The Oilers’ 2017 Playoff Run and other municipal musings on the parking lot formerly known as the City of Champions.

The local hockey club, led by a once-in-a-generation star that I had the gall to short in his debut season… and win against, is in the Playoffs for the first time in 11 years. After defeating the San Jose Sharks four games to two, the Oilers are now in the second round against the Anaheim Disney Cartoons!

Still in post-secondary the last time, when the Oil lost in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals to whoever it was, I didn’t then blog or otherwise have the presence of mind to document the increasingly frothy tiers of each successive round of the multi-month-long spectacle.i But now, older and wiser, here we are!

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Not content to be confined to the ice surface, McSnackAttack’s face can even be found on billboards sponsored by the local auto dealer networks. Pretty plain-faced, isn’t he ?

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Elsewhere in downtown, beaming banners in 80’s orange adorn above-ground pedwaysii and construction scaffolding alike. There’s nary a view to be had that won’t remind you of The Most Important Thing In The City Right Now.

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One of the few hotdog vendors already serving the downtown lunch crowd this early in the spring season was fully kitted out. His canopy’s only wall was an Oilers flag and his usual t-shirt was replaced by a home jersey. A man of the people!

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Even this high-end menswear stores was in the swing of things, starting with the bottomless bloke by the front entrance of Singer’s.iii While I usually look to manikins for the best made pieces in stock, and have stripped no small number of headless sods in my day in search of the last size S or M in the store, I was single-mindedly bow tie shopping for an upcoming gala event on this occasion. Not that a “LET’S GO OILERS” t-shirt could ever be fashionable.

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Ah yes, the ORANGE CRUSH. It’s become fashionable for these anti-individualists (ie. fascists) to wrap themselves in a particular colour for such sporting runs, hasn’t it. Blame Bahamas for starting this century’siv iteration of the fad with his “colour revolutions” that destabilised the Middle East and gave rise to open-air slave markets and ISIS.

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Elsewhere in the parking lot formerly known as the City of Champions,v is the construction of new segregated bicycle lanes in the downtown core, just as a slightly more doe-eyed Pete called for way back in At the time, I framed the pro argument in terms of “health” and “ROI” ; and although I’d now be more inclined to frame it in terms of a social inevitability once handicap parking stalls became the indisputable norm,vii it’s something of a bootlegger and baptist story all the same, or perhaps bootlicker and baptist is more accurate. Either way it’s all from the same fertile mind!

And you gotta love the giant YIELD TO BICYCLES sign. Hurr!!

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While removing one of the two westbound lanes of 100th Avenue might not be the end of the world during the summer months, blood will boil when the first snow flies in the fall and the first traffic jam of the year is exacerbated exponentially by pedalling peons.

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Only a municipal works crews needs six men and a supervisor to paint new lines on the road. God bless shovel ready projects! And city workers riding the Orange Crush wave! And pylons too!

See you for Round 3 – the Western Conference Finals ?

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  1. The NHL Playoffs start in April and finish in June each year.
  2. In a climate such as this, we’ve made it possible to stay entirely indoors in the downtown core by utilising a network of above-ground and underground walkway systems between the larger towers and shopping centres. In effect, you can slip on your Hugo Boss loafers at home, pop into your heated attached garage and into your car, drive downtown, into the underground parkade at your office, and walk over to a meeting in a building three blocks away without ever exposing that sweet, sweet Italian leather to the salt, gravel, slush, and snow typical of the streetscape from months spanning October to May. Progress!
  3. Fun fact : I used to caddy for the owner of the franchise, Fred Singer, Henry’s son. Looping for the friendly old Fred, about a decade my parent’s senior, I slowly gathered intel on his strengths and weaknesses until I faced off against him in the semi-final of the Men’s Match Play Championship in 2007. He was soundly beaten and I went on the win the final. Such a commotion was thereby stirred at the buttoned-up Royal Mayfair G&CC that I was prevented from competing in the Men’s Club Championship stroke play event that year – ostensibly because I wasn’t a shareholder – although this never seemed to be an issue with the previous cohorts of sponsored players. If that’s not disruption, I don’t know what is! 
  4. Le rouge et le noir wasn’t so long ago, you know. Though it’s not like there’s been anything new in politics since Aristotle.
  5. This moniker was reiterated proudly throughout the 80s when the local american football clubs and hockey teams were winning championship after championship, stacking them up to the rafters. Eventually, “City of Champions” even made its way onto the welcome signs at the edges of town, only to be removed in early 2015 after decades of disappointment for fans (ie. “citizens“).  
  6. Being ahead of the curve is sort of what I do, though it’s still fascinating to reflect on my startling naivete just seven short years ago.
  7. Segregated bike lanes are yet another example of untermensch infighting, and in a blue-collar car-centric city, it’s bound to end in sweet, sweet pugilism.  

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