How To Lose Graciously

There comes a time in every person's life where they are forced to do something they really don't want to do for whatever reason. Today is that day for me.

It's like eating lima beans to prove to your children that lima beans are nutritious despite the fact they taste like, well, lima beans or being forced to be your cousin's date to his senior prom because his pocket protector and pimples have acted like escort repellent and your parents threatened to revoke your driving privileges if you didn't pony up and don the corsage.

Only today is worse than either of those two things. Today I humbly stand before the Internets and bow my head in shame. My big mouth and my arrogance have landed my arse in a sling and I stand before you walking the plank and eating a slice of humble pie.

I made a bet and I lost. This post is my penance; my debt for stupidly believing my sheer force of will could twist the events of the universe to match those of my imagination. Sure I could welch on my end of the deal and not write something that is so spectacularly distasteful even my own brazen sensibilities recoil, but what lesson would that teach my children?

(Besides never place a bet unless it's a sure thing?)

I am a woman of my word and no welcher. Which leads me to here. It's all Backpacking Dad's fault. He is the devil winner. I am the poor sport humble loser. It didn't matter to him that I swore an oath to forever support one hockey team. My tears for mercy fell on deaf ears.

I tried to wheedle and whine my way out of the terms of our bet, but he is unbending in his will to have me abase myself to him while he sits on his hockey throne. I offered him my first-born child. He didn't want her. I offered to post pictures of my hairy boobs on the net. He gagged a bit and then politely refused while muttering something about how he's not a pervert.

I even offered to throw a bloggy baby shower when his newest little bundle of joy arrives, but he dismissed my suggestion with a flick of his hand and bumptiously declared that as his bloggy best friend I was already responsible for that. It says so in the bylines of blogger etiquette.

Damn him for his annoying tendencies to read the fine print. I can't pull anything over that dude's eyes. How his wife lives with him is a complete freaking mystery. Heh.

(Wow. All of that prose just to say I can't believe I lost a damn bet to Gay Ray. Farcklenuts.)

So to satisfy my end of the bet and appease my tyrannical taskmaster friend, I bring to you a list of reasons (gag) why the Detroit Red Wings could be considered best hockey team ever.

Yes, the Wings have won the coveted Stanley Cup 11 times. That is impressive. Absolutely. But seeing as how the Wings are one of the Original Six and have been around since the dawn of time, I should expect them to have accumulated a few Cups along the way. It's not so impressive really once you take into account the team was founded in 1926. They've been playing in the NHL for 82 years for criminy sake. And only managed to take Lord Stanley home with them 11 times. Big deal.

The Edmonton Oilers, however, have been only been playing in the NHL since 1979 and have won five Stanley Cup trophies. Give us a few more years and we're bound to catch up. (I freaking hope.)

Some people (surely not me) may believe that the depth of talent and maturity the Wing's lineup contains is reason enough to bestow the title of greatness on them. They do indeed have a talented team, filled with very capable hockey players.

But maturity? If maturity comes from age, then I'd have to agree. I mean, Detroit does have the oldest players in the league. Some of them are so old they've been there since the league rules were drafted.

If having the second oldest player to ever play in the NHL gives them maturity and makes them the best, well they've cornered that market.

I'll just overlook the fact they are the only team in the league whose players qualify for retirement benefits.

(No offense to you, Mr. Chelios. I'm almost half your age younger than you and not near as fit. Call me. I'll tell you about it. Wink.)

Yes, the Wings have given us greats like Gordie Howe and Steve Yzerman. But the Oilers gave the world Wayne Gretzky, inarguably the greatest hockey player to have ever laced up a pair of skates.

You can't compare apples to oranges, people. (Oh dear lawd, I'm digging my own grave, aren't I?)

If one compares hockey fans in each respective city to measure the greatness of their teams, surely Detroit would have the best team. It takes a certain type of person (crazy or deranged) willing to boil an octopus, strap it to one's waist to smuggle past security so that it can be hurled onto the ice in a misguided attempt to wish the team luck. 

Detroit can keep the Legend of the Octopus. I'm not fond of seafood.

I won't lie to you, as a die-hard Oiler's fan, this post has been a test to my writing abilities. As I watched the Oilers get their sorry arses kicked the other night I just about died as I realized I'd have to write a whole post about how the Red Wings are the best team in the league.

The only thing good I could come up with was I kinda liked their hockey logo. Like the true girl I am, I kept coming back to how pretty their jerseys are. But that got me to examining why they may have chosen that festive red as their team colour. 

That's when I realized not only does it make it easier to spot their players on the sheet of white ice, but it also hides the blood from all the fights the Wing's bloodthirsty players like to pick. 

Money spent on cleaning bills can go back into player's salaries. That's pretty clever, if you ask me.

(Click the fight link if you are into bloodthirsty pummeling. It's long but it's worth it if that's your cup of tea.)

Maybe the Wings are the best team in the NHL. Maybe I'm just blinded by fan loyalty and the tenacious hope of a true underdog. Where else in the world other than Edmonton would a bunch of fans pay good money to sit outside in -30 C  degree temperatures for three hours to cheer on their hockey heros for an afternoon?

I just know that no matter how often the Wing's trounce the Oilers, they will never be the best team in my eyes, no matter how the stat's compare.

Because when push comes to shove, there is one thing the Oilers have that will always make them the best team in my mind.

And that, Mr. Burns, is their impressive eye-candy heart. You just can't beat that.


*Special thanks to Erin and Will for holding my hands and helping me out with ideas and linkage. You guys rock. *