Oilers vs. Sharks
7 p.m. MT
Sportsnet West, 630 CHED
We've heard the song a million times, pumped over the Rexall PA system in the dying minutes of yet another losing effort by the Oilers — usually just before a defensive zone faceoff between the opponent's first line and our fourth, who got stuck out there on an icing call — a cruelly upbeat counterpoint to the hopeless situation unfolding on the ice.
In this depressing context, it's easy to miss the song's overarching message; it's subtle, to be sure, but if you listen closely enough — maybe with some good headphones in your study at home after the game — and burrow past the triumphant orchestra hits and infectious beats, you just might hear it: In that quiet space, in the reverberating wake of a single, unresolved tom thud, Dutch recording artist Ray Slijngaard poses one simple, life-altering question:
Y'all ready for this?
Your gut reaction may be to immediately agree, to hastily confirm to Mr. Slijngaard sure, whatever, you're down with this; let's do this thing. But, please, stop to think about the consequences before you so readily announce your preparedness. It's a serious question, this y'all ready for this — so really: are you all ready for this? Over the past 16 years, hundreds if not thousands of men, women, children, and yes, even one or two cats, have been moved to announce their readiness by Mr. Slijngaard's rallying call. But the fact of the matter is that no one can truly know if they are indeed ready for this until the moment "this" time arrives. Many — a "y'alls" worth, in fact — have proclaimed their readiness over the years, but in truth, few have been prepared. For this.
I won't lie to you people: there were times when I sincerely doubted my overall this readiness. There were times when Mr. Slijngaard placed a gentle, yet firm, keyboard player's hand on my shoulder and asked if I was ready, and I wanted nothing more than to walk away, to take the LRT back downtown, maybe go to a magazine store, buy the latest Atlantic or New Yorker and leave the dealing with this to someone else. And there were times that I did exactly that, if you replace "New Yorker" with "Swank," "the latest Atlantic or" with "three copies of" and the word "buy" with "steal." Those were weak moments, ladies and gentlemen, and I'm not proud of them. But it's important to me that you know your hesitancy to declare your this preparedness, not to mention your proclivity for stealing third-tier pornographic magazines despite the vast wealth of free nudity available online, is normal.
But tonight, as the Oilers open their 20-whatevereth season against the once-again-Cup-favourite San Jose Sharks, I feel I can say with all honesty that I am finally, truly ready for this. Sure, the other Oilers bloggers may seem more prepared with their "season previews" and "Northwest predictions" and "clever anagrams," but these are all mere distractions, shiny baubles jingled in the sunlight in a vain attempt to divert attention away from the fact that no other blog is remotely close to being as as ready for this as this blog ... is ready... for this. They think that careful analysis and studious insight are the best way to indicate their preparedness for tonight's season opener against the Sharks, and sure, I could stoop to that level and explain why I think this team is going to be either a spectacular success or a spectacular failure, or how the Sharks have made themselves a million times easier to defend against by moving Marleau to the top line with Thornton and Cheechoo — but we here at Covered in Oil know better.
Deep down, we know the only way to truly say "I am ready for this" is with a long-winded, ill-considered ramble that takes a few half-hearted bearswats at humour before ultimately linking to a YouTube video of a 2Unlimited song and calling it a day.
So, uh, here we are.
Y'all ready for this?
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Oilers vs. Sharks
Posted by Chris! at 7:14 AM