Dear Flames Fan,
I write to you from the Future, well actually from Edmonton, but from your perspective it will be the Future. You see a long time ago, 2007 to be precise, I was you. Ok, not YOU (because I’m not a Godless Flames Fan), but you catch my drift.
You see, my team had done reasonably well for a few years at the time and made a Playoff run all the way to Game 7 of the Cup Final the year before (Unlike your Flames franchise, my Oilers weren’t given nearly a Decade to try and recapture the magic). In 2007 the Face of the Franchise, a man who bled Oilers Blue, was dealt because he was a pending UFA. Sound familiar? It should. I was gutted, as you likely are. I told myself lies, like you likely are. I tried to make justifications, as you likely are. Hell, I told myself that Ryan Smyth would probably re-sign in the summer as a UFA and he and Kevin Lowe would laugh about it over beers.
I didn’t happen.
It took time but I allowed myself to get excited about the Oilers again. I know it doesn’t seem like you ever will, but one day soon you will get very excited about the Flames.
I speak from experience here, you have nothing to get excited about and everything you THINK you do have will only serve to crush your hopes. Every game for the next few years will be horrible. You know you will lose, and worse, if you DO win you know it won’t matter. In fact, winning will one day be something you WON’T want to happen. Try wrapping your head around that. And losing will be so normal to you and so critical to your happiness that you will have to one day (a long time from now) learn how to cheer for a win again.
It’s a pretty bleak picture, my friend.
By now you –God forsaken Flames fan– have most likely told yourself, “Not me, man. That won’t happen to me. My Flames are not rebuilding, we’re re-tooling.”
Guess what. That’s what the Oilers were doing after 2007.
“No, the Flames have 3 1st round draft picks.”
So did the Oilers in 2007.
Heed my warning or not, but at least listen to this once so you have no one to blame but yourself later: Your team has no identity, no stars, and no prospects of note. They are destined for failure by the heaping spoonful and no matter how many times you put your faith in Sven Baertschi he’s still just a crappy 2nd line AHL forward.
Take that from someone who once believed in Andrew Cogliano. Someone who knows that Robert Nilsson was the most talented Oiler in practice. Someone who could tell you that Patrick O’Sullivan once scored 47 goals in the AHL. Take it from someone who knew for a fact that Rob Schremp was going to run the Oilers Power Play.
This isn’t High School. I’m not writing you this letter to tell you it will get better. It isn’t. It’s going to get so much worse.
You don’t even know, but I do.
Just remember this. As an Oilers fan I’ve been hearing your mocking cries for more than 6 years while I suffered through this very same thing myself, and I remember each and every barb you threw at me.
There is no pity coming from me. The only difference between what you did and what I will be doing is that I KNOW how much it hurts to go through this and I will enjoy rubbing your ugly faces in the misery and hopelessness that waits for you as you try to cheer for your crappy team.
You don’t have a hope in hell of coming out of this gracefully. Your team is full of nobodies, your farm club is full of never will bes, and the picks who haven’t even been made yet will be wasted on the Mark Jankowskis of the world.
Give up now or have reality destroy whats left of your miserable soul one wretched game at a time.