ROME BURNS: PART I

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So I am currently wrist deep in a new startup company and it
is going to be offered in many languages and this requires me to be on the road
all the time. It’s like the least difficult job I have ever had. But though I’m gone, my heart is buried 12 feet under Jasper Ave and 109 street and I
read all the articles, watch all the highlights and swear at my Oilers App on the regular. The Copper and Blue are and will be out of sight for the foreseeable future but they are not even close to be out of mind.

It is absolutely crushing my heart and soul how lost this
team has become. Everything sucks, everyone sucks and even my beloved Jordan
Eberle’s tears are no longer curing cancer completely, they just prolong a patient’s life an extra 100 years. The comments sections at OilersNation read
like a witch burning in Salem circa 1715 and twitter has so many
#herecometheOilers memes my phone turned off last time I searched the hashtag post
game.

It’s dark, dark, dark.

So like any good Oilers fan I have taken time out of my day
to sit down and think about how crappy things really are, what has gone wrong
and what can be done. That noise you hear is the people I am working on this
new app with saying “DAMMIT WANYE WE HAVE REAL WORK TO DO HOW DARE YOU TAKE A
WHOLE DAY OFF TO WRITE HOCKEY BLOGS?!” #becauseitstheOilers that’s why.

I’M NOT MALIBU

I wish I could be a calm all American hero like Malibu from American Gladiators. He can sit back with cosmic rays and a couple of brewskis and beautiful babes and let Mother Nature bring him back from a terrible kick to the noggin. Plus look at that head of hair and California tan – of course he can take it all in stride. Us Oilers fans have been kicked continuously without mercy in the baby bags for almost 9 straight years. We aren’t nearly as at peace with things.

I want to be cool like Malibu and say that I’m not affected by all of this the least. But it is an all you can eat buffet of shit around these parts and has been for too long. And I am getting tired of eating shit.

WHERE IS THE LOVE OILERS?

The Oilers being as shitanusly bad at the Ice Hockeys for as
long as they have has turned my already black heart into solid titanium fused
coal. Them being such losers for so long makes me feel like a loser in my day to day life. Which makes no sense but there you have it – I live and die with this team like all of us left on the bandwagon sadly do.

I don’t even remember what it was like to watch a hockey game that
mattered, much less the excitement of being in the playoffs. It has been moved
to my long term memory along with plotlines from Inspector Gadget episodes from
the early 90s, lyrics to the entire album of “12 inches of Snow” and cursive
handwriting.  

These past 9 years were my prime drinking years too. I could
have been such a good drunken playoff edition hockey blogger. I should have
been being hauled out of the Pint by the City Police for trying to kiss
everyone in drunken celebration from the Oilers tying up the series with the
Wild in April, 2011*  

I should have been
the guy encouraging the young ladies of Edmonton to flash their naughty bits on
Whyte Ave in the playoff run of 2013** Being the OilersNation guy might have
meant something to chicks if the bandwagon was full! GAH

MENDOZAAAAAA!

mendoza

Damn you Oilers – it was my God given right to have at least
two solid playoff runs screaming on Twitter by now. Reenacting elaborate game
day good luck rituals daily, wasting most of the work day in the process. Calling
in to Strudwick’s show post games and demanding to be allowed on the air to
gush over the team’s “INTERSTELLAR PLAY TONIGHT WOOOOOOO”

Instead what did we get? Nothing. No arrests. No flashings.
No chicks. Having to throw sullen Draft Day parties and talking with my fellow
sullen Oilers superfans as we pin all our hopes and dreams picking a needle in a haystack among a few hundred
pimply faced 18 year olds while other teams iced lineups of MEN who smashed and
scored and made legends of themselves. For 9 years we have been going through
this. And it’s really like 1 year in 15 if you really want to look backwards in
time.

If you had told me when we started OilersNation that it
would have worked as well as it did but the Oilers would be as bad as they have been, the two supremely shocking facts sitting in my brain at the same time would have made my head
explode.

