Thursday, October 6, 2005

Where were you?

Inspired by some chatter on Battle of Alberta, I'm thinking of doing a page-length comic about Steve Smith's playoff ending, 7th game, 3rd Period own-goal. It's along the lines of "Where were you when it happened?", so I welcome any memories, anecdotes, etc that I may use for the strip, from either Calgary or Edmonton fans. I believe my pal Fish somehow got Steve Smith's number that night and called him a "loser" on the phone, but I'll have to verify that tidbit. I, for one, missed the goal because I had to pee (and I also slept through 9/11).

For many Albertans of a certain age, it was a life-altering event: for me in my narcissmo youth, I first realized the Oilers weren't supposed to win every season; something that sunk in real hard as I went through adolescent years. For those of you that need a refresher, click here.

God, it still hurts.

16 comments:

James Mirtle said...

Heh, that picture you've got posted looks as though Smith is going to fire it into his own net.

The best part of the video is Smith's reaction, as he falls to the ice holding his head. It's a wonder he didn't assume the fetal position and have to be carried off.

mike w said...

Did you know that it was also his birthday that day? Poor guy.

And look at Lanny MacDonald celebrate like a jackass...

sacamano said...

Boy, Walter sure took it tough.

Randy said...

Yeah, Lanny MacDonald is universally thought off as a jackass. Not like deadbeat/gay dad glenn anderson.
I like the way that Flames fans always screamed "shoot!!!" whenever he touched the puck in the Saddledome, even a few times when he was a Flames assistant captain. (He was horrible at the end, and eventually a broken neck retired him for good.) Fans would yell SHOOT at him at places like Future Shop.
SHOOT: Calgary fans yelled it at a video replay of the goal at the 1997 homeopener.
It's possibly the coolest thing Flames fans have ever done, Red Mile included.

The goal. I was in my basement in Canyon Meadows, Calgary, with the TV on with the Radio.
The Flames had come back (from a 2-0 deficit, I believe, entering the third) so it was really tense to begin with.
The radio was a split second behind the tv, so I saw it happen, halfway processed it, then the radio hit me with a second wave, filling me with wonderment and bliss. I liken it to the experience of True Love (when I was 11).

I was the only one in my house watching and started to shriek. I imagine I looked like I was jumping rope, without the rope.
Everyone comes running, gasping, I explain, then everybody starts to shriek. It was surreal, and even Flames play-by-play guy Peter Maher was shrieking. This was the original of the "Yeahhhhhhhhhhhh, Baby!" call.

It's a nightmare in Edmonton, pure Shakespear in Calgary.

-Randy

Andy Grabia said...

The Steve Smith goal was #2 on my list of 21 most memorable sports moments. As I state in the post, I was eleven years old at the time, yet for some reason I was home alone. I was in the basement, in a chair, with my pajamas on. I cried for about two hours after they lost. It is one of the worst moments of my life, and for some reason I was all by myself at the time. If I ever go postal, I am blaming it all on my parents and that night.

I can't talk about Steve Smith without thinking about what happened a year later, though. The Oilers had won their 3rd Stanley Cup, and John Zeigler was giving the team captains the hardware. About a split second after Gretzky accepted it, he turned and gave it to Smith. It makes me well up thinking about it now, eighteen years later. Gretzky, Lowe and Messier had all decided before the game that if they won, Smith would be the first Oiler besides Gretz to touch it. As I was watching it, I was crying and yelling "yes!" at the screen. Just an awesome moment. I can only imagine how Smith must have felt. Game 7, at home, winning the Cup and exorcising all those demons. The Joe Sakic-Ray Bourque Cup hand-over pales in comparison.

Ah, the punishing and redemptive power of sports.

Randy said...

Yeah, sounds like it was a mass "dead hamster" moment for a lot of kids in Edmonton. But it taught me that the cruel and powerful will always trip up.
Now don't get me wrong, the Flames played one hell of a series, tied 2-2 in the seventh game against the 1984 Edmonton Oilers!!!
But, still, Perry Berezan's lowly dump-in can unleashed a chain of events that felled a giant.

-Randy

Anonymous said...

> tied 2-2 in the seventh game against the 1984 Edmonton Oilers!!!

Ed note: 1985-86 Oilers.

--Randy

PS. How pathetic is this:
http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/nhl/preview/team_preview/cgy_preview/

Eric said...

-But, still, Perry Berezan's lowly dump-in can unleashed a chain of events that felled a giant.-


Randy, you do realize the Oilers won the Cup 3 times in the next 4 years, don't you? They felled a giant alright!

Randy said...

>Randy, you do realize the Oilers won the Cup 3 times in the next 4 years, don't you?

Yes. The Oilers appeared totally unstoppable (at the time and looking back now), yet the Flames were even with them in the third period of Game 7 of the division finals. It was a major upset. Period.
I don't know what you tell your shrink about it, but you can't blame it all on Smith.

-Randy

mike w said...

>I don't know what you tell your shrink about it, but you can't blame it all on Smith.

No, the Oilers defence was especially terrible that year.

Swabbubba said...

I was In Cold Lake in the Airforce at the time. I was so pissed I threw something in the genral direction of the wall. It happened to be the remote. Lets say hole in wall and broken remote adn dropping f bombs like Ozzy would suffice. All while getting it in the ear from Leaf fan. I still have nightmares. I thought they should put Smith on a suicide watch as he was the most hated person in Edmonton for the next couple days.

Mike P said...

Randy, what's pathetic about that preview? The worst bit for me was the Fata-"Tkachuk"/Tkaczuk-Saprykin top line prediction, but I assume that wasn't it.

Randy Young said...

>>Fata-"Tkachuk"/Tkaczuk-Saprykin

That's Dan Tkaczuk, not Keith Tkachuk, and really it took six more years before Rico or Oleg turned into halfway decent players. That was peak Cory Stillman.
The passing of the torch to 38-year-old Grant Fuhr from the generally useless Ken Wregget is especially jarring and, I think, represents the absolute nadir of the organization. No wait, it was bringing back Vernon, or maybe having Al McNeil coach for December 2002.
These guys were bumping along the bottom of the sea for a few years still.
BTW Smith played exactly 33 games over the next two years, recording six assists and stinking up the world, but still with an "A" thanks to Brian Sutter's loyalty to a former teammate.

--Randy

Mike P said...

randy, I know, thus the quotation marks and corrected spelling. But the original article said Dan Tkachuk.

I can't disagree with the rest of what you said though.

Steve said...

I was too young to remember the goal, as I didn't really become an Oilers fan until I was about 7 (which, in an effort to make the rest of you feel old, I ill point out occurred in 1989).

However, the goal still hurts me as much or more as it hurts all of you, for the simple reason that it made it much less pleasant than it would otherwise have been to grow up in Edmonton with the name "Steve Smith".

Randy Young said...

>>randy, I know, thus the quotation marks and corrected spelling. But the original article said Dan Tkachuk.

I remember it being very confusing at the time, and was just letting everyone else in on it. Thank God that projected first line scorer Dan Tkaczuk -- a sixth overall draft pick, btw -- only played 19 games in the NHL. It would have been confusing otherwise.
STEVE SMITH -- There's also a retired NBA journeyman, NFL wide receiver named Steve Smith, though I doubt they get much grief about it. The Carolina Panther Smith's fantasy ranking is "undroppable"
Peace out.
Randy