Like Looking for My 6th Ex-wife? : by the Prof

Two years ago, at Comox’s Filberg Festival, I heard Fred Eaglesmith tell the crowd at his musical show that he was looking for his sixth ex-wife. People laughed. Of course, the joke was the mix of optimism and realism such a statement evokes – one would think that, after five failed marriages, a bit of reality would set in. Alas, one is always hoping for better – thinking that this time is THE time but knowing somehow that you are probably wrong.

So, Oiler fans, here we go again. And the metaphor about being married to the team isn’t far wrong. New season: new romance. The past season and off-season was filled with love, hate, rejection, being left at the altar, and all sorts of junior high antics of “who likes whom.” Sheldon Souray – who whispered in the wrong ear about considering a new lover – gets totally rejected in a move more of anger than insight. Mike Comrie, cute-enough without much of a downside, gets let go for who knows why. And the new boys in summer camp bring out the swoons of the public – they are, after all, so very winsome. And they promise to make our hearts flutter widely.

Like it or not, we are married to our Oilers. Our romance is more of heart than head. Yet, with all our heart-fluttering optimism, isn’t there just something in our heads that reminds us that perhaps this year’s team will be like looking for our 6th ex-wife? Will we start with wild romance and end with heartbreak?

There is an old Buddhist story about a man chased off a cliff by a charging lion. Falling to his death in the valley below, he happens to grab a slender flowering plant growing from the side of the cliff face. He looks up: lion. He looks below: valley floor. Then he looks at the plant and says: “What a beautiful flower.”

Perhaps we Oilers fans should become Buddhists and come to appreciate the “beautiful flower” that Oilers’ hockey has always been and always will be to us. We might be on our way to another train wreck, but there will be beautiful scenery along the way.


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