When Civic Pride Derails 30 years of Sportsfan Code

Every big sports fan has a fan code. They all differ from person to person, but in general they are the rules that you follow to guide who you cheer for and why (what other excuse could there be for cheering for the Vancouver Voodoo, come back roller hockey!)

For most they get indoctrinated as a sports pup…Young, wide eyed, in awe of your team’s players, colours, and logos. They guide you through your teams lows without abandoning ship, they set your tolerance level of opposing fans ignorance (every other team in the league is full of these people, not your team of course…which leads to another point, they let you be judgey of other fans for not doing it right!), and they dictate how much of your income is “invested” in jerseys and collectables. In short They set you apart from  the Apu’s of the world: For me some of the most important rules have always been you don’t change teams, you don’t cheer for a rival (the only Canadian team left? Sorry they are the enemy not gonna happen) and civic pride trumps out of market teams. You cheer for the team from where you are from, even if they are named say, the Vancouver Grizzlies (Listening to Al Murdoch announce Mike Biiibbby for 3!! was the thing of dreams). It never made sense to me why I knew so many Pittsburgh Penguins fans in the early 90s. Surely watching Mario Lemieux had nothing on willing a Geoff Courtnall 3rd period goal and then running into him in a White Rock McDonalds (not to make you jealous but it happened). 


The local team represents you, and all your neighbours. It brings you together, it gives you a sense of community, a common point to bitch about and once in a while to celebrate en mass. For me and my Sportscode it’s just what you do…problem is I don’t live where I used to. Where I’m from is now somewhere else and the code no longer jives with the code branded into my brain as a 15 year old. 


I moved to Edmonton in 2008 and up until now there wasn’t much issue. I was still able to thoroughly enjoy the peak of the Sedins talent from afar while rolling my eyes at another jab at “the sisters”…wow real original material you got there! Meanwhile for the local community it was hard to get that feeling of togetherness when Kevin Lowe was insisting his Stanley Cup rings meant he was qualified probably to run the world. At first I loved the fact the Oilers were so bad, then I was indifferent, but over the last few years it actually started to be embarrassing. 


I had planted my roots in the power centre sweet spot of South West E town. I was proud of the city bursting with festivals, young families, new restaurants and diehard sports fans. But the team that was its heart was an empty shell…and I was actually tired of it. Yes after 8 years of living amongst people that actually thought Mess was a good Captain (hands down worst in Nucks history) my Sportscode rules were juxtaposed to each other. I can’t cheer for a rival…but I should cheer for the locals…Error! Error! 

When the smoke stopped coming out of my ears my sportdcode was a little torn and my 15-30 year old selves were upset but in the end Cheering for a rival lost out to Civic Pride. The reason I love sports in the first place is the feeling of being part of something bigger, being part of the party, the coming together of family and friends. This year I will get that not by begrudging the oilers in the playoffs but by embracing it. I’m not going to call myself an Oilers fan, I will always cheer for the Canucks first. But if it means enjoying the greater spirit of where I live, I’ll let Civic Pride derail my sportscode damnit! For the first time in my life and as a proud Edmontonian Go Oilers Go.

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The Great Urban Glacier Walk of 2017

I did it, I survived the Great Urban Glacier Walk of 2017 and I didn’t even re-break my old man hip.

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Mind you it wasn’t exactly the Glacier walk I’ve always dreamed of…you know the one where the day starts with a tap tapping on your Banff Springs hotel room door from room service (no doubt served by a temporary foreign worker who swears he is absolutely treated just as his “handler” promised…don’t get black balled with a bad Employer Compliance Review Banff Springs, ain’t nobody come back from that). So you get out of your king size bed (like there’s any other decent size of bed) pass over a blue  “Laurier” to your new TFW pal (cause you’re a high roller) and dive into a mountain of waffles with berries, berry sauce AND berry syrup…yes the berry trifecta. All of this is needed of course to fill you up for a long day of hiking on giant sheets of ice in the majestic Rockies, feel the insignificance of your tiny life compared to the massive mountains and geological features that dwarf you…plus have you seen the sweet ride you get to take?

