Edmonton Oilers PTSD

The Edmonton Oilers are the worst NHL team of the twenty-first century.

And no, this isn't hyperbole, or a trick. If you take every hockey game played in the 21st century and look at the teams point totals, the Oilers sit uncomfortably at the bottom. I started, as every Seinfeld viewer knows, on January 1st 2001 and continued up until today (er...yesterday). And the sad reality I found was the Edmonton Oilers with 1194 points in 1379 games, and their 0.865 PPG at the very bottom of the league. Second place is Arizona followed by Columbus(!?), Florida, and Buffalo.

All of the numbers in this post are based with the NHL results as of Thursday morning (2019-02-07).

Edmonton Oilers have the worst  record in the NHL during the 21st century

Team total points total games points per game
ANA 1491 1378 1.082002903
BOS 1488 1381 1.077480087
BUF 1279 1380 0.926811594
CAR 1289 1381 0.933381608
CBJ 1254 1376 0.911337209
CGY 1378 1381 0.997827661
CHI 1401 1380 1.015217391
COL 1328 1379 0.963016679
DAL 1450 1380 1.050724638
DET 1534 1375 1.115636364
EDM 1194 1379 0.865844815
FLA 1260 1380 0.913043478
LAK 1348 1381 0.976104272
MIN 1408 1382 1.018813314
MTL 1407 1379 1.020304569
NJD 1419 1381 1.027516293
NSH 1471 1383 1.06362979
NYI 1290 1379 0.935460479
NYR 1421 1375 1.033454545
OTT 1406 1382 1.017366136
PHI 1419 1382 1.026772793
PHX 1224 1387 0.882480173
PIT 1458 1381 1.055756698
SJS 1545 1383 1.117136659
STL 1418 1381 1.02679218
TBL 1422 1381 1.029688631
TOR 1332 1378 0.966618287
VAN 1435 1380 1.039855072
VEG 173 137 1.262773723
WPG 1322 1382 0.95658466
WSH 1468 1382 1.062228654

Last night the Oilers defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-1. This is change of pace: Edmonton is 3-6-2 in their last ten games and coming off three humiliating losses in a row: a Saturday afternoon game against Philadelphia where they coughed up a lead to lose in overtime followed by a Sunday afternoon game against Montreal in the Bell Centre where they coughed up a lead to lose in overtime. Next game the disaster on 104th Avenue on Tuesday where the Oilers didn't even get a loser point in overtime because they coughed up a lead to be humiliated 6-2 by Chicago in the infamous return of the "jersey toss".

I almost didn't watch last night's game, by the way. Literally yesterday morning when I got the alert reminder on my phone that the team played that night, I felt ill. My stomach ached, my temples throbbed, and I experienced anxiety and despair. This is a new phenomenon I describe as Oilers PTSD. I'm not alone in this, and technically this experience isn't new. Years ago in the regular season games prior to the 2006 playoff run when the team was fighting for that 8th playoff spot [doesn't that seem quaint now? -ed] I was talking with a coworker about how my mood really depended on the result of the previous night's game. A girl I know who moved to Edmonton from Toronto around 2008 was mentioning a couple years back how the city's mood really varies based on how the Oilers did the night before: she noticed in business meetings downtown that when the team lost the night before she wasn't going to get a good reception to anything other than the best news on the planet. I was talking with a guy who lived in Montreal for two years and he said both cities are roughly the same on this, but he also admitted Edmonton probably "wins" in that race as well.

But remember..the team has been an embarrassment for most of this entire century. We have the best player in the league and in three seasons we have nothing to show for it. We had an atrocious General Manger who everybody saw was a bad idea from the moment he was brought on board, who inexplicably was signing bad deals minutes before he was let go. Oilers games with a couple small exceptions have been disasters ever since 9/11. And like a soldier sent to kill the adherents of a child raping Satanic prophet over in Afghanistan, Oilers fans are also suffering post-traumatic stress which morphs into pre-traumatic stress every time we get that TSN.ca notification that an Oilers game is on the horizon.

