When I was a kid I loved watching hockey.
We were a 3 channel family. 3, 5, and 13. Channel 5 had Hockey Night in Canada. I used to look forward to that beautiful production every time I knew I would be home for it. In fact, I distinctly remember a time when our youth group was going to a Monster Track Rally at The Coliseum, and I decided not to go because the Canucks were playing the Red Wings that night. I didn’t like either of those teams, but I thought that it would be a good matchup.
I went to my first Oilers game back when school groups could go together. We sat way up high and had a blast!
Later on, my awesome dad bought me Oilers-Blues tickets for my birthday. Front Row! $60 a piece. We had a great time and I got a lot of great photos of my favourite Brett at the time.
When I was a kid I loved playing hockey.
My family established it early that we couldn’t afford the financial or time commitment for me to play minor hockey. I didn’t let that phase me. I played shinny hockey at Forest Green school in Stony Plain almost any time I could. I remember playing til it got dark, and then wandering home by the dim glow of the street lights.
I lost so many pucks in that forest.
I played street hockey every day when I was a kid. My brother would tire of it, but I would keep on playing. I even took shots on myself. If that doesn’t make any sense to you, then don’t worry about it. I was a weird, little, hockey-obsessed kid.
These days, I have 2 kids of my own. One of them loves hockey, but also loves reading, and drawing, and being a goofball. The other one is definitely a raging hockey fanatic, just like his old man. Mini sticks a plenty! He’s always wanting to know the score of any game that is happening. He’s always asking if there is any hockey on that he could watch. Always thinking. Always picturing. Always dreaming.
Both of my kids grew up in the Oilers’ Decade of Darkness. They both don’t mind the Oilers, but they are permanently hopeless causes from being Oiler fans. Katz, Lowe and the gang sure are setting the stage for a memorable legacy.
One of my boys likes Crosby and the Pens and the other one is a Taylor Hall fan. Now he likes the Devils, too. You see, that’s how it works with kids. I’m proud of him for jumping ship and sticking with Hall. Takes guts.
So my kids don’t like the Oilers. I used to try to persuade them to cheer for the Oil, and sometimes they do as if they’re doing me some sort of favour. But now I’m proud of them for picking their own teams and I hope that they stick with it.
The Oilers didn’t help their cause by being one of the worst run organization is sports for the last decade. My kids did the logical thing and, when looking for entertaining hockey, simply looked elsewhere. There’s got to be many other Northern Alberta kids who feel the same way, and good for them.
As an Oiler fan, I am often reminded of this lyric in Hotel California.
You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave!
I’ll always cheer for the Oilers. For some of us older folks, it’s our burden to carry. My advice is to encourage your own kids to cheer for some other team. Get them a Stamkos jersey, or tell them how good the Devils are going to be in a few years. After all that, if they insist on being an Oiler fan, then pat them on the back and welcome them to the club for me. We’re all in this mess together.
Trying to share good words within a world of noise. Introverted, but I need people.