After months of anticipation and waiting patiently by the calendar the Oilers finally drafted Connor McDavid first overall on Friday, June 26th. To celebrate, we packed the Pint Downtown with as many Nation citizens as we could possibly fit before the fire marshall would shut us down. The result? A hell of a night.
As important as it was for the Oilers to draft Connor McDavid, it was equally important to us to use this opportunity to get the Nation together and raise some money for the Inner City Children’s Program. You guys stepped up with all sorts of hilarious moments that completed the evening. I’m talking everything from a “Struds” chant to Connor McDavid chant to a series of interviews for our new series – Between Two Gregors.
SWEET SWEET CONNOR
— Connor McDavid (@cmcdavid97) June 27, 2015
The worst kept secret in the NHL was finally revealed as Peter Chiarelli stepped up to the mic and drafted Connor McDavid with the first overall pick. As soon as “Erie Otters” left Peter Chiarelli’s mouth, citizens at the Pint absolutely blew the roof off the place (see video above). It’s been a long time since I’ve hugged and high-fived that many sweaty strangers. For the first time in years Oilers fans generally had something to be excited about, and were we ever excited.
It’s hard to describe how happy I was to see Connor McDavid walk up to the stage and put on the Oilers new third jersey. That one moment was the cause of pure elation for everyone in attendance and it was hard to find words, or explain to an outsider why it was so special. Connor McDavid represents a new beginning for a franchise that has been spinning its tires for nearly a decade, and the anticipation of that moment caused us all to revert to childlike levels of happiness. I almost peed. It was that exciting.
CITIZENS ON PATROL
— Connor McJeanshorts (@JSBMjeanshorts) June 29, 2015
I’ll say one thing about the family of citizens we’ve put together around here: You guys are absolute animals, and I say that with nothing but respect. I knew we were going to party on Friday night, but you guys really nailed it shut. If my Jack Daniels memory serves me, I think I left the Pint just before 2am and there were still a lot of you hanging around cutting rugs. That’s a hell of a shift for most of us. Eight hours of beer powered hedonism to honour our new hero? That’s what I’m talking about.
For me the funniest part was the ability to be a fly on the wall for most of the night. There were a few times where I was walking through the crowd only to have someone yell, “Get back to work, intern” which was endlessly hilarious for me. I also loved the random chants that broke out throughout the night including the “Struds, Struds, Struds” chant that bellowed out from the back room. Those gents/ladies in the back section of the Pint were ready to party, and it was appreciated.
It was also great to put real life faces to Twitter handles. It’s still a little strange to us that people are genuinely excited to meet us, as we’re just a bunch of jackasses who write dumb articles and make terrible Photoshops on the internet. That being said, it’s always incredibly flattering, and humbling to see that kind of support and excitement. The Nation would be nothing without its citizens and if not for all your love and support the draft party would have consisted of six of us in a dark corner of the Pint, weeping with joy into our table kegs. We’re so glad and grateful that we were all able to weep TOGETHER just as McDavid would have wanted!
One thing about the Nation is that we’ve always had a goal and a drive to raise as much money for local charities as possible and on Friday we make another stride in that direction. Thank to the support from you fine folks we raised $10,000 for the Inner City Children’s Program. Every single one of you deserves a pat on the back for buying a ticket, and helping us make this happen. Again, without your support we wouldn’t be able to throw events like this, and you guys deserve all the thanks we can put to