Don't believe me? Check the WebMD symptoms for PTSD and let me know how many of them apply to you or the Oilers fan in your life:
Whether you're thinking about it or not, memories of the traumatic event can come back to bother you. You may experience them in your sleep as nightmares or during the day as flashbacks. That means you relive the event as if it's happening for the first time.

Both can cause you to feel anxious, afraid, guilty, or suspicious. These emotions may play out physically in the form of chills, shaking, headaches, heart palpitations, and panic attacks.
How many times in the day or two after a bad Oilers loss have you suddenly thought about it? How many times have you had headaches when you watch us be humiliated again and remember that Lucic is taking up a whopping 7% of the Oilers cap hit while only having 14 points on the season? Panic attacks when you realize that McDavid can see the writing on the wall and Manning in the locker room and likely demand a trade sometime before Jason Kenney runs for reelection? Don't feel alone. We've all been there.

You don't want to think about it. You don't want to talk about it. You steer clear of everyone and everything that reminds you of the event, including places and activities.
This is the section that sort of spoils my thesis. Ironically, as Martok was talking about this morning when I bounced the idea of this post against him mentioned, we remain fans. We watch fewer games when experiencing Oilers PTSD (I didn't watch the Chicago game on Tuesday, for example), we aren't steering clear of people and things that remind us of the event. Indeed, we keep attending the event, at least by watching it on TV.

Doctors call these “arousal symptoms.” They can make your emotions more intense or make you react differently than you normally would. For example, if you're a careful driver, you might start driving too fast or be super-aggressive on the road. Irrational, angry outbursts are very common.

Many find it hard to focus. Feelings of danger and being under attack can ruin concentration and keep you from finishing tasks you do every day. This can also lead to trouble sleeping, whether you're having nightmares or not.
I haven't had "arousal symptoms" since the Oilers moved to Rogers Place and that brunette in the tight shirt stopped skating around during TV time outs clearing off the ice, har har. I kid of course: Oilers fans often have their concentration interfered with during the emotionally stunned period during a bad losing streak. As the Toronto girl in business meeting story above illustrated, Edmontonians felt under attack and having trouble concentrating on the day after a single Oilers loss. What about during losing streaks? What about exercises in total futility at putting a competitive NHL team out on the ice when you have the greatest player in maybe two generations on a line with Ty Rattie?

PTSD doesn't always come with clues like nightmares and flashbacks. Sometimes it seems like a mood change unrelated to the traumatic event.

You'll know it by its negativity. You may feel hopeless, numb, or bad about yourself or others. Thoughts of suicide can come and go. Deep feelings of guilt and shame are common, as well.
Yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes. That feeling of hopelessness (no matter who is the owner, GM, coach, star forward the result is always the same), feeling bad about yourself for being an Oilers fan, the numbness when every loss just stops explicitly bothering you and turns into a overarching paste of sadness. Deep feelings of shame? Absolutely. Guilt when you realize your viewing eyeballs have rewarded the folks who keep making this happen? Absolutely. Suicide? Okay, that's maybe a bridge too far. Still, the feelings of shame. You don't want to be seen in Calgary with an Oilers hat anymore. You have nothing to hold over them.

Activities you normally enjoy may not interest you anymore. Your motivation to maintain relationships with close friends and family could be low.
Activities you enjoy...like watching the Oilers play...no longer interest you. Your motivation to maintain relationships with close friends (hey want to go to The Pint and watch the Oilers game?) is lower than ever.

Those are the signs. You probably have Oilers PTSD. In fact, if you don't you should get your head examined. You're no longer human. Or you're no longer an Oilers fan. I suppose in that case your head is working just fine.


Liveblog: The Big Football Game at the end of the season

Hey there sports fans and welcome to Third Edge of the Sword's live February 3rd coverage of THE BIG FOOTBALL GAME AT THE END OF THE SEASON which I understand is a popular thing to watch today.

It's a little confusing seeing how the big football game at the end of the season -- you know, the Grey Cup -- was actually held 70 days ago. I was there in the stands, actually. But since I missed watching it on TV, I did PVR it.

