Breaking up is hard to do. I remember the first time a girl broke up with me, and after the initial blow to my ego, I vividly remember that I felt relieved. There wasn’t going to be any tears. I guess I wasn’t that into her, but it is funny to recall the sense of relief of not having to be the breaker upper.
Tears are always the worst part when you are the one doing the breaking up. You tell them you aren’t feeling it anymore, and suddenly the waterworks come, then the guilt overrides you and you find yourself staying in the relationship for a few more weeks.
We’ve all been there, well, at least most of guys have. I’m not sure if a guy crying convinces a girl to stick around. I’m certain Wanye could enlighten us on that scenario…but I digress.
The first 14 Oilers games have been very stressful for you the fans.
Anger, disappointment, confusion, heartache and tinges of depression have engulfed you for the past 30 days. You honestly believed this year would be better. The Oilers told you it would be different.
Craig MacTavish’s passionate speech about Bold moves had your loins burning with excitement. You and the Oilers were finally on the same page. Your relationship was on the road to repair. You told the Oilers you needed them to change and they did.
You couldn’t deal with their indecisiveness any longer, so they got rid of Steve Tambellini.
You asked for more commitment, and the Belanger Triangle was bought out.
The one part of them that you always blamed; Horcoff, was traded.
You didn’t want to deal with their baggage anymore, so Pettrell, Whitney, Peckham, Smithson and Hordichuk were flushed from the roster.
You wanted them to be stronger so Paajarvi was traded for Perron. They got grittier, and added an accent. You were giddy.
From July to September you were satisfied and felt secure in your relationship. The Oilers had listened to your concerns and addressed them. What more could you ask for. They were impressing you.
The preseason came and the so did victories. You hadn’t felt like this in months. You started watching games in sweatpants instead of jeans so your excitement was more comfortable.
You started trusting the Oilers again, and then, like a well-placed kick to the junk combined with a knife in the back, the regular season happened.
Suddenly, they reverted to their old habits and as the losses mounted so too did your heartbreak.
The last 30 days have been tough, but I never realized how tough they were for Oilersnation until I received the following "Dear Oilers" letter from Joshua.
First of all, let me apologize for taking the cowardly way out and doing this via a letter., We’ve been together so long now that I knew if I did it to your face you’d look at me with those Oil Drop eyes, remind me of the way things used to be, and I’d lose my nerve.
My needs aren’t being met in this relationship anymore.
The red light isn’t going off for me.
There just isn’t enough action in the crease.
It seems like we never go out on a decent power play together anymore.
I don’t feel supported in our own zone, and you forgot to kill our last penalty together!
I’ve loved and supported you through thick and thin, for richer or poorer, and even though I can’t afford to take my kids to the game and share them with you, I always felt like we had a great connection.
But there has to be a limit.
I still care about you and wish only the best for you.
Make changes to be better, but do it for you, don’t do it for me.
Until then, I think we should see other teams. Maybe it will re-ignite the passion that’s gone from our relationship.
Maybe one day we can both look back on this and laugh. I’ll just sit in my corner and look longingly at the standings, thinking of how things were.
I love you.
Yours in despair and loneliness,
That. Was. Deep. Powerful. Poignant. Touching.
I’m sure Josh isn’t alone, but will he be able to stay away? Many have tried, most have failed, and that is what is so frustrating about sports.
We’d never let a woman/man treat us that way, yet we continually forgive our favourite team.
For years I’ve tried to breakup with the Miami Dolphins, but every August I find myself looking at their roster, then at their schedule and I get sucked back in.
Joshua, I wish you all the best, and hope that you can be stronger than the rest of us. We say we will leave, but we never do.
Be strong, be brave and become a catalyst for change.
P.S… No one will judge you when you come back. We’ve all been there.