I’m not used to losing. My athletic career has been above average. I was a dual-sport university athlete and recruited to play a third. I’ve played alongside national team soccer players. I’ve been ranked as a top-10 track and field athlete in the country. I’ve won city and provincial championships in other sports. I was rarely the top player on any of these teams, but I was, like I said, above average.

In sports like soccer and basketball, I was fast, smart and had a way of getting under the skin of opposing teams. In volleyball, I was calm and capable, managing to dig almost anything that came my way.

Not every team I played on was championship-winning, but I struggle to think of any teams that weren’t competitive. Even in recent years as I turned to more recreational sport, we were rarely embarrassed. Every second season or so, our poor co-ed team would upset far better teams in the playoffs thanks to some good goaltending and timely goals by yours truly.

I sound pretty full of myself. But it’s the truth. If I was was put on this earth to do one thing, it was probably play sports. Even today, out of shape from months of concussion recovery, I could probably out-sprint most of you.

The other thing I’d probably beat you at is board games. I’m not sure why I’m so good at games, but even when I don’t think I understand the strategy, I’m getting ahead.

Oh, and I’m competitive. I think this is a natural by-product of being used to winning.

Unsurprisingly, this has proven problematic in some of my past relationships. God forbid you’re beaten by a girl. Manhood is a curious thing.

Orgle has me figured out though. He’s a smart guy who picks up board games almost as quick as I do. But he has more patience than I do. He takes the time to really make the right move. He also takes the time to really annoy me into playing aggressively and without due care. On the field (side note: we met playing soccer), he doesn’t have the natural speed or shot, but he can outplay me everytime. He just keeps jogging until I get tired.

I’m tired of the Oilers and the losing. Even Orgle’s patience has run out. A 10 game losing streak tends to do that. Two more losses and the Oilers will have failed to win in a month.

Let’s say you’re like me and you know a thing or two about winning… How can you stand being part of this organization?

Top to bottom is in disarray. You can point to everyone and shell out a little bit of the blame (except maybe Boyd Gordon, the man in a knight in shining armour). There’s a culture of losing that has gotten into the players, the air, the ice, the fibres of the carpets…

So there’s only one solution.

Start over in a new arena.

I’m kidding. That’s a terrible idea and I still can’t believe the people of Edmonton are shelling out for a billionaire’s new playground for his millionaire kids. What a kick in the shin to Oiler fans and people in the city who couldn’t care less.

So what’s the solution? How do the Oilers stop the bleeding?

Hell if I know. The team is broken.

As fans, we can push for whatever we think best: Fire Lowe, fire Eakins, fire MacT, trade Eberle, trade Nuge, put Jultz in the stocks in the town square, put two goalies in net and play with four players…

There are thousands of options and, at this point, no clear solution. The problems are deep. Just like I think of myself as a winner, I think these guys are thinking of themselves as losers. And they are right, for now.

Just like there is no clear solution to improve the on-ice performance, there is not just one way to deal with this truly dark part of the Oilers franchise. As fans we all have a right to deal with it in our own way. Some will quit the team, others will fill with apathy, many will be angry, and I will write #SadOilersPoetry.

I had a guy on twitter recently call me a bitch for giving up on the Oilers one night. I’m in the East and sleep is important to me. I don’t remember my exact wording but I think I added a #OilersPositives to my departure announcement. Still, it’s not uncommon for me to go to bed after the first period – regardless of how the team is doing (usually it’s not good). But apparently, that’s enough to demean me on Twitter.

If the Oilers ever win again, it will break the internet. But if they don’t, can’t we all grieve in our own way?


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