory? For one thing, the cost, for another they'd have to disassemble half of medieval Rome to get the marble back.

  • I'm a Scientist!

    I can't help but have the "Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego" theme song in my head when i read these stories of world dominiation. Good times, but i would like the music to stop please!

    *bangs his head on a pillow trying to dive the Diego Demons away*

    NOTE: Yes, I used a pillow… got a problem with that tough guy?

  • BarryS

    For some reason the built the tube stations with sharp turns right before the stations. Those inclined can feel the rush of the wind and hear the sound and step onto the track just as the train appears out of a hole barely bigger than it. For some reason they pick rush hour so thousands of people can't get home.

    They have cameras and all, but timing beats technology everytime it seems. I guess they chose it because the bridges aren't very high and it is more certain than jumping anyway.

    • Jamie B.

      Nothing in the world makes you feel like more of a scumbag than cursing some poor schmuck for ending his life in a manner that disrupted your day. But god, those "a person on the tracks" delay announcements were so much more annoying than the "suspicious package" ones.

      • BarryS

        Only being on holidays, it was only a small problem personally, but from the sighs and grumbling around me, you'd think everybody thought this was only to inconvience them personally. It taught me one thing though, before going anywhere check the guide to see how many different ways there was to get where you're going and leave an hour before you thought you needed to.

        Nothing surprises me after the time in london I saw a lady miss the bus then drop her groceries and start kicking them all over the street. Knocking the ice cream out of her kid in the strollers mouth wasn't to cool though. Like at the time a bus came by about every three minutes, before all the cuts etc.

  • Wanye – you won't even recognize your beloved Oilers Hockey Squadron when you return. All of a sudden, these guys think they win games.

    I'm sure by the time you're back, things will have returned to normal and half the team will be injured/disinterested.

    • Travis Dakin

      We hope to high heaven that the sun hasn't officially set on the once glorious empire of the Edmonton Oilers. Will tourists one day wander around looking at the remains of RX1 and remembering better days?

      "This is where post-season hockey was once played," guides might proclaim pointing to the banners that flutter high in the rusted rafters, as actors dressed as champion Oilers players pose with tourists for a couple bucks a pop.

      Mildly depressing thought isn't it?

      Uh….. Take a look at this: http://oilers.nhl.tv/team/console.jsp?catid=5&id=53817

  • @Jamie and BarryS

    …Oh….so a suicide station is another word for train station. Ok…I get it. yah.

    When he said "suicide station" my mind immediately went into my catalog of Futurama references and I came up with the image of the very first Futurama episode where Fry almost stepped into a Suicide Booth to end it all.

    Look it up. It's true.

  • When did Oilersnation become a travel blog? I'm sick of reading about Wanye traveling around Europe like he's the first person on Earth to ever go there. Booooorrrrinng!! And lame. awwwww I feel better now.