GDB XL: Battle of the Dregs

The last 24 hours have been sobering for citizens of the Nation. From Brownlee’s indictment of Oilers’ management to Willis heaping on the shame, things look grim. What looks even more grim are a few Oilers fans so readily leaping off the bandwagon, so let’s get a few things straight, shall we?

Under no circumstances does a true fan abandon ship. We complain, we lament, we gnash our teeth. But we stand firm on the deck of this sinking ship. The Dive for Five doesn’t stem from a desire to suck. It stems from a desire to return to the glory days of playoff runs and cup wins. DFF is rooted in the sad-but-true knowledge that in order to be awesome, there have to be sacrifices.

(By the way, that image was provided to us by Nation citizen Gerald R. Ford.)

So while some of you reconsider your season-ticket purchases and pay-per-view subscriptions, remember this: the Oilers will be good again. However, just like Andy Dufresne from the Shawshank Redemption, we have to crawl through a tunnel of poop in order to get there.

I’m sorry, that reference came out of nowhere.

Just for Leafs

While the Leafs haven’t fared much better than the Oilers this season (they’re 14-17-9), they’re still three points ahead of the Mighty Oil. Which means tonight, we’re all paying to watch bottom-of-the-barrel hockey. I find no solace in the Oilers’ home record (8-10-2) or the Leafs’ road record (7-9-4) either. This could go either way.

However, I’m going to err on the side of optimism. The Oilers have lost seven games in a row. This streak needs to end, and I’m thinking right f@%king now. In the Oilers’ two meetings against Toronto last season, they won. (I was off on this. My bad.) It remains to be seen whether or not we can do so on home ice against a Burkefied Leafs Squad.

Les Olympiques

I’m sure a lot of you were sitting at your radios or in front of the television listening to the extremely drawn-out Olympic Mens Hockey roster announcement earlier this morning. There were very few surprises here: neither Sheldon Souray nor Dustin Penner made the team.

Still, I’m pretty happy that Yzerman picked the guys he did — and that he didn’t pick a single Calgary Flame to play defense. I’ll take my Schadenfreude where I can get it. Misery loves company and all that.

Take a look at the entire roster on TSN.ca.

Note that both Lubomir Visnovsky and Denis Grebeshkov will be in the Olympic for their countries, Slovakia and Russia respectively.

Last words

It’s hard to watch, but loyal fans will keep the faith… or keep the DFF alive. Tonight, the Oilers do it on PPV, and they win it 3-1 as well.

Trust me.

  • bingofuel wrote:
    Oilers brass went into this season with blinders on. Sure, we couldn't have predicted the sheer amount of injuries, but as fans we were fooling ourselves to think we had more than an outside chance at the playoffs as well, it pains me to say. Hindsight, and all that.

    As fans, we've picked the Oilers as our team. To abandon them now just smacks of illegitimacy. A true fan recognizes that we're screwed, and will rail against management to turn the Oilers into contenders again. You don't just leave the party, cheer for someone else (or no one else) then come back when the getting's good.

    True fans sit through the bullshit and cling to the seemingly ridiculous notion (at least at this point in the season) that the sun will shine on the Oilers' insignia again.

    To me, that's what it means to be a true fan. Sitting through the crap and reaping the rewards of hanging in there. And when the team's fortunes do turn around, then those who stayed put have the satisfaction of saying they hung in there, while the bandwagon jumpers resurface with shin splints and shit-eating grins on their faces.

    Does it suck to be a fan right now? Hell yes, it sucks. But I love this team, I love this town and I'm not going to go cheer for the Canucks, or the Flames, or the Sharks, or the Caps or anyone else just because we're in the muck. Call me a masochist, call me naive. But fortune favours the naive masochists, as they say.

    Let's suck it up, and but our big-boy panties on, yeah? The season's in the shitter. But true fans will hang in there and reap the rewards of our eventual success.

    Sincerely,

    Angry Bingofuel.

    AMEN ANGRY BINGO!!

  • HE Pennypacker

    I can't really say too much, but I will say that both the Oilers and Flames make very little, if anything on PPV games. I'm sure the Oilers would prefer not to have them on PPV for that reason.

