The Oilers are crumbling, and sometimes it can be tough to write about the same things over and over again. I wanted to get a fresh perspective on what’s happening, so I reached out to local radio legend Yukon Jack to see if he could make some sense of what’s going on with the Oilers. Here is part of our conversation.
1) @Winchester7Gold asks – What do you love most about living in Edmonton, and what do you wish you could change?
I love Edmonton. I’m never leaving Edmonton…except for the winter. Lame answer I know but it’s the truth. I’m not one of those “the winter makes you appreciate the summer” guys. I’ve seen enough -30 to last a lifetime. If I never saw winter again it would be too soon.
2) When are we going to see Yukon Jack on a ballot for mayor of Edmonton?
I have a tough enough time being accountable to our listeners for the amount of Nickelback we play. If I had to be held accountable to every citizen who “pays your salary” I would lose my mind. I’ll run for office when Millwoods is declared an Independent state.
3) Speaking of Yukon Jack… Why did you name yourself after the “black sheep of Canadian liquor?” (Seriously that’s what they call themselves) Where did the name Yukon Jack come from?
We used to all have stupid outdoorsy names here at The Bear. “Sleddog Michaels…Matt Mauler…Goldi Rocks.” Me and Park Warden are the only old balls left from that era. I wanted to be “Sneaky Pete.” Love that name. Not keen on Yukon but the boss made the call. I’ve been to the Yukon once. It was awesome.
4) The NHL is competing against other sports such as the NFL, MLB, and NBA for viewers – do you think there’s anything the NHL could learn from the WWE about showmanship?
Your answer lies in the question. Wrestling is the best BECAUSE it’s a show and not a competition. The NHL has great competition but lacks the sizzle. Vince McMahon has long been a leader in the entertainment game. He basically invented ppv and is now changing the game again with the WWE Network. WWE leads the way with their video packages, day of production, sets, music, entrances. Bettman should take notes. Most of all the NHL talent could learn from the WWE talent. Soooo many boring hockey players that when you get a plug like Paul Bisonette, Matt Greene or Dustin Penner that show a little personality on the mic, they really stand out. I’d rather hear a post game Ric Flair style promo than Smitty, “ummm, uhhhh and ya’knowing” his way through saying nothing.
5) Which NHL player, past or present, would make the best WWE Champion?
What makes a good champion is if you “would you pay money to see this guy beat someone up or get beat up?” I’d pay fifty bucks to watch Sidney Crosby get beat up. So I’ll go with Sidney Crosby.
6) Wanye tells me a story about meeting you at the bar one night. Do you remember meeting Wanye, and what was your first impression?
I honestly was truly star struck. I’m very jealous of Wanye. When I started in radio, one of the things that appealed to me was the anonymity of it all. Even if you liked and followed these people you never really knew who who they were or what they looked like. Thats probably why I was also drawn to Lucha Libre and super heroes. Masks. Thanks to social media, media crossover and advertising those days in the radio biz are gone. The masks are off. It would be very easy for all of us to know everything about Wanye, but he doesn’t let us. I respect that. He’s more interesting as a result. Also we have the same shitty taste in music.
7) @Lowetide_ asks how has becoming a father has changed your approach to radio and life in general?
Radio is a funny game. It melds your personal life with your career. I refer to it as a lifestyle job. Like a firefighter, pilot or school teacher. Becoming a parent opens up a whole new world of experiences for me to draw from, professionally. It also adds to the pressure. I used to only worry about myself…now I’ve got mouths to feed.
8) Why do you think this city continues to support the Oilers so passionately even though we haven’t had anything to cheer for in nearly a decade?
I get it…but I don’t. I understand the passion because I share it but mine is for pro wrestling, not hockey. I think it comes from the same place. When your dad was taking you guys to Oiler games and watching the cup runs, my pops was taking me to stampede wrestling and watching Saturday Night’s Main Event. My love for wrestling has a lot to do with fond memories of time spent with my father. I’d wager Edmonton’s hockey boner comes from the same place. Difference is…wrestling never makes me angry. If it did, I’d stop watching. I see a lot of hockey fans that are genuinely upset by the Oilers. Why they continue to watch and support…I don’t understand.
9) Is it hard to come up with something My Big Yap on the daily?
Yes. It’s been ten years. Writing them is never a challenge. I could give you a minute thirty on any topic but finding the relatable, interesting topics is the challenge.
10) Which streak is harder to take… The Oilers missing the playoffs for 8 straight years, or the Undertaker losing at Wrestlemania for the first time ever?
Great question. The Oilers. Not even close. The Undertaker’s “loss” was used to elevate others within the company. It had purpose. It advanced story lines. It had value. The Oilers streak…not so much. I hope it doesn’t last 20 plus years like the Taker’s.
It was interesting to see Yukon’s take on why Oilers fans continue to support this team, and I agree with him completely. I remember my dad taking me to Oilers games when I was a kid, and my love of the team developed from there. I also agree with his take that the WWE understands that they are only there to entertain people. Even though WWE wrestling is fake, it’s still entertaining for those who are into it – people love the spectacle and I think the NHL could learn something from that. I want to give a huge thank you to Yukon Jack for taking the time to sit down with me and answer some questions!