IM IN THE PRIME OF MY LIFE YOU HEARTLESS BASTARDS.

IS THIS THE WORST OF IT?

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But is this the darkest days of the Oilers franchise?
Please. Not even close. I remember going to games in junior high when the
building was 1/3 full and a graphic of the Oilers logo with a For Sale sign led
the Sports Desk (remember that? Lol) broadcast every night. I remember losing
every good player in the offseason in the late 90s and early 00s, watching Doug
Weights head off into the night and feeling like the poorest kid on the poorest
block of #firstworldproblemsland

No, this current era is only maybe top 3 dark periods in a
franchise strangely plagued by bad mojo, despite whatever lineup it ices on a
year to year basis being the Kings of the City forever and ever amen. The
Hockey Gods clearly blessed the Oilers early in their franchise, beyond what
anyone could expect for success. 

And it appears we are still paying for that
burst of glory with years of dark, dark, darkness. I hope you enjoyed it party
of people of Edmonton in the 1980s. I would give my left big toe for just one
playoff game slash after party slash pool party slash “listening to music
upstairs” slash baptism 10 months later.

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I can recall way darker times as craptacular as things are
going right now. The last two times I have cried in my life was Grade 6 for
reasons I no longer remember and post SCF06G7. I dissolved into drunken sobs so
pitiful after those three wonderous months of playoff hockey and cried my way
through a packed house party that went long into the morning hours after the
game ended and the wrong team won the Cup.

I cried so hard and for so long that my girlfriend at the
time broke up with me at said party saying “she wouldn’t be seen with anyone
who was such an emotional mess from just hockey.” The night the Oilers lost the
Cup.
It didn’t even register as an event in my emotional state. I can’t even
remember her name anymore**

So yeah the Oilers are disappointing beyond words. They are
on the verge of ruining the careers of one or more of their superstars. It’s
only a matter of time until one of them requests a trade to get out of here and
the City really explodes in rage. 

No one from within the room or the adjoining building
appears to be willing or able to solve the problem. I’m also pretty sure Kevin
Lowe broke into my email and started sending out spam emails. Everything is on
fire and everything sucks.

But I don’t seem to be crying. So things have been worse.

Next up tomorrow:

Go easier on Daryl Katz. He could be Peter Pocklington.

*See alternate universe: Edmonton 2011

*I’m trying to look cool. Of course I remember her name *wiggles
eyebrows seductively*

  • Batfink

    I’ve been watching old playoff series late 90’s, 80’s. 2006. Man are we missing out. Wanye is right, 9 years of no real celebrating. Dark times indeed.

    I don’t believe this core as a whole has what it takes. What to do….

  • @Wanye

    You’re a gentleman and a baller. Thank you for writing this.

    9 years of self loathing has led me to subsist solely on uncooked raman and orange flavoured Haterade.

    Oilersnation comment sections are all I have left!

      • Fortinbras

        Welcome Back WANYE! As much as love Brownlee’s scathing posts (or any post really, cause they all take up at least 15 minutes of work) I at least had a little smirk throughout this one.

        I was JUST having the “Oilers are ruining the best drinking years of my life” talk this weekend, when I was at the Blackhawks game *tears up*. Then I realized I was pounding Rexall beers at a playoff game pace anyways. We’ll be stronger if/when they finally come.

        Man did I pay for it Sunday; Every Rexall beer is 1 – for 2 (each one you drink is 2 hours of your life given to a Katz fuelled hangover the next day). So I basically gave Katz mad bills AND my full Sunday.

        OH AND THANK YOU FOR THE FREE SHIRT FROM VIOLENT GENTLEMAN. You truly are a scholar and (violent) gentleman.

  • I hear you brother.

    By the way… if the mighty* owner of Oilers Nation can come out of the woodwork to “inspire? us” then why the hell can’t the mighty** owner of our “beloved” Oilers do the same?

    Le’ sigh.