    As far as I know, of the three western Canadian teams, only Vancouver is profiting anything worthwhile for their games.

  • The Real Scuba Steve

    @ Bingofuel

    That was a really good article but can you blame the fans for jumping off the wagon when it seems from the Oil brass are looking like they focusing on next year already, just listen to Pat Quinn's post game interviews he seems that him and his coaching staff are pretty much on their own, it is hard to remain positive when we are headed to another season of missing the playoffs.

    • Also, sorry for not actually addressing any of your points. 😉

      Would you prefer management continue with the illusion that we have a snowball's chance in hell of making the payoffs, or should we get on with the business of turning the future Edmonton Oilers into playoff contenders?

      I don't know about you, but I'm sick of missing the playoffs, or being knocked out early.

    • Oilers brass went into this season with blinders on. Sure, we couldn't have predicted the sheer amount of injuries, but as fans we were fooling ourselves to think we had more than an outside chance at the playoffs as well, it pains me to say. Hindsight, and all that.

      As fans, we've picked the Oilers as our team. To abandon them now just smacks of illegitimacy. A true fan recognizes that we're screwed, and will rail against management to turn the Oilers into contenders again. You don't just leave the party, cheer for someone else (or no one else) then come back when the getting's good.

      True fans sit through the bullshit and cling to the seemingly ridiculous notion (at least at this point in the season) that the sun will shine on the Oilers' insignia again.

      To me, that's what it means to be a true fan. Sitting through the crap and reaping the rewards of hanging in there. And when the team's fortunes do turn around, then those who stayed put have the satisfaction of saying they hung in there, while the bandwagon jumpers resurface with shin splints and shit-eating grins on their faces.

      Does it suck to be a fan right now? Hell yes, it sucks. But I love this team, I love this town and I'm not going to go cheer for the Canucks, or the Flames, or the Sharks, or the Caps or anyone else just because we're in the muck. Call me a masochist, call me naive. But fortune favours the naive masochists, as they say.

      Let's suck it up, and but our big-boy panties on, yeah? The season's in the shitter. But true fans will hang in there and reap the rewards of our eventual success.

      Sincerely,

      Angry Bingofuel.

      • BarryS

        I agree with what you say. One thing, though, R Brownlee has officially named me Naive, not sure I want to share the honour.

        Thinks. Oh well, Naivety likes company, but not to close. You can join the ranks of the Naive Ones.

        Used to be we went to games for the emotional wringer we went through, living and dying with every pass, shot, or save. Who cared what the players made, they made more than we did, even in the seventies when I started watching. So now they make a whole lot more than we do, and every fan is an apprentice accountant (and we know all know the reputation of accountants as fun guys to be with, and now even if they win, we critize how they won, rate the goals as lucky or flukes, and don't even enjoy the rare elixer which of late is a even more rare win.

        Can't for the life of me see the sense of worrying about games which won't even be played for months, to say nothing of arguing in December in terms of life and death who would be the best player to draft in June. Seems to me there will be more than enough time to argue draft choices in April, May, and June when everybody elses team is in the playoffs and our guys are playing golf, fishing, looking for new places to live, etc.

  • Petr's Jofa

    I'm way beyond the Dive for Five. Finishing 26th or 27th right now would piss me off and I would blame Tambellini yet again for not doing enough.

    Instead of the 'Dive for Five', how about we 'Fall for Hall"?

    • Petr's Jofa

      I haven't watched much of the world jrs, but both time I've tune in, I've seen plays where I thought Eberle was going to get decapitated. Is puting himself in danger common with the way he plays or have I just seen 2 fluke plays? I just cringe and think that if he makes the big club next year, they might be carrying him off on a stretcher.

      • Petr's Jofa

        I don't think this is a serious problem for Eberle. His game doesn't revolve around speed which can often lead to open ice hits. He's got incredible awareness of whats around him and he is not wreckless. It's not fear of contact by any stretch, but instead he seems to have what I would classify as a healthy respect for the damage bigger opponents can do.
        I'm pretty sure I saw the same hits you mentioned and I was surprised and impressed that Eberle bounced up and didnt miss a beat. Hardly seemed effected at all.

