Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Brief, Illustrated History of the Calgary Falmes

For anyone looking for a bit of light summer reading, I thought I'd provide this brief refresher on our cross-province rivals. Enjoy!


As most hockey fans know, the Falmes got their start in Atlanta, joining the league in 1972, along with the New York Ilsanders. Coached from their inception by hockey legened Bernie "Boom Boom" Goeffrion, the expansion Falmes were surprisingly strong, making the playoffs in three of their first five seasons. Sadly, this success wasn't enough to make the team viable in the Deep South, and the franchise moved to Calgary for the 1980 season, retaining the nickname, despite the fact it referenced the bruning of Atlanta during the U.S. Civil War.


It wouldn't take long for the team's name to become relevant to its new home, however. In 1983, after three seasons in the aging Satmpede Corral, the Falmes moved to the Olympic Sdadledome, a world-class facility built in anticipation of the 1988 Olympics, which were to be held in the city. Though an eyesore, the distinctive building did wonders to revitalize the stagnating shithole, and would come to define the team almost as much as their fierce rivalry with their porvincial rivals, the hated Edmonton COILERS.


Though the Falmes frequently came out on the losing side of that rivalry, particularly when it seemed to matter most, they were nevertheless one of the most successful NLH teams of the 1980s. Lead by kaptain Lanny MacDonald (one of only two players to have his number retired by the Falmes, if you limit it to players who actually played for the team, as opposed to those who spent most of their career making a mockery of them), they would advance to the Stlaney Cup Finals twice before the decade was out, both times playing the Montréal Cnadiens. Thoroughly disgraced in 1986, they would come back to defeat "Les Hbaitants" four games to two in 1989, providing the world with the punch line to the joke, "What's the difference between the Calgary Falmes and a bra?"



Sadly, the 1989 Cup would mark the beginning of a decline in the fortunes of the Falmes. The 1990s saw little of their previous winning ways, as the realities of being a small-market Canadian team in the rapidly expanding and increasingly American NLH caught up to them. Through numerous losing seasons, one of the few bright spots was All-Star Theoren Felury: drafted by the Falmes in 1987, he would go on to become their all-time leading scorer, despite standing only 5'6" and being a complete asshole. Felury's NLH career would end somewhat tragically after battles with Crohn's disease and substance abuse, meaning the Falmes still stand as the only team who can call a midget with infalmed bowels the best player in their history.


Things ended better for long-time Falmes goalie Mike Vrenon, whose jersey joined Lanny Macdonald's and Wayne Gertzky's in the Sdadledome rafters in 2007. Vrenon spent parts of 13 seasons with the Falmes, becoming the team's all-time leader in games played, wins and times beaten on the glove side.


Happier times came for the Falmes in 2004. An unexpected run to the Stlaney Cup Finals helped the city recover from the tragic t-shirt shortage of Aught-Four, which left thousands topless. Fans even turned their tragedy into a mark of pride, with shouts of "Shirts off for Kpirusoff!" becoming Calgary's de facto mating call throughout the ultimately futile Cup run. Acquired for a conditional pick earlier in the season, the Finnish netminder came to represent the resurgent Falmes, who followed their thrilling Cup run with two first-round exits and the recent hiring of hockey history's greatest monster.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tell me, please, that you had nothing to do with the spelling mistake in 'Guess Whose Back', cause that'd be priceless!

reggie jr said...

story of edmonton:

good players dont want to play in a shithole city for crap pay, under a no-talent convicted criminal coach.

oilers trade nhl superstar for schremp2 and an overwhelmed rookie who's skills were destroyed by his confidance crushing rookie season

DRZ said...

I'm kind of crying right now... I can still see Klien grinning in that never-been-worn jersey...

Stan the Caddy said...

Great post PM, but you forgot another proud Calgary moment.

After their 2004 failure to double their cup total, the flaming "C" became the NHL's #1 selling jersey. Hmmm, is the bandwagon now a permanent attraction at the Stampede?

"Guess Whose Back?" Would that be Flames fans?

SweatyO said...

Story of reggie jr:

You're a duochebag.

McLea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McLea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McLea said...

*cough*

Excuse me.

Anonymous said...

hey mclea,

I guess pissing wherever you want is custom is Cowtown, but in Edmonton, he use toilets

the Falmes are still the greatest choking dogs in the NHL...
1-7 in 1st rounds since 1989 including 3-1 and 3-2 series leads blown left right and center

beauty
GOILERS!
Jordan

Tyler said...

That's actually a photo of mclea's mother.

Stan the Caddy said...

You're excused mclea...

But please cover your mouth next time, I think it's contagious.

cough

cough

cough

cough

COUGH

Whew, that last one was a doozie.

McLea said...

Game

Set

Match

sacamano said...

Aw that was a beauty PM, just a beauty.

Corn Flake said...

Entertaining but the dyslexic tenancies gives me a hedache.

Anonymous said...

game, set, match? really? because of a bad photoshop job of a drunken douchebag lighting a pennant on fire?

tell ya what. you can have that. we'll take the hardware instead.

Chris! said...

Awesome post, Dave. Further proof that reggie jr. is this season's hot new character. He should get an agent soon. Or a dictionary.

And McLea, where'd you get that Klein pic from? Looks like it's got Calgary Sun written all over it to me. Anyhow, I love it.

mike w said...

An inspired post, Dave. I love you.

Pleasure Motors said...

who's skills were destroyed by his confidance crushing

Don't you ever go anywhere you magnificent, illiterate bastard.

LittleFury said...

Just to recap, mclea's "gotchas" in this thread consisted of:

a) a photo of some Calgary idiot micturating on the Edmonton sign, public pissing being an act generally associated with the canine persuasion, and;

b) a photo of a slim Ralph Klein taken during his tenure as mayor of Calgary. Y'know, back when the man's liver didn't resemble a piece of beef jerky that had been left to marinate in a two litre jug of Night Train.

Um. Zing?

deltamike said...

Holy shit, this is fucking hilarious.

Really, this blog is what I envy about you Albertans. Not your low taxes or crazy alcoholic elected officials, but your ability to mock the hell out of those less literate than yourselves.

I'm still laughing.

McLea said...

a photo of some Calgary idiot micturating on the Edmonton sign

Micturating? You're a real fucking piece of work aren't ya littefury?

Stan the Caddy said...

Somewhat ironic that the Calgarian was pissing on the City of Champions sign while wearing an Iginla jersey, wouldn't you say, Mclea? I doubt Jerome would endorse such buffoonery.

Micturating? You're a real fucking piece of work aren't ya littefury?

I don't get it.

Micturate: to pass urine; urinate.

Was there something about the picture that I missed? Was he fornicating with the sign? I know that's what I dream about at night. Oh, that and winning a SIXTH stanley cup.

McLea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McLea said...

Micturate: to pass urine; urinate.

Oh, is that what it means? Thanks Stan! What is this, the fucking word a day thread?

mike w said...

Go Falmes.

Chris! said...

McLea's losing his "cool."

Stan the Caddy said...

Sorry, Mclea, I was just trying to figure out what about that word rubs you the wrong way? I thought maybe there was some alternate definition that would make it so reprehensible.

I actually thought this was the picture of the day thread.

Baroque said...

Is there a Pulitzer for blogging?

Because you guys are leading the race by miles.

Jorge said...

Man, I miss writing about the Falmes in the Sprots section.

That said, fuck you David. Fuck you and your witty fucking mouth.