About a year ago, something happened in Canada that hadn’t happened for a while. The Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver, and while that was great, it wasn’t the best thing that happened. Canadians were loud and proud for their country, and celebrated what the atheletes had accomplished for their country. We went from previously being the only country to not ever win a gold medal on home soil to the country which won the most gold medals on home soil. Everywhere I went, all I could see were flags, banners, shirts, mittens, jackets – whatever was available, a maple leaf was proudly displayed on it.

Normally when someone thinks of a country with a great national pride, Canada is far from the top of the list. For a time last February, I think that our country experienced something that I wish would stay a part of our culture. Unfortunately, that just isn’t how it is for most people. I’m one of those weird people who loves his country and is very proud to be Canadian.

Canadian Olympic fans in Vancouver
From National Geographic

There are many things to be proud of in life. Getting married and becoming a parent are two things that I’m most proud of. If you work towards something for a really long time and finally achieve it, you should definitely be proud of it. As an example, the show Departures is about a few guys who travel around the world for three years, seeing and experiencing so many awesome things around the world – Scott, Justin, and Andre should definitely be proud of that.

We should also be proud of who we are. I am a geek, and I don’t care what others think of that. I wrote before about embracing your geekiness, and it still holds true. Like many others, I’ve had some self-esteem problems in my past, because I let others get to me. I’ve learned to not really care about what other people think of me, but to care about: who I am, what I’ve done, and what I stand for. If my wife hates my guts one day, I care about that. If a random person on the street hates my guts, I won’t give it a second thought.

A good experience to help with your pride is to go to a convention like BlizzCon or the San Diego Comic-Con. You get to be with thousands of other people who share your geekiness, who like similar things to you, and where you don’t have to hide what you like. When my wife and I went to BlizzCon ’08, it was surreal to walk down the street and see people with the goodie bags, then go into a restaurant and have almost every table full of other people talking about what was coming up. There’s a great sense of acceptance when you have people there for a similar reason.

What I’m getting at is simple: be who you are. If you’re a geek, nerd, or whatever other stereotype or social label you can think of, be proud of it. You are who you are, and there’s no reason to change or hide it.

Another game, another heartbreak

My best friend called me up saying that she had some tickets to the Oilers game on Friday against Dallas.  I love going to hockey games, and I figured that it might be the one where we actually won.  So far this season we’ve won against them twice, a third time shouldn’t be a problem, right?

I wish.

The last time I saw the Oilers win a game in person was when we went to BlizzCon ’08, and saw them play the Ducks in Anaheim.  (This was an amazing experience, and one I’d love to do again.)  I honestly don’t remember the last time that I saw the Oilers win at home in person.

Fortunately, the game was at least entertaining.  Near the end of the first period, there were a bunch of penalties called against us – only one of which was actually legitimate.  I didn’t actually see it, but my wife tells me Gagner did a great headlock on someone and pulled him down.  It was about a five minute penalty kill, and a two man advantage for a good portion of it as well.  Amazingly enough, they didn’t score at that point in time.

We ended up tying the game with one minute left, and was sure we were heading to overtime.  But of course, Dallas scores with 22 seconds to go in the game.  I tell you, it was the biggest emotional rollercoaster I’ve ever been through at a hockey game.  One minute we have hope – the next we’re getting ready to leave, very disappointed.

Oh well, there’s always next game.  If not, maybe we’ll get top pick in the entry draft this year.  On the way out of the game, people were chanting “First round draft pick!”

Taylor Hall maybe?  I sure hope so.

It’s painful at times…

Once again, I have to lament about being an Edmonton Oilers fan.  I love the team, and they’ll be my team whether they win or lose – it’s just incredibly frustrating that they keep losing.

I know there’s a bunch of injuries, the lines are all mixed up, but we have some great talent – there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be at least scoring more.  At the moment, I have no problem with Pat Quinn, as he seems to be doing a good job.  He’s doing what should have been done a while ago: not take any crap.  A fresh look into the team, someone without any bias or history with the Oilers.

However, it looks like all of that potential is being wasted.  Losing to Columbus again, at the bottom of the Western Conference, and second last in the league for points with 37 (only Carolina is lower, at 29 – funny that the teams who were in the Stanley Cup Finals in 2006 are now both at the bottom of the barrel, eh?).

If only they could play like the Canadian IIHF World Junior team.  They may not have won gold, but they sure played great games.  It also makes me very glad that Jordan Eberle is our draft pick.

Oh well, if we continue the way we are now, at least we’ll be near the top for the draft picks this year.  Yay?


Being a sports fan is annoying at times.  I love my teams, but they frustrate me to the very limits of my sports-devotion.

Yesterday, the Edmonton Eskimos and the Edmonton Oilers made a great show of failure.  I’m huge fans of both teams, but the way that they played makes me want to reconsider that thought sometimes.  Oh, and again today, the Oilers lost.  Not just any teams – no, they had to lose to the Atlanta Thrashers yesterday and the Columbus Blue Jackets today.  Yeah, not like they’re real hockey powerhouses.

The Eskimos game yesterday wasn’t as bad, thankfully.  Amazingly enough, Ricky Ray didn’t blow it for them – it was a few bad penalties at the end of the fourth quarter.  Of all times to make stupid mistakes, that was not really the best.  Great field position, and you get 35 yards worth of penalties, and then Ray gets sacked.  Only down by three points at that time, a lot could have happened.  It’s the CFL for crying out loud, in two minutes you could have a bunch of touchdowns.

Oh well, the Eskimos will just have to hopefully regroup and get their acts together for next year.  As for now, all I can hope is that the Oilers will shape up.  As always, they started great – it just seems their downward spiral has started earlier than usual this season.

Fortunately for both teams, I’m not a fair weather fan.  I’m a huge fan of both, and will continue to be.  Go Oilers Go!  Go Esks Go!