  • Chris.

    Oilers PPV And Fun With Math:

    According to Allan Watt (Oiler VP Of Comminications) PPV is a service offered by the Oilers to enable fans to see games that would otherwise not be televised. ~Really? Not A cash grab?~ I digress…

    Also, according to Allan: It costs the Oilers an average of around $70 000.00 to produce a PPV special. Depending on the game: around 15 000 fans purchase the event.( Again as per Allan on Oilers Lunch)

    So let's see…. at either $13.95 or $15.95… or around $12 per game (if you buy all sixteen… lets guess a median price of $14.00 multiplied by 15 000 viewers. That's $210 000!

    It's fairly common to calculate the profitability of a venture by subtracting costs from total sales… say 210 000 – 70 000= $140 000. To express this a percentage return on investment capital you would take the total profit ($140 000) divided by the risk capital ($70 000) multiplied by 100= 200%. Wow. A 200% return. (Remember most of the $70 000 investment stays in the family anyway) I wish I could turn 70 large into 200+ in just one evening!

    My question to Allen: By aiming for a 200% profit margin on PPV's are you gouging Oiler fans… or,as you say, simply providing a service?

    • Reggie

      I'm not sure what your issue is ? It's simple, if you want to see the game, anti up. If you don't that's fine. Last time I checked the Oilers were being run as a business. Go watch it at the bar. That's the cost of 3 beers. I'm a season ticket holder and I would rather get the extra games. Thus, I pay for the HD PPV feed. In this case, I'm at the game as it is a home game.

      • Chris.

        This is why I comment on the matter. I also write a few angry e-mails, and encourage fellow fans to abstain from PPV. It's not hard to imagine that the bulk of the TV shedule will only be available via PPV in a few years time if the fan base shows a willingness to pay.

        I understand why they would choose to squeeze every possible dollar out of existing fans… But I wonder how you can gain new fans by making even the most basic form of access to Oiler hockey so expensive.

      • Bucknuck

        Demand hasan inflationary effect on price… and we are demanding.

        It's too bad that hockey is a business that preys on fan loyalty… it can only end in resentment if the fan does not get a reward… and only half the teams in the league can ever reward fans with a winning record.

      • Here is the free link for tonight's game..
        hxxp://www.channelsurfing.net/ or justintv

        I am humored with the excitement for the DFF,
        when it appears that the light at the end of
        tunnel seems positive in all this darkness.

      • Chris.

        No. Those numbers were from Allan. I didn't make them up. He was a featured guest on Oilers Lunch a several weeks ago during a particularly long string of PPV games.

    • Weren't the Canadian teams the ones that introduced PPV hockey games while they were all in danger of being relocated to Vegas, Kansas City, etc? It was clearly a way of generating extra revenue then, so I don't see how Watt can say it's "not a cash grab" while people are paying at least twice as much to watch them now as they were ten years ago.

      • Chris.

        Allan was quite indignant of the notion that he was "gouging" the fans. He spoke eloquently about how he was working extra hard to bring more Oiler hockey to the fans… Almost had me convinced until he let some numbers slip.

        Look. I know the Oilers are a business. I know the Oilers pay $60M in salary to players who play an 82 game regular schedule. I know Katz needs to recover that money at the gate, through advertising, TV deals, merchandising, and yes… even through PPV. But when you repeatedly charge to the absolute maximum of what your market can possibly bear, expect a backlash… and don't play the victim.

  • Anyone else going to the game tonight? I'll be the one getting drunk and booing at how awesomely futile our squad is. Shouldn't be too hard to find me.
    Either that or I'll be the guy wearing just his underwear getting dragged out of Rexall by my feet. Don't want to mess with tradition.

      • This is a very good point. Although if this game is anything like the game I went to last year, I'll be 3/4 in the bag before the puck drops. I guess I'll just take it a period at a time and see what happens.
        I'll probably spend more money buying Oilers merch than beer anyway. It's still a good idea to get both a home and away MacIntyre jersey right?

