10 March 2007

Shocker.

Well, according to Mirtle's Playoff Push, last night's loss to the Ducks officially put the Oilers out of reach of the Playoffs. At least this means the terrible 2006-07 season will soon be history.

There's some interesting talk in a post below about whether the Oil deserve our fandom at this point. Andy makes some good points about "voting with your dollars" when management tears the team apart and offers a sub-par product, which I agree with to a point. However, an integral part of fandom is loyalty, and jumping ship when the team is losing turns my stomach nearly as much as when bandwagon-jumpers "adopt" the team when it's performing well (Red Mile, anyone?). Fairweather fans are cheating themselves -- sure, it's fun to get caught up in the winning, and who wants to cheer for a team who is lower in the standings than perennial butt-of-all-jokes St. Louis? What they're missing is that it's seasons like these that make playoff runs like last year's so much sweeter. Cheering only for a winning team is boring! I mean, would beating the President's Trophy winning Red Wings in the first round have felt nearly as good if you couldn't remember all of those heartbreaking playoff losses to the (grr) Dallas Stars over the past decade?

I'll admit that I was a more passive Oil fan through the black mid-90's, but they never stopped being my team. I still don't know if I'm going to choose a team to follow through the playoffs, now that it's all-but-confirmed the Oilers won't be there. What I do know is that I'll be back in front of the TV next October, ready to cheer on whatever rag-tag bunch of misfits that K.Lo has assembled, even if it's just a bunch of hobos, Russian skating bears, and Matt Greene.

26 comments:

Scarlett said...

Perfectly said. I will support this team no matter what. They are my boys. I'm the optimistic fan who believes the team will come back next year and win it all. Delusional? Maybe. But loyal.

Andy Grabia said...

and jumping ship when the team is losing turns my stomach

Who said anyone was jumping ship? None of us have started cheering for another team. And I don't mind a team that has a budget ( Oakland A's) or loses all the time (Washington Generals). But to say you'd support the team "no matter what" is illogical, and in fact detrimental to a teams actual success. The owners care about one thing: money. If you keep giving it to them, they'll have no problem putting out a shitty roster and spinning their fabrications. Again, you get the team you deserve.

I will support this team no matter what.

You aren't supporting them, Scarlett. You are enabling them.

Anonymous said...

I will support this team double if they bring back the Russian bears. Ideally, you get three of them, and pair them with three Russkies - bring back BoBo, Ulanov, and give this new kid Grebenshkov (sp?) a job, and that is a blueline I can get behind.

Alana said...

Actually, anonymous, I literally meant Russian bears on skates.

Andy, I see where you're coming from and I agree that the EIG are a bunch of dinks, but I can't not cheer for the Oilers. Granted, I don't actualy give them much money, living in TO and all, but if I lived in Edmonton I would find it really difficult not to keep going to games, no matter how bad the management situation is. Sports fandom is illogical that way.

Anonymous said...

Well I'll still watch the rest of the regular season, but I'm not gonna shell out 12 bucks for PPV anymore. Thats how I'll send my message, boycott PPV.

Go Oilers!

-ChrissyT

Anonymous said...

I too meant the literal bears on skates, which did a little skate with BoBo a few years back.

I just thought you partner them up with a Russian (human), so there is no language barrier, and because they would need a puck mover, I'd imagine ;)

Loxy said...

Am I an Oilers fan? Yes.

Do they have questions to answer? Yes.

Until Kevin Lowe convinces me that there is a plan in place, I'm pretty skeptical of this team and its direction.

But I'm not going to start wearing Canucks garb.

Can't we at least be the "spOilers" now?

Scarlett said...

Enabling? Just because I support my team? I support them no matter what, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything they've done. I'm expecting some huge moves this summer and I'll continue to cheer for this team and speak out against them whenever they cock things up (yeah Lowe, I'm looking at you).

Scarlett said...

And, do you really think they're not trying to put together a winning team? They cocked things up huge this year. Definitely. We all know that. They thought they could get away with a weak defense, like they did the year before with their goaltending. They thought they'd make it to the trade deadline, fix the holes and off they'd go to the playoffs. I don't agree with that method, but they had a plan. Yeah it didn't work out.

Money will play a part in this team. It is a business. The owners lost money before the lockout (did this team ever post a profit pre-lockout?) and even though they made money during the playoff run, it wasn't free money. It went to the debt they were carrying and it also went to the league. That darned revenue-sharing meant that 11 million we've heard they made last year, they don't get it all.

Anonymous said...

Well, I see there is some clear tension here :|

I ventured into the dark world of puckbunny messageboards and found this:
http://i9.tinypic.com/4340zsw.jpg

Gross.
:|

LittleFury said...

And, do you really think they're not trying to put together a winning team?

