Friday, April 6, 2007

Lauren Pronger: Hitler in high heels

I tell you, David Staples is a masterful writer. Not only can he pen mind-numbingly fucking terrible "graphic novels" about manga Paul Coffey's NHL journey, he's showing he's got the right stuff to be a hockey reporter in this town, whereby "right stuff" means "the willingness to let Cal Nichols slip his left hand up your backside and put on a freakish vaudevillian ventriloquist act with your inert body."

In all seriousness, though, the range of emotions he pulled me through in his front-page blame-a-thon is worthy of the 20th century's finest novelists. I laughed, I cryed, I threw up a little, I stared blankly into my bathroom mirror while I tried to figure out if three blades was such an advantage when you were using them on your veins.

The gist of the article is, of course, that the Oilers suck now because Lauren Pronger didn't want to live in this city. There's a little more subtlety, but given that the most extensive source quoted is Cal Nichols, you can imagine who the villain in this piece might be (hint: it's not Rexall, though I'm surprised he didn't manage to sneak that in). I have some of the highlights below, but it's really a piece that demands to be read entirely to get the crushing sense of ennui sprinkled with rage.

To whit, in chronological order:

"Any post-mortem of what has gone wrong with the Oilers begins with the questions still surrounding the Pronger affair: Why, in fact, did Pronger leave? And what has his departure meant for the franchise?"

Really? I don't know that Pronger is entirely blameless, but my questions are more like, "Why didn't management even attempt to fill the hole Pronger left this year?" or "When will David Staples get his call to the Hockey Hall of Fame?"

Lauren herself was old St. Louis, the granddaughter of a prominent local dentist, the daughter of a wealthy local lawyer and investment banker.

I just find that incredibly comical. Of course she wouldn't leave St. Louis! Her grandfather was a prominent local dentist! That's like saying Kash Sheera's daughter won't be skipping town anytime soon because his face is on bus benches.

"in January 2006, Pronger's agent Morris told Lowe that while things were good on the ice in Edmonton, they were not so good off the ice ... Lowe also started to study the rosters of other teams to decide which players he might want if Pronger had to be moved."

Lowe was studying the rosters since January of 2006 and he came up with Joffrey fucking Lupul and a highly-touted prospect? I assume his studying was done through the end of two empty beer glasses, pushed to his face in a comic mockery of binoculars, while Cal Nichols and Pat Laforge were taking turns lighting each other's farts. Jesus.

"His wife really just kept living in St. Louis with the kids. They would come up here on a homestand and would go to their 2,000-foot (home), hating every minute of it probably."

This is Nichols on the Prongers' living arrangments, and it's just perfect. Imagine, just imagine, a news story about anyone other than the hockey player's wife who ruined our lives including a statment like this. "Peter Mackay goes home and jacks off onto pictures of Condolezza Rice, probably." "Stephen Mandel has a 14-foot high marble idol of Laurence Decore in his basement that he sacrifices stray cats to, probably." I'm not entirely surprised Nichol would say it, but Staples is a journalist, not a fucking tape recorder. Jesus.

"I never took it personally. Now I look back and I go, 'Holy crap, it really cost us a lot.' But in Prongs' support, he was an unbelievable player. Not one issue with the guy, ever, throughout the year."

This is Lowe, nicely shifting the blame from himself, then deflecting it from Pronger, too. If you ever dump that bitch, Prongs, we're happy to have you back.

They'd say, 'We'll give you three $2 million players. We'll give you all our crap.' Well, we don't want that," Lowe says.

No, we only want some of your crap. And some of your minor-league crap.

Nor did he want just draft picks and raw prospects who couldn't help the Oilers for several years.

Can you imagine what the hell we would have got in return if Lowe HAD wanted draft picks and raw prospects? Game-worn socks and a tour of the Disneyland management offices, I imagine. Staples knows he has to give his boy an excuse, though, and follows it up a bit later with:

On July 3, Lowe accepted Burke's offer, but only reluctantly.

