Saturday, December 19, 2009

Exchange Rates, Canadian NHL, and Making Payroll

Canadian teams have learned to protect themselves by hedging their bets on swings in foreign exchange rates. This often involves buying contracts to purchase United States dollars at different levels, up to several years in advance. This helps insulate the teams from big changes in the exchange rate. But it also means that the current rise of the Canadian dollar may not translate into a gain for teams, or as large a loss when the Canadian dollar slips.

The effect of the fluctuating dollar also hits N.H.L. players. Ottawa Senators forwards Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson were with the team early this decade when the Canadian dollar was weak and team finances were shaky. “Quite a few of us even bought season tickets to help out,” Alfredsson, the team’s captain, said. Fisher said that once the paychecks arrived late.
“We were on thin ice for a few years,” Alfredsson said.

I highly recommend checking out this really interesting article in the NYTimes about  how fluctuations in the exchange rate affect payroll for Canadian NHL teams.  It all makes sense when you think about it, but I certainly never had before.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

If you're faced with a jumble of hockey players:

This google ad I saw in my RSS reader should provide the answer:

I wonder how many GMs are using this?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Winning in Boston

Why not losing in Boston?  That is what we (the BoSox) did today, right?

Yeah.  I don't have the energy right now, but consider it a placeholder for a rant I've had brewing awhile.  More soon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Against my better judgement, here I am, and I even dug my jersey out of the closet. Fresh bread will come out of the oven soon, but it better NOT be the best part of the evening.




I dunno if I can take a whole season of our awesome new goalie.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Perhaps the Strangest Job Posting Yet

The Oilers have a new job posting up, and it is a doozy. Close textual analysis follows.

The Edmonton Oilers are one of North America’s leading sports organizations, and we’re looking for outgoing people to administer surveys using a handheld PDA at Oilers and Oil Kings games as well as at special events.

We are both extremely confident in our decisions and yet retain some anxiety that the fans don't want a dehydrated goalie.

• Survey administrators approach event attendees and ask them to complete a brief survey on behalf of the Oilers/Oil Kings. • Responses are entered into a handheld PDA •

We will impress the fans with our technical prowess and gadgets!

Training will be provided

This doesn't pay enough to assume you know how to use that PDA.

Survey Team will dress casually (no jeans) and will be provided with an Oilers SURVEY TEAM jacket to wear while working

Jeans are far too formal to wear with a SURVEY TEAM jacket! Break out those warmup pants!

Survey Administrators will be provided with one PDA to use while working

Because we're generous like that.

After the survey time period, Survey Administrators will return the jacket and PDA

Well, not THAT generous! You realize you're borrowing Katz's spare PDA, right?

Ideal Qualifications: • Passionate about the sports and entertainment industry • Comfortable approaching and speaking with people

Basement-dwelling blogger types probably not welcome.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

MacT to Spengler

Per TSN, MacT will coach Team Canada for the 2009 Spengler Cup.

And uh, you know, Comrie is an Oiler. Yup. If this causes me to run into Hillary Duff on my next Edmonton visit, man that's gonna be awkward.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Wherever you go...

There is a BP's.

So Training Camp approaches, and how do things stand at marriedtotheoil? Oddly. You see, I've spent the last month moving house to College Station, Texas for job reasons, and currently I cannot seem to get any internet or cable provider to contemplate hooking me up in a reasonable budget/timeframe, so I am without television altogether, and only sporadically able to find some internet.

What's different about College Station from Austin? Well, absolutely everything. What's different that anyone reading this blog would actually care about?

1.) NONE of the local cable options seem to provide Center Ice. This is very, very distressing.

2.) There is a Boston Pizza here. No, REALLY. It knows not of this "hockey", nor of Thai Chicken Pizza, and is calling itself "Boston's the Gourmet Pizza," but curiously, it does have Caesars on the drinks menu. (Trust me, no one in TX has ever heard of a Caesar, and thinks you're talking salad.) If I can't get some kind of hockey hookup soon, I'll be drinking a lot of them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Top 10 Questions on Everyone's Mind

I recently added Google Analytics to this site, essentially for my own amusement. It's fun to see where people visit from, and, even better, what search queries landed them here. With that in mind, I will give you the top ten questions that people seem to be looking to marriedtotheoil for answers to, and as I'm all about service, I'll do my best to answer them.