So this is a good time to liveblog my rewatch of the 2018 Grey Cup, since apparently everybody else is also watching it. So here, live from Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Cobb County Georgia comes THE BIG FOOTBALL GAME AT THE END OF THE SEASON.

4:30pm: I understand this is the time everybody is planning to watch THE BIG FOOTBALL GAME AT THE END OF THE SEASON so I hit "play" on my PVR. It starts kind of awkwardly as two guys from Purolator's "Tackle Hunger" are being interviewed. And now, shitty pathetic women are coming out to join the CFL Commissioner for the official coin toss.

4:32pm: Fake Governor General Julie Paquette (because she's a woman and therefore not picked on merit) hears Ottawa call tails, and she throws heads so Calgary wins the toss. She's really a pathetic useless piece of shit. Trudeau nominee, what can we say?

4:33pm: Dave Dickenson looks tanned. Why does he look tanned? He makes a lame "we need to score one more point than these guys" joke. Nobody smiles.

4:35pm: I just heard a couple Black Friday Ford commercials. I thought half the fun of this event was watching the amazing commercials? Ford and Harry Rosen both put out lackluster ones.

4:37pm: Ugh, the National Anthem. You know, I would actually enjoy if they did an Alberta anthem (something by Paul Brandt) and an Ottawa anthem (something from the Dumb and Dumber soundtrack). Listening to Brent Kissel the shitty fake Trudeau anthem lyrics in English and the pathetic Frog lyrics mixed in is always infuriating. By the way, listen carefully: you can hear me loudly sing "in all thy sons command" when Kissel does it wrong.

4:39pm: William Pallister was the Safeway Score and Win candidate. Good to know it wasn't me.

4:42pm: "Super used to mean something" in the hilarious Real Canadian Superstore commercial. Meant nothing on November 25th 2018 but means a lot more today.

4:43pm: Exactly 0 Celcius at kickoff. How good would that feel right now?

4:45pm: Harris' throw was good but it meant nothing, and Ottawa punts away the fall after only three plays. Plus a 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty.

4:47pm: Chris Matthews gets a first down. I remember groaning when I originally watched that. Also a reference to the Patriots in something called the "Super Bowl". I wonder what that's about.

4:49pm: Mitchell's throw was errant the moment I saw it, and Ottawa snags an interception in the endzone. I honestly forget what this flag did.

4:50pm: Ottawa penalty was after Rose's interception so the play stands.

4:54pm: Ottawa has to kick it away, I wonder if I can still go to BrickGreyCupParty.ca?

4:57pm: The REDBLACKS had food poisoning? I hadn't heard that.

4:59pm: BLV gets away from pressure and makes an iffy throw to Durant who...drops it. Nice try, dudes.

5:01pm: The frozen field causes players to be concerned about playing conditions and they have to wear a special shoe called the "Destroyer". Hey, wasn't this not a problem back when we had natural grass? We really need to go back to natural grass in that field. Fertilize it with Iveson's corpse.

5:03pm: Now Calgary's turn to intercept the ball.

5:05pm: Calgary gets their first touchdown of the game as BLV remembers there's this guy named "Jackson" on the team and he's allowed to throw him the ball.

5:09pm: They just showed the worldwide broadcasts including Mexico on "ESPN Tres North". Funny.

5:12pm: Alessa Cara was the halftime show. I knew it, forgot it, and I'll not remember it tomorrow either.

5:15pm: Ottawa misses the field goal attempt and Calgary gets possession. Still 7-0 Calgary.

5:16pm: First Bryan Hall namedrop.

5:18pm: Skip the Dishes and TransMountain pipeline commercials. Ironically I think the KeepCanadaWorking.ca ads are horrible. They make me want pipelines less. Next a Huawei commercial. Banned in most of the west. Here they are the prime sponsor of the government broadcaster's flagship program.

5:24pm: Powell is showing the Ottawa ground game. Not bad, not bad. Ottawa gets a field goal, it's now 7-3 Calgary in the second quarter.

5:27pm: Offside call against Ottawa. As an Eskimos fan I have to say that it feels like not a lot of penalties have been called in this game. Why does the league hate us?