The only way that sentence could better encapsulate why I hate the Oilers right now is if it ended with "because their old building is falling apart." It's alright that Lowe accepted a completely retarded deal, sports fans, becuase he DID IT RELUCTANTLY. You just imagine Lowe slumped in his chair, forlornly poking his eggs benedict and avoiding eye contact with Burke. "Fine, Brian, you can have Pronger. Just tell me what you think would be an acceptable return. You're picking up the cheque, though. And I'm having a dessert."

"I guess I always felt, 'What the hell could be so bad that you couldn't work it out?' And if you can't work it out, you're not the first couple in the history of the world to have to say, 'I guess we're different and we've got to go our different ways.' "

Nichols again. Nice to see that our owners are just as retarded as our fans. Why didn't you divorce your wife for the Oilers, Chris? Who's more important, the mother of your children, or Cal MF Nichols? You pussy.

I'm not trying to say I'm not still a bit upset about Pronger, because I certainly think the way he handled the trade fucked us over a bit, but still: painting him, or more accurately his wife, as the scapegoat after eight months of management inaction is a little much. (Also: where was this story eight months ago?)

30 comments:

Darien said...

Next week: Ryan Smyth and the case of not enough ca$h money$$$$$

SweatyO said...

Not only did we only want some of their crap, we gave said crap such an undeserved 2 million dollar contract AFTER we acquired it.

And if Lowe was so fucking reluctant to accept the deal, why not dig in your heels a bit: "Fuck you Burke, it's Getzlaf, Smid AND Vishnevski, or this shit isn't getting off the ground".

mike w said...

I don't know. This doesn't bother me as much.

The Nichols quote about Pronger divorcing his wife was an eye-brow raiser to be sure, but most of the quotes are nothing I wouldn't expect from an disgruntled owner, considering how carelessly Pronger played this trade out.

Coupled with Lowe speaking out against the "worst city to play in" Hockey News Poll the other day, it looks like this piece is pure damage control, as the Oilers are gearing up for free agency in July. Can't say I blame them, either -- although it is rather unsubtle how EIG can bend the Journal's ear whenever they feel like it.

Pleasure Motors said...

most of the quotes are nothing I wouldn't expect from an disgruntled owner, considering how carelessly Pronger played this trade out.

I think most of what I dislike about the piece is summed up in that "probably" quote: I agree fully that what Nichols is saying is entirely unsurprising, but the Journal made it a front-page feature. Given the timing (ie 8 months after the fact with the team in the straight shitter) it just strikes me as management-motivated character assassination, sort of handing Nichols a pint and laptop and letting him go nuts. And, uh, isn't the Journal a newspaper, not the Oilers Explainer Daily?

reporterbrock said...

Can't wait until Nicholls little divorce endorsement gets around the league.

As if attracting free agents wasn't going to be hard enough with the worst team, weather and travel schedule in the league, now its coming out that ownership expects star players to put their job before their families.

Great job, EIG. You're really doing this organization a service.

Baroque said...

Maybe he just needs to concentrate on attracting single players...who play a lot of video games, so they don't have to worry about having places to go out at night.

Anonymous said...

The Journal is the EIG's bitch. That's not exactly a revelation. And the fact that there's an unspoken ban on any real EIG criticism across ALL local media as a result of the collective power these guys wield? Old news I'm afraid.

But what I cannot fathom is that in this era of internet transparency where you can find Jesus' dick size if you look hard enough, the real reason for Pronger's departure has yet to be revealed. Either this is the best kept secret EVAR or there isn't any secret at all and this whole thing was a setup from day one.

Anonymous said...

As a casual outside observer, it appears to me that the problem w/ the Oilers is that it is a place where it sucks to go to work each day. I don't know if it's snarky management, cliques the players (or players wives) have formed or what reporterbrock says above (probably all), but there is a long list of guys who can't stand the place.
And everyone getting on Lauren's case is a joke too. All wives complain, and most husbands usually do what they can to make them happy.You know I'm right.

Garnet said...

Second-favourite bit in the piece, echoing ReporterBrock: Nichols suggesting that the Prongers should have considered divorcing, rather than seeking a trade. The rest of the article is of course stuffed with praise of Nichols' old-fashioned values.

My absolute favourite bit: The part where they call the Prongers and ask them to confirm or deny the stuff about Lauren. What's that, you say? You can't find that part? That's right. They didn't bother. Just take Cal's word for it!

