Sunday, December 04, 2011
When you're a father you're expected to have all of the answers all of the time. About thirty times a day one of the two oldest come up to me and invariably, with a quizzical look, begin with a 'Daddy' that has little ????? built right into it. And this is without the third one getting in on the act yet.
Some of the questions require lengthy detailed answers like those about sex or the other day when the boy and I sat down for twenty minutes and talked about war of all things. Some I cannot answer and in these cases I refer them to their mother, their Poppy on his next visit or to our Great Father, the Interweb. Others are a little more straight forward - what is the capital of Belgium? Does that beer taste good? Why do you smell like marajauna? What type of wrestling were you and Mommy doing on the couch last night? Was that Greco-Roman style?
Its part and parcel of this Dad thing, the questions, and you know what, I have some of my own.
The Oilers are sliding a bit now and unlike many I'm remaining pretty calm about the whole thing. The team is coming along. Young players mean inconsistency and mind numbing mistakes and the nature of the game means that at times the team looks better than it is (earlier this year) and at times it looks worse than it is (these days). The club looks a bit tired and a bit full of themselves at times and of course they are still a bit thin everywhere. That's alright. They are young and they are getting better and if its a rebuild then we're going to take our lumps.
Here's the thing though. There are some questions that I would like answered and the problem is, as Vic Ferrari said many times, when it comes to the media Edmonton is Lawrence, Kansas. Lowe destroyed a good team through mismanagement - barely a peep. Tambellini brought in a veteran goalie because he thought the team was a winner, a terrible lack of judgement there, and yet when the rebuild is brought up, this is not mentioned. Oilers' management gets a free ride and I'm not even bringing up the absurd cheerleading for the new monorail led by the Edmonton Journal.
Someone (maybe Dennis King) said it best this week on Twitter, noting how many snarky comments Edmonton media have had for Penner since he left, far far more than any criticism of a management team responsible for the longest playoff drought in franchise history.
So do I expect any hard questions from the media? Not at all. Late last game Terry Jones remarked how Smyth's penalty had cost the Oilers the game. He received a barrage of questions then and snarkily replied that he was getting orders to ask questions and that he couldn't ask them under pressure of a deadline.
Now remember this is the guy who the Oilers had a ceremony for earlier this week. The same guy who also thsi week tried to paint the Pronger trade as Pronger for basically every good young player in the Oiler system right now. I almost expected him to include Messier and Kurri, circa 1981, in the deal. Later he said 'oh it was tongue in cheek'.
Here's the deal. If the big trump card for these guys is 'access' and they a)don't ask critical questions or b) let us in on anything that may be behind what we can see on the ice than what is their point?
I can go to the Journal or Sun and read a stale recap of the game. 'Then Gagner scored his first goal and he was happy' with the only opinions or analysis being backhanded slaps at players who will soon be out the door (watch for the hatchet job coming on Ales Hemsky) or unfettered praise for the geniuses who have run this club into the ground and lied (again) about the profits the team has made, even without a playoff date since 2006.
Or I can read Lowetide or Tyler Dellow or Ellen at Theory of Ice or others and get analysis of what is happening that is well written and critical. I wonder if people who run newspapers wonder why their business is dying? The answer is right there. I haven't bought a newspaper in years. I used to all the time. But when I go online and read Jones fellating Lowe or Allan Maki's error ridden analysis of the Oilers a few weeks ago in the Globe and Mail, I think, why would I spend a dime on this shit when I can get an article that is more informative, thought provoking and well written from 'some blogger in his basement'.
(As an aside does Feaster ever look like an ass. Hey Jay you dummy, you know where all of this Iginla talk has been coming from? Turn on the TV and go to TSN or Sportsnet. What an ass.)
Anywho, Terry Jones, maybe at the next scrum when you are not under pressure from your deadline, you can ask Tom Renney the following:
1/ Tom, almost immediately after Nugent Hopkins scored in the third period you had your fourth line out against the Iginla line and the result was the tying goal. What was your thought process there, considering this was a divisional game against your biggest rival? You're at home so you control the matchups. What happened there?
2/ Ryan Whitney is either still hurt, lacks confidence in his body or both. What is the story here? You said Ales Hemsky has to just get over the fact that he is still hurting. Are you taking the same tactic with Whitney even though he is just a shadow of himself right now?
3/ Why do you keep running Belanger out on the power play? Why not have Petry or Paajarvi out there?
4/ What is the story with Paajarvi? Why do him and Omark have to trim their sideburns while Hall, Eberle and Gagner have all had chances to play their way out of slumps? Theo Peckham too. Are the Oilers in the business of developing these guys or are some players more equal than others? For example why was Paajarvi given one game with 10 and 83 and then dropped? Why not give him a dozen games to see if we can get him going?
I'm not claiming to have the answers here folks but as a fan I would like to hear what Tom Renney has to say on these subjects and others. Unfortunately for me, as a fan, the guys who have access to Renney (and brag on it) won't ask the questions.
Very poor. Very very poor.
Posted by Black Dog at 10:40 AM