5:29pm: Pizza 73 is on the way by the way, so there may be some gaps in my coverage starting around 6pm.

5:32pm: World Juniors coverage on TSN starts Boxing Day. Uh, you don't want to know how that one ends.

5:33pm: Calgary is in the middle of a strong drive here. First down on the Ottawa 17 and Mitchell throws a TD to Durant who just extends his arm to get the ball across the line.

5:34pm: Point after is good, score is now 14-3 Stampeders. I think this is when I left to hit the concession stands.

5:39pm: Every time I watch an NFL kick return I'm screaming "no yards" at the screen. I don't watch the second rate junior American league often, but that's one of my favourite calls, along with "TWO AND OUT" and "throw to the twelfth man". This is a straight up no yardage call on the Ottawa punt.

5:42pm: Grant got a first down but it was a very very rough hit. I remember Ottawa never having the ball, but here they get an interception to prove me wrong as the thought enters my brain.

5:45pm: Powell fumbles the ball and the Stampeders recover. There's a lot of cheers in the crowd, and I frankly don't remember that many Calgary fans in the stands. Maybe it was just my section but I recall a lot more Stampeder taunting than anything else.

5:50pm: What a play! Harris 's throw goes to #83 from Laval whose name I can't see or pronounce, and he fights his way into the endzone. Ottawa then gets the 2pt conversion. 14-11 Stampeders but the REDBLACKS (remember to scream when you say it!) are coming back. I half cheered but remembered I already know how this all ends up.

5:55pm: Ottawa seems to be on a roll here right now, with 1:30 left in the half they almost get an interception and are keeping Calgary from getting a first down.

6:00pm: I remember this: Calgary runs back after a punt and gets a touchdown. Hilariously the Stampeders horse wasn't warmed up at this point, so the girl and her horse have to go for a run with no warning in about -9. The horse was not happy and you could hear him huffing in pain from a dozen yards away.

6:03pm: The first half comes to a close. Pizza guy just called telling me my pickup was ready. Uh, dude, I asked for delivery. Calgary leading 21-11.

6:09pm: This footing problem is new to me...we can seriously push to get real grass at Commonwealth again. The cold isn't a problem. We can rebuild it. We have the technology.

6:13pm: Alessia Cara is up for the halftime show. I legitmately never watched this, we went to the concession pit for some whisky and Boston Pizza awesome-ness. I think the whole appeal of this chick is she's a hot 17 year old who sings with autotune. But she's in plain grey long coat with a toque and multiple layers. So who cares? It's like when Shania didn't show midriff at the Grey Cup but did at the Superbowl two years later.

6:14pm: She name dropped "Grey Cup". I still don't care about you. Here's the only reason we should care:

6:19pm: Hey I know this song! I thought it was Rhianna singing it though.

6:21pm: Here's her entire show by the way:

6:22pm: This would have been a good time to be eating pizza. Why would I want to pick it up?

6:25pm: The fireworks shot was cool. Commonwealth Stadium looks impressive from the air. At night. I kid of course: it's nothing that special for a stadium except its the biggest one in the CFL. So no biggie.

6:28pm: So I can see the actual Grey Cup? Wow! Oh..wait...

6:45pm: As you may have guessed the pizza arrived. Opening of the 3rd featured some uncharacteristic Calgary penalties and a lot of messy back and forth between the two teams. Harris to Harris and Ottawa is getting deep into their zone.

6:48pm: Ottawa settles for a field goal. 21-14 Calgary.

6:56pm: Calgary gets their own field goal and it's 24-14 Stampeders. Sorry, I was busy eating the wing meal. Why do I ever get the wing meal? I've never once had the Pizza 73 wing meal instead of my second pizza and been happy with my decision. Is this why morons keep voting NDP?

7:01pm: Why are CPAs taking credit for fake faggot marriages?

7:07pm: The third quarter was pretty dull. Speaking of dull, Martok texts to report the final game of the NFL season was boring up until this point.

7:10pm: Ottawa fumbles on what looks like an innocent play. Spencer clumsily tries to escape a tackle and he doesn't escape the tackle but does let the ball escape him. Calgary on the Ottawa 25 yard line.