Anonymous said...

Sweet Kash Sheera reference

mike w said...

I agree fully that what Nichols is saying is entirely unsurprising, but the Journal made it a front-page feature.

Heh. Didn't that Paul Coffey "graphic novel" make the front page? Sigh. Newspapers basically suck.

mc79hockey said...

This is way better than my post about the story. This part:

"I assume his studying was done through the end of two empty beer glasses, pushed to his face in a comic mockery of binoculars, while Cal Nichols and Pat Laforge were taking turns lighting each other's farts. Jesus."

made me laugh out loud at work. Well done.

Good point on calling the Prongers for reaction to this too. And really - if this is the real story, why does it take David Staples of all fucking people to report it? Was Matheson like "Sorry boys, I've still got a shred of dignity left."?

Mr DeBakey said...

but Staples is a journalist, not a fucking tape recorder

He is?
When did that happen?

I thought He was the Journal's Survivor correspondent.

Pleasure Motors said...

Was Matheson like "Sorry boys, I've still got a shred of dignity left."?

Now that made ME laugh out loud, though I'm at home.

Jay said...

This is one of the best things I have ever read. Thank you, PM, for making my afternoon.

James said...

Anyone else notice that they're going to run an article called: "Is it time for Kevin Lowe to go?" this weekend?

That'll probably be a total apologetic blowjob of an article, too.

Fuck the Edmonton Journal.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
The Journal is the EIG's bitch.

Umm, try boss
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton_Investors_Group_Limited_Partnership

scroll to the bottom, 1.66% owner, your truly, The Edmonton Journal

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
Anonymous said...
The Journal is the EIG's bitch.

Umm, try boss
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton_Investors_Group_Limited_Partnership

scroll to the bottom, 1.66% owner, your truly, The Edmonton Journal


Sorry I meant "partner".

buddy said...

Too funny! That fart-lighting bit made me blow a mouthful of beer out my nose.

Anonymous said...

Your newspapers and owners are crazy up there.

Garnet said...

Hey gang! Don't miss the Saturday updates in the Journal, wherein Kevin Lowe explains why he traded Smyth. Not included: why he didn't feel the need to get anything much in return.

PS: 2-0 Isles leading Philly. Groan.

Julian said...

i literally have tears in my eyes from laughing at the mental picture suplied by PM's description of Lowe and Laforge and Nichols as drunken frat boys.

mike w said...

Briefly tuning in at work, I see the four Hot Satellite dudes talking about how Toronto can improve the powerplay so that they can beat the Habs.

Talk about Hockey Night in Toronto.

Darien said...

Well.. they beat the habs, so I guess Maurice was watching the show from the dressing room...

pete said...

I assume his studying was done through the end of two empty beer glasses, pushed to his face in a comic mockery of binoculars, while Cal Nichols and Pat Laforge were taking turns lighting each other's farts. Jesus.

I'm a Leafs fan and even I laughed my ass off at that one.

mike w said...

Bah! Screw draft picks, let's go Islanders.

Darien said...

OIL WINS! OIL WINS! OIL WINS! Oh wait... that's a BAD thing now.

shoothshayer said...

An incredible Oilers upset against our Calgarian nemeses and not a word written by the Contributors of this Brave Blog? No clever irony? Twisted and incisive analysis? Gonzo observation? A sad day. This revolt of thine, methinks, is like another Fall of Man.

fish said...

I see my old friend "buzzkill fartchecker" has logged in defending anonymously with the 1.66%. Which keeps the Journal, of course, involved as stated, financially interested in the team.

That corneal exercise aside, fantastic article, PM.

Thing is, it was Pronger's fault for fucking wanting to null his contract - regardless of any non-medical circumstances - then the team's fault for allowing it. He's a hockey player and the way that works is you sign contracts and fulfil them or you don't get paid. Leaving was infidelity to this contract, if you will, a betrayal. Hm. Wonder if he cheated on his wife?

Smyth's leaving is even more violin-string nonsense, but maybe we'll catch up on that one when the EJ writes about it in 7 months.

See you then!

Matt said...

lol. Kash Sheera.