An Open Letter to Fans who Patronized Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta
Dear Oilers fans,
I can't help but notice you were booing Sheldon Souray when his Dallas Stars had the temerity to visit the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. I know this was an utterly unwatchable game and you needed something to do, but that's still an odd one. Souray is an Alberta boy made good; he's also a Dallas Star, which qualifies him for a couple circles of hell, but as long as Brenden Morrow and Steve Ott are still alive Souray's not the first guy on my hit list.
Of course, Souray signed an awful contract with the Oilers a few years ago. That's not Sheldon's fault; that's the fault of the moron who offered him such a ridiculous deal because they thought he was going to play 82 games shooting 25% with his sheer studliness. He then suffered from injuries but, well, Sheldon Souray's always suffered from injuries: it's not his fault he's made of glass and maybe the team's management ought to have spent a few minutes on Wikipedia.
Souray also demanded a trade. He derided the team as amateurishly run by imbeciles and implied that it was incapable of winning anything. I can see why that would offend a fan.
(glances at standings)
He was, of course, right. When Souray called out the Oilers it was the first accurate thing a salaried member of the organization had said since "I think we should play this Hemsky kid". For his sin, he was exiled to the furthest corners of the AHL universe and then to Dallas, where he must spend the rest of his days battling for a playoff spot and mocking the fans of a team who boo him while their management trades their few fine players for bags of gravel and promotes the sixth consecutive one-year rebuild.
I can't understand this. You're booing the messenger while the architects sit above you, counting their millions and wondering who they'll draft first overall next time. Booing Sheldon Souray is like getting tuberculosis and booing the cough.
I like to think that, as that crappy game dragged on and you grew a little quieter, you realized this for yourself. 1-0, 2-0, 3-0, "my god, maybe Sheldon was right. At last I realize: he's not a bad person, we're just the worst thing that has ever existed. We make a dumpster full of bloody syringes look like the Mona Lisa."
But I know that's not what you think, because anybody who can boo Sheldon Souray has given up on that. Like I've given up on hope. That lumpen nightmare of a game has drained the life force right out of me. At this point even I'd boo Sheldon Souray just so I knew I was still alive and not a hellish phantasm doomed to spend eternity watching the worst team that has ever existed give up goals to goddamned Radek Dvorak.
If you want me to analyze the game forget it. I've been sitting at my computer since the middle of the second period trying to wrap my brain around that goddamned awful waste of my precious mortality and I just can't do it. My mind rebels at the concept, and when I try to go over Corey Potter and Nikolai Khabibulin doing the electric boogaloo behind the net or Darcy Hordichuk being as intimidating as a kitten that's blind in one eye...
Ryan Whitney sucks and has a leg made of chewing tobacco and crazy straws. Nikolai Khabibulin sucks and his breath is classified as an illegal inhalant in seventeen countries. Corey Potter plays like an AHL lifer, which is to say he sucks. Lennart Petrell playing on the second line is the stupidest thing Tom Renney has done in twenty-four hours, which for Tom Renney is actually an incredibly long time. Eric Belanger used to be good, but apparently suckage is viral in Edmonton and his immune system was already compromised.
Praise be unto Taylor Hall, Sam Gagner, and Ales Hemsky, for they at least know what the puck looks like.
I know the numbers weren't that bad; the shots were in our favour, the scoring chances probably didn't embarrass us, but did you ever really think the Oilers might have won that game? Because if so you managed to keep your hope and your humanity and that can only mean you didn't watch it. I hope somebody ties Steve Tambellini to his chair and plays that thing on a loop until his brain bashes through the top of his skull to try and escape. The end.