Depends what you mean by winning. If it means "building a Stanley Cup contender," then no, I don't think they are (interested). If it means "scraping by with a $40M payroll in hopes of occassionally stumbling into 8th place and two additional playoff gates," then sure: Lowe is hockey's Vince Lombardi.

Enabling? Just because I support my team? I support them no matter what, but that doesn't mean I agree with everything they've done. I'm expecting some huge moves this summer and I'll continue to cheer for this team and speak out against them whenever they cock things up (yeah Lowe, I'm looking at you).

If you're going to give them your money no matter what, then you're sending a message that they can do whatever thhe fuck they want to the team and you'll keep coming back like one of Pavlov's pups. It's a business, you're a customer and the only voice you have is in your wallet.

Elly said...

It's important to stick by your team, because as you said, it makes the winning and being able to rub it in other peoples' faces that much sweeter.

Alana said...

anonymous, that pic is amazing. I recognize Lupul, but who's that in the red?

Anonymous said...

It's supposedly a picture of Lupul's friend. I found it on this website:
http://www.talk-sports.net/nhl//girlfriend.aspx/Joffrey_Lupul

:| Scary website indeed.

Katie O'D said...

Wow...good to be friends with Joffrey Lupul. I really hope they were all smashed, because otherwise that's just weird.

Alana said...

That site is frightening.

Loxy said...

Wow, that kicks the ass of my Rob Schremp pics.

Lord Bob said...

All this 'enabling' talk brings one question to the fore of my addled mind: were all Oiler fans everywhere to say "we're sick of the EIG for not spending enough money in the one year since they made any money" and stayed away in droves and the Oilers averaged, say, 8,500 seats sold next year, would they:

a) say "oh, geez, now that we're haemmoraging money we better splash the cash to bring the fans back", or

b) react like pretty well every once-popular sports franchise that's drawn 8,500 people per game in history, drop the payroll down to the floor, and look for a buyer in the States. Preferably the southern States.

I suspect it would not be answer a.

Anonymous said...

Alana

Just want to say I enjoy your blogs, glad I found it.

I'm a female fan who remembers the early days of this club. While I am interested with my limited understanding in other sites with stats, theories, even politics (Saskin!), etc., your site provides another dimension that I appreciate.
And even though I like some different players (special interest in our Cdn players) on different teams, I, too, consider the Oilers as 'my boys'. Therefore I do care, through good times or bad.
"...that it's seasons like these that make playoff runs like last year's so much sweeter." was nicely put by you.
So for me, I take interest in how the rookies/prospects do with their great opportunities up here now. Pouliot for one, impressses me.

Keep up the good stuff

-RoliLover

Alana said...

Thanks, RoliLover! I love him too!

And a huge AMEN, BROTHER to Lord Bob. I think an Oil boycott would do more harn than good.

Alana said...

harn is the new harm, by the way.

Sarah said...

There's something marvelous and poignant about being a chronic underdog who starts performing out of nowhere - I think that's the charm of the Detroit win last year. I kept thinking, until fairly recently, that our guys were waiting for a dare-to-be-great situation, a la Globetrotters on Futurama when they were losing against the Professor's mutants: "It was always our intention to trail at the half, thus sweetening our ultimate victory! Also, what game were the refs watching??"

A few people in the Oilogosphere have asked "Who's still watching?" I am, and all I can think of is the word "euthanasia", but I still can't tear my eyes away. Those poor miserable sods. The ones who are left need SUCH a hug.

mike w said...

>(did this team ever post a profit pre-lockout?)

Yes.

Anonymous said...

I held out hope until I read your blog...*sigh*. I will always cheer for them and can't wait until next...they will be smokin' - I just know it!!!

Petropolitan said...

"As long as people will accept crap, it will be financially profitable to dispense it."

Dick Cavett


"If you don't invest very much, then defeat doesn't hurt very much and winning isn't very exciting."

Dick Vermiel


"Winning is not a sometime thing, it's an all the time thing. You don't win once in a while, you don't do the right thing once in a while, you do them right all the time. Winning is a habit. Unfortunately, so is losing."

Vince Lombardi



The Oilers have always been a Burger Baron in a food court full of big name outlets. The lockout provided a more level playing field, but with the cap continually rising like the peak of a tin roof, the edge is a worrisome place to be. My question is, based on recent events; do you think the Oilers are changing a long-term business philosophy that has kept you interested in the product all these years? I don't, yet.

Anonymous said...

I became an Oilers fan when I became a hockey fan. They're my number one team and I hate to see what's going on now. They're still my fave but now they're just boring to watch. I mean the best part of the games is the excitement and intensity...win or lose. But when they're losing AND they're boring it's just painful to see. I still back them but it's getting so hard. I live on the east coast and stayed up until 1 a.m. to watch them lose to the Kings then woke up for classes at 6. I'll cheer them on until game 82 even if they're in last place but I don't think it's wrong to get a hockey fix from another team that actually reminds you why you love the game of hockey.