Picking the goat

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Picking the Goat for the 2009-10 hockey season is almost more difficult than picking the Star. Firstly, one has to take a look at the team’s overall chances and the likelihood someone is going to take multiple blamings as the season wears on. The better your team, the less likely your goat is going to take a beating.

Say you are one of the eleven remaining fans of the Harlem Globetrotters.You have a reasonably good chance that your team won’t lose a single game all season and odds are that the blistering basket shoot-scoring of the Washington Generals won’t keep you up late on most nights. In this instance you have no real need for a Goat as success seems assured.

Now say you are a fan of the local ice hockey squadron, the Edmonton Oilers. Following their liver shredding Cup run in 2006, the Oilers have amazingly missed the playoffs three years in a row. This has not gone over well in the OilersNation where fans have become surely at best and murderous at worst. We had a long discussion with some of the boys about the temperature of the crowds that will enter RX1 this coming season. What will the prevailing mood be? Hopeful hope? Anger filled anger? Something inbetween like tepid indifference? It really could go either way.

The purpose of picking a Goat is to be able to hang your hat on an Oiler and blame him for the entire buffet table of bitter tasting woe that the Oilers serve to us on such a regular basis of late. When you name a particular player as your Goat he becomes the whipping boy for the entire team and a theraputic release for all things bad.

Ales Hemsky whiffs one? Damn the Goat for passing him the puck in such an off tempo manner. Oh it wasn’t the Goat that passed him the puck? Damn his poor positional play causing a hurried pass. Goat boy wasn’t on the ice for the whiff? Curse his bench sitting technique all to hell!

Now should your Goat actually cause some sort of unfortunate incident on the ice? Now you’re talking! Friends witnessing the gaffe will often look to you and say “good call going with ___ as your Goat this season. That guy is twelve shades of shit.” You can then sit back, smug in your predictory skills, almost taking pleasure at the brutalness of Senor Goato.

This is the way we pass the winter Nation. Until we figure out a way to keep Edmonton 24 degrees year round, this is the best we can do.

2009-2010 Goat Selecto

Last year we famously picked Dennis Grebeshkov to be the Goat for the season. Though some in the Nation figured his dramatically improved play, team leading plus/minus (or something) and (something something) meant he had turned the corner as an NHL player they couldn’t be more wrong. While we were focused on his terrible play, worse attitude and awful results we found that we actually began to truly dislike him as the season wore on.

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Think we hated Grebs last year? Check back now that it is 2010 and Goatie McGrebeshkov has signed a 3 million dollar deal. A 3 million dollar deal!? Has the entire world gone crazy? What in the sweet holy hell is going on? Remember when Grant Fuhr signed that crazy free agent contract with the Leafs? What did he make, like $1.8 MM or something? Now Grebeshkov makes 3 million? How do you think that makes Grant Fuhr feel? We will tell you how it makes Grant Fuhr feel. Not very good! And he has found a second life on the celebrity golf circuit.

No, no, no. This won’t do at all. We love Grant Fuhr. Screw you Grebs, looks like you are up as the Goat deuce years in a row.

One final note

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It’s (Preseason) Game Day Bitches.

*runs off to liquor store, because if the hobos downtown have taught us anything it’s that unemployed people drink whenever the hell they please*