Thursday, September 15, 2005


What is this blog?

Point: For the first time since the autumn of 1990, both Flames and Oilers fans are approaching the upcoming season with the belief that their teams are going to be really damn good.

Point: if there's anything that Flames and Oilers fans like more than watching their team, it's talking about it.

Point: Fans of both teams take special pleasure out of revelling in the struggles and limitations of the other.

Point: While there are many, many outlets for Flames and Oilers fans to rant, many of these outlets also suck, and none are set up to give both sides equal standing. (For example, if I was a regular commenter here, I'd be a troll, plain and simple).

Point: There are many good bloggers in Alberta who generally focus on other things, but whose musings on hockey deserve a hockey audience.

The Battle of Alberta group blog has been established as a nod to these five indisputable points. To begin, we have one contributor from each side of the fence.

On the south side, we have me: Matt Fenwick, live in Lethbridge, lived in Calgary from 1973-1998. I was on the players' side during the lockout, and have been a Flames fan since Nelson Skalbania moved them to Calgary in the summer of my 7th birthday.

On the north side, we have sacamano: lives in Edmonton (since 1996), full blown Oilers fan since they upset Colorado in 1998. He may be monitoring the 2nd half of the season from Merry Olde Englande.

The success of this weblog will be determined by the enthusiam both of the contributors and of those who choose to say their piece in the comments, which are open to all.

The other potential pitfall for this site is the very real possibility that the Oilers will suck right out of the gate, and turn this whole deal into a pretty one-sided argument...

**Update, November 2006**:

Sacamano has indeed moved on to be Contributor Emeritus, from his new home in Sheffield. The role of North Contributor is now filled by Andy Grabia, King of All Blogs. Occasional guest appearances are also made by Colby Cosh.

The site has gotten love on dead trees from the Globe & Mail and Vue Weekly, and in web features on and Newsweek. The best love, though, is still the love in the Comments, which generally kick ass and are substantially funnier and more interesting than the main posts.


I'll have you know that, while I may have become a full-blown Oilers fan after the 1998 Colorado upset, it was quite some time after - January 17, 1999 to be precise.

In fact, I shamelessly admit that I became a full blown Oilers Fan only after winning the "Canadian Tire/Edmonton Oilers Ultimate Fan Experience": buffet dinner, stick signed by Bucky, t-shirt, cap, Oilers away sweater, $25 of certificates good for food or beer, and two kick-ass seats at this beauty of a game.

How can I be shameless about this obvious purchase of my loyalty? Two reasons.

One, it really was the Ultimate Fan Experience and I had a helluva time - unlike any of my previous experiences at the Saddlemorgue.

Two, it takes a big man to admit when he is wrong - and cheering for the Flames was just that. I simply came to realize that, in the face of such a demonstrably superior alternative, it was simply unjustifiable to accept the naive decisions of boys in the summer of their seventh birthdays to cheer for the same team as Daddy.

Bob Essensa in goal! No wonder your heart was captured... In Bob's defense, he had 10 years experience in the NHL at the time. That's a better pedigree for a backup goalie than playing half a year in Greenville.

I could comment on your spelling of "piece" rather than "peace" in this post, Matt, but I know you would cut me the same slack. Perhaps it was an artistic interpretation of the term, one fitting for a literary endeavor? But fear Cosh. That grumpy bastard will be on you like Peplinski on a fat chick.

Good to see this is up and running, guys. As a Edmontonian for the past 30 years, and an Oiler fan for almost as many, I am excited to see the Battle of Alberta spill over into the blogosphere. I will add you to the Sports Matters "Must Reads."

I can't wait til Tony Amonte scores 40 points and the Flames end in up last place. I mean, cmon. Without Marty Gelinas, how do you actually plan on making the playoffs?



The Grammar Slammer Bammer

Besides, even if Tony Amonte is a downgrade over the "2004 Playoffs Marty Gelinas", so is Marty Gelinas.


Everyone is loving to question Amonte and his ability to score. Based on last year's numbers he would be the second leading scorer on the Edmonton Oilers in both goals and assists. He's guaranteed 20 this year. But it's not impossible to think he might flourish with Iginla and Langkow.


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