Hockey hasn’t started yet, so why should my blog start with hockey?
Plain and simple; I am my father’s son. Whether we like it or not if we’ve been lucky enough to spend any sort of extended period time with our father’s we’ve probably taken on a few qualities, traits, or mannerisms from the old man. When I was but a wee little oil drop, round about the time the Oilers were icing a squad featuring the likes of Vincent Damphousse, Joe Murphy and Craig Simpson, my father had a “post-game” ritual of his own. Everyday he would come home from work, and I mean EV-VER-RY-DAY he would come in the dam-housse, turn on his stereo system, crank the volume up to obnoxious and fill our little Castle Downs townhouse with the soundtrack of his life. Naturally being young and impressionable I developed an appreciation for some of my father’s music that I may not have otherwise. There are not many people cresting 30 years old (YOWZERS!) that have an iPod library featuring Cat Stevens, Dr. Hook and Phil Collins. Now it is the former Genesis front man/drummer that I took the most shining to. Specifically his “Serious Hits…Live!” album, a cassette (YOWZERS!) I forced my parents to keep loaded in the tape deck of the old Le Baron Turbo 24/7/365.
Through the wonders of technology I rediscovered my affinity for Mr. Collins when the same “Serious Hits…Live!” appeared on my iTunes screen. I’ll save you my own take on the “Genesis” of Phil Collins music career, beginning with Genesis and moving into one of the biggest pop artists of the 80’s and 90’s. If you’re really interested, Christian Bale does a pretty remarkable job giving these prostitutes an oral history. How does this pertain to hockey? It doesn’t!
Right! Hockey! The song “Something Happened On the Way to Heaven” is a song about, like most of Phil Collins' solo career, about love. More precisely about a love that started off so strong, so pure that it seemed to those involved that it was destined for greatness.
That Was Then. This Is Now.
As often the case with love, CBA negotiations or arena deals things don’t always go the way you’d like. Picture this. The year is 2010 and fans of the Oilers are starting to publically state that they are Oilers fans!! And why not? We are seeing an influx of world crushing talent (4/14/93) and the would be savior of the franchise, one Mr. Daryl Katz, has solidified a deal with the city to build a half billion dollar entertainment complex smack dab in the middle of the worst downtown in the history of western civilization. From a hockey perspective, things were starting to lookup. Sky-fucking-high from my seat!
Fast-forward a calendar year and what news do I have for 2010 Dude? No hockey season and no entertainment complex deal. No way!?! Yes way Dude, yes way.
How Can Something So Good Go So Bad?
This was not how it was suppose to be. Any of it! I wasn’t suppose to flipping back and forth between the Tigers vs. Moneyball, the Steelers vs. Titans and Biden vs. Ryan. I was suppose to watch the Bruins vs. Habs followed by the Flames vs. Canucks! So it is written, so shall it be motherlover! I'm not suppose to fear for my teams future. This time last year a framework was settled on by ECC to break ground on a state of the art entertainment complex in fledgling downtown Edmonton. Now we are 5 days away from the same ECC telling Daryl Katz and his Group to take the investment and shove it up his downtown core (which may be more aesthetically pleasing then the city's). What the F? I mean really...What the f'in f?
The lockout aside, because I am getting really sick and tired of all this malarkey anyway, this arena deal collapsing may be the biggest tragedy to hit this city since that dark cloud rolled in during the summer of 2006. A natural phenomenon I like to refer to as 'The Pronger Front" (also see the 'Go Fuck Yourself You Gap Toothed Prick. I Hope Your Eye Fully Recovers So You Can Look In The Mirror Everyday And See What A Terrible Human Being You've Become System')...Not that I'm bitter or anything.
That ugly mass of negativity lingered over our town until around June 25th, 2010....
Finally dissipating on October 7th, 2010...
We've come along way since then, obviously still harbouring some ill feelings towards certain individuals who will remain nameless, but may bare a physical resemblance to that of a walking rake. So I've been told anyway. Still there is a storm on the horizon that threatens to pour down a blizzard of pain and questions of how could it have possibly gotten to this? Even though nothing is more fickle than the weather and it is not yet certain whether or not this storm will indeed hit our fair city, we wait.
Well I Don't Know. I Don't Have All The Answers.
So what's the worst case scenario? Allow me to play Bill Matheson for a moment and prognosticate what I see as a realistic worst case scenario.
Everyone getting excited about the Barons home opener tonight? 630CHED is carrying the game...Broadcasting live throughout the Capital Region...Yep, we're all real excited about the start of the AHL season...They got a pretty big facility down there in OKC...Barons games max out at almost 14 000 seats...Just a shade under what the MTS Centre houses. Is it really a stretch to think that when the Rexall lease is up in 2014, DK might pull the old switch-a-roo and have his NHL team play out of OKC, maybe even moving into the same building as the Thunder? Leaving the City of Champions to spend their autumn getting excited about the start of the American Hockey League season now until forever. Demoted to the minor leagues like the Linus Omark of NHL cities. Is it a ludicrous thought? Maybe. Maybe not.
And we wait.
"I'm The Dude, so that's what you call me. Either that or His Dudeness....Duder....El Duderino."