    • I thought you were on the Oilers "Do not seat" list? Although, maybe you're just on the bigger "drunks of interest" list, despite the fact that your dad called Patrick Laforge a few months ago to warn him you were probably going to a game over Christmas, and that it mighty get ugly.

  • Dyckster

    Back in the summer they were bragging predicting that there may be 3 d-men from the flames on oly roster. What a downer it must be in cowtown today. They read someones message on the team this morning saying this will just piss off those flames players and make them better down the stretch this season. Probably not. Flames are what they are, just a mediocre team. I am pleased that doan or smyth arent on roster. They are good soldiers for canada, but its good to see they changed formula this time around

    • hmmm. 15.95 ….beer or PPV….this is a tough one. Some amazing beers can be purchased for 15.95.

      ~take the best day of your life & put it in your mouth~

      As I have not watched any games due to my busy xmas family juggling tonight is not the night to spring to buy the game.

      I will instead start on my 6' Under boxset or Assassin's Creed 2.

        • Hey !….now, now…..Assassins Creed 2 is a exceptional game my friends. Let's not get hasty. As for the game tonite ——who would want to waste anything over $ 1 on this shameful team ? I can watch a good movie, play an exciting game on the box, have an even better glass of wine or beer, and read a good intelligent book by the fireside. Now that's quality time. The best bang for the buck is Golden Bears hockey. Essentially (as Stauffer put it) a WHL all-star team. Aren't we lucky that there's at least 1 winning organization in town ?

  • This will be the first PPV that I have not bought in several years. While I think this team brings more effort every night than we saw last year, long losing streaks do have an impact on enthusiasm.

    I grew up a leafs fan cause I am old and that is what we saw on CBC but have not been a fan for a long time. Bet there will be lots of Newfies (can I say that) at the game tonight.

  • Ender

    Mike Green didn't make the Olympic roster; I don't understand that.

    If the Oil manage to whiff again tonight, there is an excellent chance of setting a club record for consecutive losses. The schedule doesn't get easier for awhile, and 07's record of 12 straight losses is easily within reach.

    Bingofuel, just to be a troll can I point out that while XXXX is technically allowable, the correct representation for 40 is actually XL? And know that I say that with love; if the only thing a guy can pick at in your article is the structure of your numerals, you know you wrote a pretty good article. 🙂

    • Ender, to quote my father on Christmas morning when he opened the gift I gave him, "F@$k you." Naw, I'm kidding. Dad loved his present. 😛

      I have to admit, I went with XXXX because I've never seen it before and I thought I was starting a sexy, super-pornographic trend. Then I realized this is a hockey website. Also, I'm a moron.

      Consider it changed, you wonderful, wonderful man!

  • Dyckster

    @RossCreek,

    With all due respect, Columbus is as inept as we currently are. He's being placed on waivers for a reason, if he can't help them, how could he possibly help us?

    • I'm not suggesting he'd come in here and lead the Oil to the playoffs. But at 6-3, isn't he perhaps a fit with this club? At least worth the shot? I mean he's younger than Jacques, Stone, Stortini & Pouliot, and only a year older than Cogliano & Brule. He played on Canada's gold medal winning World Jr. team in '06 with Cogliano. What's the worst that could happen if they picked him up?

      • Dyckster

        No, you're right, at this point adding him would not make us any worse off than we already are. We obviously need to improve though, not make acquisitions that will take us laterally. 0 points in 21 games this year for Mr. Blunden…who's spot would you give him? Those gents you mentioned are all decent size fellows, kind of apples to apples isn't it? I'm not sold on this D45 idea, but I don't think this type of move would benefit The Oil at all imo.

  • Shapeman

    The Leafs can shoot the puck if you remember the amazing roli 58 save performance last month. I'm gonna say 3-2 Oil but Leafs are gonna outshoot us cause are defense are incapable of cleanly moving the puck out of our end…..

  • cableguy - 2nd Tier Fan

    Horcoff didnt make the team??? With his sick skills!! Jeez what a rip! not

    Leafs 5 Oil 1 Unfortunately Leafs actually skate hard and back check and hit.