Thursday, May 11, 2006


Confession of a Flames Fan

Every day was a Flames day: one was either talking about the game the night before, getting ready for the next game, or in some bar filled with carcenogenic smoke, spilled rye on red jerseys, a dozen TVs and make-shift projection screens. Everyone was geared up. School kids, waitresses, rap musicians, my 55-year-old Philippino woman technician who, at one point, embroiled me in an argument over the merits of having Robyn Regher quarterbacking the powerplay. It went on and on and on and on.

Man, what a stirring description. The city had some jump, some excitement. School kids, musicians, gangstas, day-labourers, and 55-year old filipinas, all coming together in a Sea of Red to cheer on their beloved Flames. Sounds terrific right? Not according to the Flames fan who wrote it.

Nope, apparently "the prevailing view from around town" is that those two months were "a shit show".
The fact is, I'm afraid to say, lest I receive attacks on my character and loyalty, but I'm actually kinda, sorta glad that the Flames are done. And I'm not the only one.

Many of my fellow Calgarians expressed that same sentiment shortly after the team lost.
It's not because these loyal Calgarians didn't want the Flames to win, mind you. Oh no, it was simply because:
I don't think anyone who experienced 2004 -- other than drunk-ass teenagers and their like-minded wannabes -- was really aching to do it all over again. It would have been too much.
You read that correctly. It would have been too much. Afterall, these poor guys and gals:
. . . went from April to the end of June and missed out on the entire spring season. Stampede was a mere two weeks away, giving us all pause as to the best way to scrape up some dollars and energy to do it all over again.
Hilariously, Cosh predicted nailed this way back on April 13th in a post entitled 'How to spot a second-rate sports town'. The knockout punch comes in his second paragraph:
The message to the team is unequivocal: a second successful playoff year by the Lames will be regarded with active hostility by the wealthy and powerful. Only the most naive fan can fail to perceive the eventual endgame--a quiet, uncontested exit in the second round or thereabouts. Some cities breed champions, some don't.

The Battle of Alberta is over.


I was wondering what had happened to jhuck. Boy he sure had me fooled, the way he was so vociferous in support of the Flames here. Who knew that he was secretly hoping that they'd lose?

I'd make more fun of him but this is just sad. I'm impressed that you didn't just lift the entire post sac-it's all worth laughing at.

and leads are suddenly surmountable

Yes, Flames fans, this is what occasionally happens in multi-goal games.

Oh my god, that isn't really jhuck writing that, is it? Sorry to say it, but what a total bandwagon tool. It's laughable, in a horribly pathetic kind of way.

Oh Brother. You wanna see some guys jump on and off a bandwagon? Try Covered in Oil (excellent blog, btw). Here is some of what Chris! posted there on Monday. remember, his team was still in the playoffs then.

Man, that sucked. What an unbelievably frustrating game to watch.


Why can't we control the play for more than fifteen seconds at a time? Why are we always one step behind every time we dump the puck in? Why do we have to play like such losers? All this races through your mind as the Oilers dump it, lose it, fight for it, carry it out, dump it, lose it, ad nauseum until the clock winds down from eleven minutes left to seven to four to two to one and we lose. Again.


But the Oilers are being seriously outgutted and outworked. There's only one team out there that really wants the win, and sadly, it sure isn't us.


Why is it that the only Ethan Moreau seems to have any clue what Oilers hockey is supposed to look like? All you have to do is want the puck and take the body. That's it. Play like you care. At least if they did that, they'd deserve some of my pity. All I want is some fucking guts.

I mean, it's laughable, in a horribly pathetic kind of way. I can't imagine what it's going to look like after the Sharks win this thing.

Fuck Peter-you cannot be this thick. Flames fans are really fighting for saddest comment of the day today.

Can you show me the point where Chris! said that he was happy the Oilers lost or that he secretly wants them to be eliminated? I must have missed that.

I think I'm missing something. i think the writer is named Rob, unless he goes by jhuck also. Anyways I hate all f-Lames fans...sick of all the coverage they got in its our turn...our BLUE mile will kick Calgary's dead mile's ass.

oilerZZ all the way!!!!

Flames fans aren't even trying to defend themselves anymore. This is like poking a dead body with a stick.

Uh. Great sleuthing, Peter. Of course, it makes sense that a Flames fan wouldn't be able to tell the difference between criticizing your teams play and jumping off the bandwagon; in Calgary, they're one in the same.

I was looking through the CSB final rankings and ALL of the top 50 projected skaters in the draft have at least some offensive talent.

So it looks like Sutter will go off the board for his first pick.


Great blog. I check out the Battle of Alberta a couple times each week and enjoy the writing and commentary.
The one thing that stood out for me in game 7 in Calgary against Anaheim was how quiet the fans were. All Calgarians in BC (and there are distressingly more of them each year) brag about how great and loyal Flames fans are and how incredible the ea of Red is. But, as they were down by a goal early in game 7 you could have heard a pin drop.
Game 7 in Vancouver, Detroit or San Jose is nuts no matter what the score is. What happened in Cow town?

Crowd was quiet in Game 7 in Calgary because of disbelief. It was drilled into fans over and over that they would walk to the final and take back what they lost in 2004. So to while getting absolutely destroyed in Game 7, people were just speechless. Couldnt even muster up a 'Go Flames Go'. Also the team gave them no hope at all in that game.

