Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Wilds hope Edmonton fans can keep the tears to a minimum tonight

Let's just address this right off, that's not Jesus Christ. That's a picture Ryan Smyth dressed up like Jesus Christ. Why? Wait, let's back up, who the fuck is Ryan Smyth??? Good question. If you're not a hockey fan or from Canada, you don't know him. Ryan Smyth used to be an Edmonton Oiler. He was the captain. He was the heart and soul of Edmonton for many, many years. It didn't matter that he was ugly and goofy in that backwoods sorta way, (or that he had a lot of cold sores on his face). The Oilers fans loved him.

Well, Oilers fans were reminded that hockey is a business when the Oilers traded him hours before the trade deadline expired, last season. (Maybe they forgot about Wayne Gretzky leaving for LA, I don't know.) You could hear the cries of pain and sorrow from Dallas to Nashville (ok, not really since those cities could give a shit about Ryan Smyth, but you get the idea). Anyway, Smyth finished the season playing for the Islanders and the Oilers languished and generally sucked for the remainder of the year. After the season, Smyth, a free agent, signed a contract with the Colorado Avalanche, who happen to be in the same division as the Oilers. Basically, it was high drama and one big cosmic mindfuck on Oilers fans who, coincidentally, will see a lot more of Ryan Smyth now that he plays for the Avs.

What's the point? Well, Oilers fans are still crying about losing Ryan Smyth. He recently made his first appearance in Edmonton since being traded and it opened up all sorts of old, rotting wounds. Apparently, he's some kind of big deal up there still. They call him "Captain Canada" or something. They superimpose his face on our Lord and Savior (also, they do bad charcoal sketches). They even write sonnets about him. Here's an excerpt:

"Baptismal fonts flow with oil refined,
And so, with oil, is Smyth's rebirth entwined."

--From Sonnet #94 (That's Smyth's number. Clever, eh?)

To tell you the truth, it's all a little embarrassing. I mean, I don't remember getting all emotional when the Wild traded away Pascal Dupuis or Manny Fernandez or worse, Todd White. I mean honestly Oilers fans have some self-respect. This is hockey. Toughen up. Are you really going to cry about it every time Ryan Smyth shows up to play some ice hockey??? (More importantly, is Ryan Smyth going to cry about it every time he shows up to play some ice hockey? Jeezus.)

Anyway, the Wilds play the Oilers tonight. Hopefully, everyone in Edmonton can keep it together. Go to Battle of Alberta to see for yourself just how much Edmonton misses Ryan Smyth.

WILDS UPDATE: Holy crap. The buzzsaw that was the Calgary Flames last night. Jeez. I turned on the game and we had a comfortable 3 goal lead in the second. Final score, 5-3 Flames. Ish. Jerome Iginla. I kill you.

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