    *can help open jars
    **sends robot or calls KLowe to open his jars

  • The Real Scuba Steve

    A franchise strangely plagued by bad mojo, give me a break Wayne you sound like a Oiler rep. Sure the seats are bought and paid for but every game I go to there are more and more empty seats. When did we ever finish at the bottom of the league for so many seasons in the 90’s?, or worst yet one the worst teams in all professional sports? By the way glad see you back on ON.

    • LOL if I was an Oilers rep I’d be all “and the free Jordan Eberle shower cam is now online at freejordancam.org”

      I’m hardly an apologist. I’m saying there is some sort of curse we aren’t seeing, or voodoo or SOMETHING these past 15 odd years. Too many people have come thru the revolving door for it to be non paranormal related.

      *puts on tin foil hat*

      • Oildrop89

        I took a puck from the Oilers store in Kingsway 8 years ago.

        I know it seems harmless, but when I got back to NAIT afterwards some guy in a trench coat and hat told me that it was terrible karma.

        LOOK AT WHAT HAS HAPPENED SINCE I TOOK THAT PUCK!

        I know what must be done.

  • Bunch of dudes at the Flames vs Sharks game (In San Jose) wearing Oilers McDavid Jerseys.

    The amusing thing is EVERY available source of hockey content finds it fit to be recognized.

    The Oilers obviously deserve little respect and are receiving even less.

  • BrassRiderEva

    Good to see Wanye back.

    For me game time has started to generate feelings similar to exam time in university. On one hand, there’s a chance you’ll own that test and walk out with your head held high. (We got the W! All is right in the world!) On the other hand, you’re filled with anxiety that you will be subject to three hours of stifled panic while you wonder how the hell you managed to study history when this is clearly a calculus exam. At the end you walk out with a heavy heart wondering how the hell you’re going to explain what happened without being wildly embarrassed.

    Seems that I’m walking around with a heavy heart for this team all too often lately.

    * purchases another bottle of 21 year old, clears schedule for next game*

  • Daryl Katz is a good dude,and he cares about Edmonton and the Oilers,as much as Bruce Wayne cares about Gotham.his dream alone,will change the way the people of Edmonton and outsiders view the city,once these projects begin to take shape,and the smaller investors add their projects to the downtown core as well.people are quick to forget how much a super fan Mr.Katz really is.that monster of a house that he built in Edmonton,is decorated with the original Stanley Cup banners,and has a replica of the ice surface of rexall place,beside the house.he also saved the team from who knows what,when the EIG started to show cracks.not mention the rink and towers would never happen either,and Edmonton would be stuck looking like a time machine caught in the 70’s Dow who knows how long.the only complaints I’ve heard people express about Mr.Katz,is that he didn’t pay for the rink,which shows how little people know about business.nobody cared that he didn’t use a penny of his own money to buy the team in the first place.he took out a loan at term and rate,that would allow him to make money,over and above the payments.bottom line is,no billionaire ever uses their own funds,to build anything,so I don’t believe this is an appropriate attack on Mr.Katz.the other complaint,is not firing Lowe and Co.these are his friends,and in my opinion he doesn’t trust or know anyone else in hockey,that he’s willing to hand the keys of this team over to.i feel for Katz,as surrounding yourself with good folks is tough,when everyone wants something.

  • Oildrop89

    I feel like a loser when I wear my Oilers jersey. I have become convinced that returning to the retro style has cursed us. The last time we wore this jersey we were big time losers in the 90s like we are now. We went to the navy jersey and suddenly we had post dynasty success that even brought us to game 7. This obsession of the dynasty oilers really is what is killing the oilers. These dynasty players leading the team have no idea of starting from scratch. They just figure the oilers will win cups simply because they have fast young players. Problem is. We’re missing the Glen Sather in this organization. He was the key throughout. So my 18 Oilers jerseys still have hope even if I feel like a loser I still have hope in some day.

  • It’s common knowledge Glen Sather sold his soul for unlimited goal scorers and half chewed cigars. To insinuate the Oilers misgivings are some unexplained phenomenon is just irresponsible.