7:12pm: Ottawa manages to prevent a touchdown, so Calgary opts for a field goal. The Calgary victory seems inevitable, just like drug addled losers dying from opioid overdoses. Only one horrible outcome involves ridiculous government ads though.

7:16pm: Ottawa is moving the ball pretty good, and processing well on this drive. This looks tense.

7:17pm: Another great Harris to Harris throw, but Harris the receiver is injured.

7:18pm: Ottawa scores a TD but the play is going to review and by the way it's going to be overturned.

7:20pm: Surprise surprise, it was overturned. I like these aerial shots of Commonwealth by the way.

7:21pm: Ottawa stopped at the two yard line. 3rd and 2, this is the TSN turning point.

7:22pm: Calgary successfully blocks the attempt and the REDBLACKS turn the ball over on downs. I mean, we all knew Ottawa was doomed at 4:30pm when I started this liveblog, but this is the point where live at the game we realized we were going to have to attend a Calgary victory.

7:23pm: Remember before Mortal Engines came out and we knew it was going to bomb? We were right.

7:28pm: The Grey Cup is in the building. Of course, we always knew it would be. Like, months ago.

7:29pm: Harris tries a deep throw that gets blocked. Now it's 3rd and 10 with 6:05 left in the 4th quarter. Ottawa chooses to punt. I will never understand this move. But the punt does go out into the endzone, Ottawa now has a chance as Calgary is on their 1 yard line.

7:32pm: Calgary gets the short yardage first down to keep their drive alive.

7:33pm: Ottawa takes their timeout as Calgary moves to the 25 yard line.

7:35pm: Bo Levi almost throws an interception, but instead Calgary gets to punt the ball away.

7:40pm: Ottawa delays the inevitable with a timeout. Sure the 27-14 lead in the CFL isn't insurmountable with 2:22 left on the clock...but Calgary has the ball

7:43pm: With 1:43 left Ottawa gets to the Calgary 33 yard line with a deep throw by Harris.

7:45pm: Calgary catches a Harris throw to snag an interception with 1:22 left on the clock and a 13pt lead. This is literally the point we left, Martok pushed us to walk away from the game, and therefore everything after this is all new to me.

7:46pm: Ottawa holds Calgary from getting a first down but now it's too late anyways.

7:47pm: Calgary runs backwards out of the endzone and now it's 27-16 Stampeders. At this point it's just a coronation and the TSN announcers are just talking about all the adversity and shit the Stamps have gone through. They got rid of that fag-lover Cornish, what other adversity can there be?

7:49pm: I still can't get over how much more partisan pro-Calgary the crowd is when you hear them on TV. Our "Build That Pipe!" chant, easily the loudest thing I heard from the crowd at the game, never was even heard on TV. I wonder if that was some sort of deliberate effort on the broadcast team's part.

7:51pm: Harris is sacked and that's it that's all. The Calgary Stampeders are your 2018 Grey Cup Champions. Wait, I knew this 3 hours ago. Hell, I knew this 3 weeks ago.

7:53pm: The Lone Ranger theme plays and I think at this point we were getting on the LRT.

7:54pm: Singleton tries very hard not to drop F-bombs to celebrate the win with his retarded sister.

7;57pm: Chris Matthews gives the classic negro football player interview: he doesn't speak in coherent sentences, he just screams catchphrases and hoots and hollers. Followed up with another stereotypical interview by negro Micha Johnson who talks about how "we all feel like brothers in there" and equivalently meaningless statements.

8:01pm: Rod Black is about to award the Grey Cup and other trophies. Better than that Julie Paquette bitch.

8:02pm: Bo Levi Mitchell is Grey Cup MVP. He threw slightly more passes than interceptions. For him, that's an outstanding performance!

8:03pm: BLM isn't a very good speaker compared to Reilly or Ray, but he's still the most eloquent of the interviewers so far. He's also white. Just sayin'...

8:04pm: And...uh...that's it. That's all my PVR captured. The actual Grey Cup awarding wasn't covered. I probably should have said "go for another half hour". Whoops.