Saturday afternoons seem as good a time as any to think about people you have wronged during the week, confess what you have done and ask for forgiveness. Here goes nothing.
CONFESSION #1: DITCHING BILL RANFORD
Back when your ol’ pal Wanye was a tot, we were the self styled "biggest Ranford fan around." We lived and died with everything Ranford related. Playing street hockey? We call goalie and we are Ranford. Watching the game? Best believe there is going to be some Bill Ranford related cheering after every save.
The only Stanley Cup we were old enough to remember was in back 1990. When the Oilers won and Ranford won the Conn Smythe we almost passed out with joy. That next winter we saved up snow shovelling money an bought ourselves a Bill Ranford jersey. Months later we were able to get it autographed by The Man himself.
"To Wanye," it read "your friend, Bill Ranford."
This jersey meant more to a pre-pubescent Wanye than any sane adult could imagine. Much like the Roch Voisine produced cartoon "the sweater" we wore it everywhere. School, street hockey, practice at minor hockey and of course when we watched Oilers games. This thing got mega ratty as the years wore on, but we refused to get a new one.
THE BIRTH OF BEEF
Years later the Oil traded Ranford to the Bruins for stupid Mariusz Czerkawski, brutal Sean Brown, and a 1st Round Pick in 1996 Draft that was ruined when the Oilers inexplicably drafted Matthieu Descoteaux.
L’il Wanye was so angered by this trade that we took the time to write an angry letter to GM Glen Sather, ripping him a new one for ruining the team and trading the greatest goaltender in the history of the game. At the same time we swore a blood oath to anyone who would listen that we would never have another Oilers Jersey with a player on the back.
14 years later the world is a very different place. Ranford is a goaltender coach for the LA Kings. We still follow the OIl with the same dedication as we did so long ago and have kept our word about no other players on the jersey. Although the Oil have tricked us into buying every jersey they have made – home and away, retro and the hilarious third jersey from years back – they are all blank on the back in homage to #30.
And then we attended the season opener against the Flames.
Prior to the game we were crushing back some BLs at the Pint with a buddy. "You know," we slurred, "if that Eberle does anything awesome in this first game, we have half a mind to go get his jersey." Caring little, our friend asked "does that mean you are going to retire that stupid grudge you have against the Oil and finally put Bill Ranford to bed?"
The silence in the air spoke to the fact that change was coming.
Several Rexall Beers later, Eberle scores the goal of the millenium. For show we stood up in our seats, started screaming and ran downstairs, sped past the usher and tore to the Oilers store. If we were going to do this we needed to do it fast.
Straight to the ATM to get out the money.
A quick pit stop for a courage beer.
Straight to the Oilers Store.
Straight to the cashier where we lied and said we were a season ticket holder to get a discount, pausing only to snap a quick picture to mark the occasion. We ran back top speed up to our seats still screaming and sat back down to watch the game.
In less than 10 minutes we had put the beef to bed.
"Son," a man sitting behind our seat leaned over and said "that has to be one of the dumbest things I have ever seen. Did you just run down and buy an Eberle jersey because he scored that goal?" "Yes and also to get another beer" we replied.
We are so sorry Bill Ranford. We have to confess that we have moved on past our worship of your goaltending might. We would like to thank you for taking the time to sign an anonymous jersey for some kid almost 20 years ago. It meant more than you could possibly imagine.
But we have now moved on.
Jordan Eberle has taken your place.
CONFESSION #2: ROOMMATE AT WANYE MANOR
For those of you who could care less and therefore need a refresher, we live with two roommates in stately Wanye Manor. A den of empty beer cans, pizza boxes and unwashed laundry it also features a two car garage which for some strange reason is slightly undersized.
As a result we have to shoe horn in the two whips in the garage and squeeze past the pile of bags of empty beer cans to get out of our car. This morning as we were leaving the Manor to come into Nation HQ we got distracted and rubbed fenders with our roommates truck.
The length of both of our vehicles now sport scratches that can be seen from space. Our roommate is quite well to do and smashing the Wanye Mobile™ does about ten fold the damage to his vehicle as it does to ours.
Best part: he is out of town working for the week. We know that he reads the Nation daily so we thought we would confess to this hate crime on the Nation, in front of all of fellow Citizens so he can’t get mad in front of everyone.
We have seriously smashed up your whip dude. Ours is smashed too, which is of little consolation to you but we definitely got you as good as you got us.
Saturday confessions complete.