First Star, Worst Star: November 21, 2014

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Time once again for everyone’s favorite new weekly feature: FIRST STAR WORST STAR!! 

FIRST STAR

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Troy Grosenick. 

I MEAN, COME ON! What’s not to love about this story? The 25 year old net minder gets called up after Alex Stalock goes down with an injury, makes his NHL debut 4 days later in which he records a 45(!!!) save shutout, AND his family is in the building? He might as well retire now because it’s going to be hard to top that moment! (And, uh, he got absolutely lit up by Buffalo the next game, so….)

I love everything about this video. His dad crying tears of joy. His brother, who thankfully got to take time off from being a roadie for Ratt to come watch the game. His mom showing literally no emotion, calmly putting on her coat as the rest of the family freaks out. Just great work top to bottom Grosenick family! 

WORST STAR

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You, us, we, the fans. With our never-ending theories about how the Oilers are purposely trying to lose, and knowing for sure that Daryl Katz is sleeping on a pile of our hard earned cash, cackling and masturbating at the thought of our continued misery while he reaps all the benefits of spending millions upon millions of dollars to own one of the worst franchises in all of professional sports. Not the mention the insider knowledge that Dallas Eakins is purposely making head scratching decisions because he has a personal vendetta against you, yes YOU and you alone, and just wants to make your life miserable by losing 4 out of 5 hockey games he coaches. 

When we’re not storming the comments section or Twitter decrying the injustices of being forced to spend our free time watching professional sports, entertainment if you will, we’re making sure to always be on the media’s case for never, ever, ever, once, ever saying anything bad at all about the Oilers.  

And it’s not just Oiler fans. Look at our ever embarrassing cousins in the east! On November 12th Leaf fans and their media were falling all over themselves to praise the team for their statement making game against the Bruins. That statement? Well…. actually I’m not entirely sure. That even a good team like the Boston Bruins are going to have an off night and get lit up once in a while? That hockey is pretty random? That the Leafs won one game? That one win in the middle of November somehow erases that hilarious collapse in the playoffs two years ago? Whatever it was Leaf fans across the land were riding high. 7 days and THREE games later? 

BURN THE HOUSE DOWN!! Fire the coach! Fire the GM! Fire the mascot! Trade everyone! Put Phil Kessel on trial for his heinous crimes against humanity! Fire Brian Burke again! 

Two losses, granted by a combined score of 15-4, and all of a sudden the Leafs season was basically over. 

And EVEN DUMBER THAN THAT, the Leafs come out the next game, beat Tampa handily, and people got EVEN MORE IRATE AND STUPID! Why? Well the Leafs had the audacity not to lift their sticks up at center ice for 3 seconds as everyone was filing out of the building. How disrespectful to the 300 people that didn’t leave 5 minutes early to beat the traffic! 

Sports fandom is a funny thing that I doubt I’ll truly ever understand. I’m as guilty as anyone for getting caught up in the emotional roller coaster that goes along with loving a sports franchise a little (a lot) too much. But MY LORD MAN, some of us need to take a serious look in the mirror and reevaluate our priorities here. At the end of the day watching professional sports is a hobby, it’s entertainment, it’s fun. Err, well, it’s SUPPOSED to be fun. 

This team needs to go through some major changes, that’s plain as day. But as we’ve seen for going on almost 9(!!) years now bellyaching and complaining and long winded screeds *shifty eyes* aren’t going to make a lick of difference in terms of what happens on the ice. For better or for worse (mostly worse) we chose the Oilers as the team we love and spend way too much time thinking and yelling about. We’re all obviously super passionate about this team, otherwise we wouldn’t waste tons of company time commenting on who is to blame for what at any given time. 

But I think we all just need to take a step back, take a couple of big, deep breathes, and realize that there are much, much better things to worry about than professional sports. I think we’re just making a shitty situation even worse by constantly dwelling on all the crappy parts of this team. I mean, I personally can’t even get mad at the ineptitude displayed by this team day in and day out. It’s more astonishing than anything else. Not a single win against a western conference team? NOT ONE? Not one shootout? Not a fluke goal in the dying seconds of the third to steal one? NINE YEARS WITHOUT A SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME? That’s astounding! 

“Being a Leafs fan is HARD” Bruce Arthur exclaimed the day after No-Stick-Saulte-Gate, which is patently untrue. Yes, it sucks when the team you cheer for (or in some of our cases all the teams we cheer for) suck. It’s not fun watching your team lose night in and night out. But no one is forcing you to watch. There are a million other things you can do with your time. The Oilers are down 4-0 in the second period? Guess it’s time to fire up my NHL 15 season where my team actually wins games. The Leafs have lost 4 in a row? Instead of sticking around at home this Saturday night maybe we’ll go see a movie instead. 

I think if we spent less time yelling at each other about who has the correct terrible trade idea that will immediately turn this team around, and more time making fun of Eakins’ derpy face and making terrible puns on Twitter, we’ll all be (slightly) happier. The Oilers clearly aren’t going to make this season any fun (AGAIN!) so we might as well try to make the most of a bad situation which we have virtually no control over. 

Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to run away now as not to get stung by this hornets nest that I’ve just kicked. 

  • SpiMo

    As a Leaf fan, thank you for making me feel better this week, I’ve been so up and down and all that uncertainty and all, you know – I didn’t read your whole column, just skimmed to the Leaf mentions Ha Ha. Must really REALLY suck to be an Oiler fan…

    Counting my blessings starting today – GLG!