Here in Calgary, Flames fans are very dilusional. But this is what happens when your team goes from 7 years out of the playoffs to 1 inch away from winning it all. They need to learn the steady ups and down that other teams face.

Wow... what an excellent point of view. I never thought of that, but I can admit to showing some of the tendencies.

Case in point, the following days after their elimination I feel a bit of relief that I have time for other things. The Flames were an all consuming part of my life during the regular season and especially during the playoffs. Everything else was scheduled around the Flames: I only took one night class this quarter instead of two (MBA), my work was suffering, my girlfriend was on the verge of dumping me (she doesn't like hockey so she may have to go anyways) and I was hungover everyday from the constant party.

Now that being said, I would much rather be on the edge of my seat at work here waiting for a Flames game tonight instead of watching the Oiler game. NHL Live is on right now and I'd be calling in professing the reason for a Calgary win tonight, but that just isn't the case. Your post just made me think. Excellent points of view!!! Both you guys do an excellent job on this site and I enjoy both views.

Flames fans are really fighting for saddest comment of the day today.

MC - there's a certain degree of irony that the comment immediately below yours contains the terms "F-lames", "Dead Mile" and the phrase "OilerZZ all the way"!1!

Wow... what an excellent point of view . . . I never thought of that, but I can admit to showing some of the tendencies . . . Your post just made me think. Excellent points of view!!!

Is it possible to die of glee?

With the Oil still in the thick of it, why so much concern with Flames fans? Could it be worry that unless this team makes the finals it won't measure up to the '04 Flames?

And I would disagree with the writer of that blog. Everyone I know was anxious for another long run.

Finally, before you declare Cosh an NHL Savant, lets see what he said before the Ducks-Avs series:

I don't think Anaheim will hold up too long. Their defence is a Chinese fire drill one-third of the time and Corey Perry's probably got a broken ankle. Unlike Calgary, Colorado has scoring talent--and probably enough jam to win a series if they get up 3-2.

Holy cow. I leave for a couple of weeks and the place goes to shit. The Flames decided to show up and play a total of 120 - 130 minutes of hockey in the entire series and paid the consequences. Although, seeing as how Colorado finished, I think I underestimated how well the Ducks might actually have played against the Flames. Congrats to the Oilers, who finally got consistent goaltending and might give the Sharks a run for their money. A little anti-climatic that the Flames & Oilers didn't end up playing each other, but seeing them both not only make the playoffs, but be contenders, is hopefully a sign of things to come for the next few years.

This thread reminds me of the conversation mudcrutch & I had a while ago, when he asked why these comment threads were dominated by Oiler fans. I replied that unlike us, maybe most Flames fans had better things to do than act like caged monkeys flinging shit at each other. Mudcrutch then said that he still believes it's because Flames fans can't read.

So, all year we've known that this blog mostly involved Oiler fans, yet now these fans are perplexed by the number of Calgary fans. The fact that the Flames aren't even playing might be a reason why one of the 4 regular Flames commenters have left. The "better things to do" part I mentioned was my excuse. Well, maybe not better, but definitely more important, at least according to my wife, fertility consultations, house renos, other people's house renos (yay), house guests, twice a week football, camping, working evenings to catch up at work, another weekend away coming up, etc, etc. (In fact, after seeing about half of the Flames/Ducks, the Oiler/Shark series is the only one I've had a little time to watch, which is OK because they are both teams that are fun to watch - Thornton is amazing, Ethan Moreau is tenacious and never stops, the Smiyths are playing like the Flames in '04, Cheechoo is going in the corners, Pronger is typical Pronger - seems like good stuff)

And now I'm accused of writing something I didn't write, by the same person who criticizes rival fans of their reading skills and yet who seems to have trouble reading the actual author's name properly. Cripes.

I'll drop back in on Monday to see how the monkey shit flinging has gone. And I promise to use more swear words and say things like "I hate Oiler fanZZZ" so that I fit in.

BTW, I suggest picking up the latest Western Standard, as it has a good piece by Colby Cosh in it.

And now I'm accused of writing something I didn't write, by the same person who criticizes rival fans of their reading skills and yet who seems to have trouble reading the actual author's name properly. Cripes.

I saw his name jhuck. For some reason, I've got the two of you linked in my mind and thought that you were the same person. It may startle you to learn this but my name isn't really mudcrutch79 and I'd assumed that your mother didn't name you jhuck.

The souce of my confusion: if you click on jhuck's name here, you see that he write a blog. One team member, Rob Huck, is listed. The same guy wrote this laugable piece of "I didn't want it anyway." Hence the confusion.

So apologies to you are in order jhuck. You apparently blog with the guy who wrote one of the sadder things I've seen on the internet but you are not him.

Sacamano, until you blow two to three grand over the next month and a half on game tickets, booze, and the rest which occurs when someone actually goes out and rips 'er up during the entire playoffs, until you almost lose your job because of excessive celebration rituals after games, win or lose, then you can talk to me.

I'm sure that sitting in front of the computer and blogging while your team is on the ice is sufficient for an Oilers fan to show his loyalty, but that won't cut it here in Calgary.

You'd better be broke and beaten by the time this playoff run is over, Sacamano. Consider the gauntlet thrown.

Bwaaaa ha ha ha ha ha.

This just gets better and better.

Why's Rob being so snippy? He and the rest of Calgary got what they wanted.

someone should throw this woman into an insane asylum

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