There was a time when the Battle of Alberta was the best rivalry in hockey and one of the best rivalries in all of sport. Last Saturday, the rivalry took an odd turn when the Calgary Flames thrashed the Edmonton Oilers 8-1 in front of a hostile crowd at the Rexall Centre. The loss cemented the fact that the Oilers will miss the playoffs for an eighth consecutive season.
How hostile was it? A fan had enough and decided to throw his jersey on the ice. Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens angrily scooped up the crumpled sweater with his goal stick, and flung back into the crowd. After the game, Scrivens went on a rant that had the media salivating.
Now, I don’t mind a player being frustrated after a bad game. After all, they are professionals and by nature, athletes are very competitive. No NHL player likes to lose 8-1. That is stating the obvious. But to get mad at the paying public for “disrespecting the logo?” Get real. I get it, the Oilers have history. Five Stanley Cups in seven years is something to be proud of. The likes of Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Paul Coffey, Jari Kurri and Grant Fuhr all donned the blue and orange with the oil drop. Yes, the Oilers were a great team at one time. But to be brutally honest, the Oilers are awful. So awful that they may make my “honoured list” as one of the worst teams of all time.
But the question remains, when did the logo become sacred? And is it really sacred? I mean, its so wrong for a fan to throw his jersey on the ice because his beloved team is getting its ass kicked worse than the me if I was involved in a fight with Zdeno Chara. But as bloggers @GameTimeArt and @DownGoesBrown noted, the logo has appeared on numerous items that aren’t necessarily hockey related.
I mean, really? A high heel shoe on a Christmas tree? Oh, it doesn’t stop there.
— Art Middleton (@GameTimeArt) March 23, 2014
Yes, a freaking car mat. But don’t step on the logo, it’s sacred! And if you don’t want anyone stepping on the logo in your dressing room, how the hell do you explain this travesty?
Let’s get real here. Logos are used to market the brand. The rock band KISS learned this in the 1970s and they used their symbol on everything from thong underwear, to coffins. Yes, you can be buried in a KISS coffin once you reach the afterlife. Come to think of it, it would be fitting to be buried in an Oilers coffin considering how their season is going.
So spare me the righteous indignation of the Oilers logo being soiled because some leather-lunged yahoo who probably had too many Budweisers, threw his $200.00 replica jersey onto the ice. I’m not condoning throwing objects of any kind onto any playing surface, but I do understand the fan’s frustration with his beloved hockey team. Maybe it is time for Oilers management and players to take a long hard look in the mirror on who has done the most damage to the brand. It is management who assembles the players and it is the players who are either not wanting to give the effort, or simply aren’t good enough. If it is the former, than the players who have soiled the logo. If it is the latter, management and ownership must accept responsibility. Because if the Oilers keep losing, perhaps some irate fan will throw their thong with the Oilers logo cleverly placed, on the ice. Now that would be disrespectful.
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