 

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It’s like a moon buggy and a school bus mated! (no they were not married at the time but the Moon buggy was raised to be all honest like, so he stuck around and it all worked out in the end). All that would be sweet, sadly that was not the Glacier walk I took. I like to call mine the Urban Glacier walk.

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It was quite simply walking the dog around the neighbourhood. But it feels like the snow/ice has been around for a millennia. And there was enough ice on the side walks to keep Sven from Frozen employed through the summer (although the damn “big freezer” industry is keeping his profits down these days). There were a few times I had to do the penguin waddle, or the tiptoe walk. Heck even the dog slipped and fell…then again she trips while chasing her own tail, so that is doubtful in its significance. But the important part is I walked the Urban Glacier damn it. Despite the ice, puddles, and ill lit pathways, I conquered all Mother Nature could throw at me (on a record temperature day for warmth in winter). I did not fall, the Urban Glacier was no match for me this day and I say keep coming early spring I challenge you! …no seriously please keep coming I’m tired of this winter shit.

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What’s in a Songza?

So being that I have a new Surface tablet I have spent the last week on a never ending hunt for apps to pin to my start screen (of course I need all the coolest, lest I fall into the vortex called “out of touch Dad”… and I realise my girls are too young to realize what that means but I’m preparing for the future…a future with high tech coats that dry themselves like in Back to the Future… wait how old is that movie now? Damn even my references are getting out of touch). So using a list of best music apps as my guide I downloaded Songza. Its an app I’ve seen before on best app lists but just never got around to trying it, so this time I figured why not. Its a great concept, the app plays music based on what you are doing. Having your morning coffee? Songza had a playlist for that, going for a run? Songza has your jam, LARPing with your besties? Yep Songza will supply the storm-the-castle-to-save-the-kingdom soundtrack! Ya great concept its just too bad they do it so crappily. Now granted I only tried it for an hour, but hey this is the day and age of instant gratification aaaand this app made me as gratified as a mountain goat in Regina. My morning coffee selection was a toss up between some Spanish only who-knows-what, and the best of Jersey rock (Springsteen twice in one playlist sandwiching JonBon…Gina may need to hold on to what we got, but I sure don’t need to hold on to this tripe!). While the true breadth of the Songza selections may be much deeper and diverse, I just don’t see the point in sticking around the fire waiting for someone else to roast  my marshmallows. I know what I  like so why not just set up my own playlists from my own library? Or if I want someone else to tell me what to listen to I’ll take a professional music snob that radio stations call Music Directors. Yes its actually someone’s job to make playlists for radio stations, and since most stations focus in on a niche and I can decide which niches I like (sorry polka you didn’t make the cut) it makes a thousand times more sense to listen to an app like tuneinradio which lets you listen to virtually any station on the globe. So into the vortex I go shaking my fist mightily at Songza and the musically challenged interweb geeks who put it on any best app list… what’s in a songza? Not much.

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Any Table Will Do Really

At Crate and Barrel “distressed” dinning tables that look more used than the ones at Value Village are worth $1200 each, what?!?! I mean the Swedish perfection’s from Ikea with no flaws are only $150… Then I saw, buy a table and C&B are offering 20% off to “stock the bar”…well played C&B, well played indeed.

A very late update… so we did in fact need a new table, thus the reason for the above “gem”, and we got one but not from Ikea or C&B but rather Pottery Barn. Yes despite Kramer’s hate for PB, and I do whole heartedly trust Kramer’s judgment, and despite PB being just as pricy (normally) as C&B we went with a distressed table. You’ll be happy to know that due to the wife’s amazing ability to sniff out a sale from across town we did indeed pay Ikea type pricing for a C&B looking table… the best of both worlds huzah!

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