SATURDAY CONFESSIONS

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.

There.

Saturday confessions complete.

  • Evilstu

    I have NEVER owned an Oilers jersey with a name on the back….I could never commit.

    That may just change this year.

    Pretty stoked about some of our players.

    As a full grown adult, it seems silly to do so, but the kid in me is screaming to go out a get one.

      • Travis Dakin

        I could never wear a name on the back of my jeresey. It’s just too heart breaking when they leave. They always leave. Having said that though, I have adopted #17 as my official number for everything since I was a small child. Rec hockey teams, customized Seahawks jersey, lotto numbers, bank pins, official age to start everything, legal peeping limit…. uh wait….

        You get the idea. It was my way of paying respect to the second greatest Oiler ever. However, I have nothing but respect for your choice here. That goal made me question a lot of things about myself…. Oh Eberle, you have dangled your way right into my heart.

  • Cervantes

    I don’t think I’ll ever get my McFarlane 3rd fitted up with a name and number, but I have an RBK home and a CCM away, and I’ll tell ya what they’re getting:

    Clutch
    #14

    Calder
    #91

  • Jamie B.

    Wanye, I salute you. Buying jerseys crested with players who are inevitably A) busts, B) shipped out of town when they get too expensive, C) injury prone, D) demand to be traded or E) all of the above is ABSOLUTELY an Oiler fan tradition.

    Or at least that’s what I tell myself when I contemplate the fact that I am the only person on the planet with a Mike York jersey. HELL YEAH.

  • Dutchscooter

    @ Wanye

    I need your help my good friend… I have a beautiful 30th anniversary Oilers Home Jersey from last season that I received for Christmas (my wife…she’s a keeper!).

    Now the Dilemma, who’s name/number shall I have crested on the back? I began with thinking of 91 – for obvious reasons. By far the coolest name out of the three. Then Eberle had to go and “dangle his way into my heart”! Now I’m starting to lean towards #14. But hoe can I turn my back on good of #4???

    I’m lost

    • Jamie B.

      Careful. If you get a 30th anniversary jersey crested with a player who didn’t play in the 30th anniversary season, I will judge you. Assuming it has the shoulder patch, that is. If not, go wild! But I’m a very judgemental person.

      You could always wait a while, just because those are beautiful jerseys and it would suck if some day you didn’t want to wear it anymore. I’m not putting #89 on mine until Gagner signs a long-term deal. Yes, I might be waiting for a while.

      • I had a shiney new 30th anniversary Jersey for Christmas and with as much planning that goes into conceiving a baby on a pub crawl, I went and got a “Souray” on the back. Now I’m too afraid to go out in public with it. It was good until big sexy got too sexy for his trainers/team/boss. Should have got Visnovsky’s number….. oh wait.

    • fuck off

      Should be number 914.

      But aside from that I took some time deciding of what number and name to wear on the back of my “new look” home jersey that I bought after they were released those few years ago. After watching a few abysmal seasons I settled on the one underrated man on the team to rep that truly deserved the props and praise as, to me, he was/is the unsung hero of the Oil drop.

      #5 Smid

      (It also helped that the first year I played hockey I wore the same number and played D as well.)

  • fuck off

    Congratulations on the new jersey, wanye. After reading your article I quickly ran to the closet and had a long hug with my shield, petting the beautifully stitched #89 and those big bold letters G-A-G-N-E-R. It is my second jersey to have lettering on it. The first being my retro style that I picked up at allsport replay for 20 bones on the first day of that glorious cup run in 06. It said arnott with #7. After a quick removal of the name (only one #7 in my eyes), my playoff jersey was born. I can still smell all the beer and wing sauce. Oh how I long to wear it again.

  • Hamburgler

    And also, the number should be 109. Terrible math and spelling, I’m on a roll today! Where are you when I need you John Molson…. Oh, there you are….

  • @Dutchscooter

    You are an autobody angel. I may just take you up on that.

    @Jamie B

    See I wouldn’t consider a York jersey to be a fail. He was a good player and it reminds us of different days with different heroes. I think its awesome to see all the old jerseys at Rexall.

    @DDP

    Clearly I am biased, but I think an Eberle jersey is the way to go. The guy is 11 years old, a good ol Canadian and should be here for a long time. It’s a big decision, let me know how you make out.

    @Cory Dakin

    If you hadn’t lit Edmonton on fire some time ago and had your brother tell the tale on the Nation I would track you down and punch your face. How dare you Sir? How dare you indeed!

  • the oilers are about as entertaining as watching ricky ray throw a touchdown…once in every 24 attempts, something good finally happens…and milhouse and brownlee settle your feud already…the future is promising up north, i will give you that…to suggest your the cat’s ass, well we all know there is something different in the air up there…refineries?

  • Dutchscooter

    My face is ripe for punching, I’ve seen it. Just don’t knock the beers out of my hands. That’d be the equivalent of pissing of the incredible hulk. And I’m talking Lou Ferrigno incredible hulk…. That means trouble.

    And I will be back to tear that city up again very soon, with 75% more “epic-ness”.

  • fuck off

    @Wanye

    He was the last major award winner on our beloved Oilers*. And he also sent an 8 year old Cory an autographed picture when he wrote him a letter in the summer of 1990. He also did a bang up job as the goalie double in the movie “Miracle”. He is still the man in my eyes.

    *Yes, I’m aware Ethan Moreau won the King Clancy in 2009, but, come on, who are we trying to kid?

  • Oilers Ninja

    Well Nation, I just got home saw may truck, yelled to the skies and then read this post. Damn you Wanye!!!!!!!

    But you are forgiven*

    *you owe my 25 Rexall beers, yup 25.

  • Oilers Ninja

    @Zizek

    I also have my own Souray jersey from last Christmas. Though for me it is not embarrassment that keeps it off my back. I am bitter about the whole situation. Souray shouldn’t have made those comments. I was a fan of his and he broke my heart.

  • Oilers Ninja

    Hey Wayne,

    I don’t know if they have the ATB machines at the Oilers’ games or not, but if you can stumble around and find them (used them at the Oil Kings game last night), they are only $2.00 service charge over the $2.25 Cash N’ Go ones. IF they do indeed supply them, and you start using them over the CnG ones – over time you will save enough money to buy more beer.

    I’ve honestly de-railed myself and lost my point here, came in here to totally say something completely different and ended up with the message above.

    Apologies in advance.