10. tim wakefield carries sick kid

Aww, what a sweet image. I'm sure he would, if you asked. How far do you need this sick kid carried?

9. "oilers flag" + tennessee

Oh, I'm so, so sorry. I wish I could help with your situation, but I don't think this is something mail order can fix.

8. edmonton oiler mascot

Is a terrible idea.

7. gene principe

Is perhaps googling himself? What does he do during the off-season, exactly?

6. hey, get well soon

Why thank you. I'm feeling much better already!

5. is dean arsene married?

I applaud your rapid, opportunistic response to a recent Oilers transaction, and am a little afraid.

4. sidney crosby

Surely I can not be an early result for that query. I have, however, had 3 visits from Nova Scotia, so I am concerned Sid needs a better summer hobby than vanity googling to assuage his off-season boredom. Go live a little, you just won the Cup!

3. rexall brand hair gel

Sheldon, my man! How's your summer going?

2. tarnst porn

Oh dear. I do not know what this is, and I'm not sure I want to. I'm assuming "porn" is a wild-card query word on google by now? A perfunctory visit with a german dictionary would suggest that "tarnst" means disguised or masked. Good luck with that. Or it could be featuring Dick Tarnstrom, I suppose. I don't know what disturbs me more of these options.

1. tarnst hockey

I suppose that's less disturbing than #2, but I fear I still do not know what this means, readers, though I have had enough queries about it to imply it is in the current zeitgeist. Can anyone else help?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

More Knuckleballs

The MLB All-Star Game this year was, as always, a bloated spectacle, and from my partisan point of view, a disappointing one. I thought it was pretty lousy of Joe Maddon not to put Wakefield in--it was his first All-Star Game and possibly his last, given the vicissitudes of pitcher selection, and I sincerely doubt Rivera or any other AL pitcher would have grudged him a couple outs. Bush league, says I.

Here's a nice article on Wake from the NYT.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Oilers Job Posting:

I tip my cap to the individual who can accomplish all of the tasks listed in this job description in a 40hr week.  Or an 80 hr week.  Or a 120 hr week.  I'm assuming there's an opening because of a nervous breakdown?

My favorite part of the listing is this:

Write articles and features for the Oilers website and Oilers publications and the general public

So does this mean I can call and request, as a member of the general public, a feature on Shawn Horcoff for my own use?  What a nice service!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Knuckleballers are All-Stars too!

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I'm delighted by the news that Tim Wakefield will be one of the six Red Sox players (including Horc's buddy Jason Bay) playing in the 2009 MLB All-Star Game.  Wakefield, a 42-year-old knuckleballer, has been an integral part of the team since I first started watching them in '95. This will be Wake's first All-Star Game, which is somehow unsurprising, as he has always been excellent at a very low profile.  I had the pleasure of meeting him at a fan event in 1999, and he was polite and painfully shy.

Wake is probably the current greatest athlete benefactor of sick kids in New England (though I'm happy to say he has many rivals for the title) and his dedication to the rugrat crowd is reciprocated heartily. Every time I have been to the giant souvenir store across Yawkey Way from the Park, someone behind the counter is promising a parent that they'll have more #49 shirts in x tiny kid size in "by Monday, they just sell out so fast."  Anyone that under the radar with that many little kids worshipping him anyway has got to be doing something right, and it's delightful to see the League acknowledge it.  Congrats, Tim!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Roloson to the Islanders?

Harrumph. This day is just annoying me more and more.

I'll miss you, Crazy Eyes. Sorry you're going to one of the most obnoxious arenas in the league.

Happy Canada Day! Free agent drama for all!

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I love poutine.  As a lifelong resident of North America South, I was not exposed to it until D brought me home to Edmonton to meet his family.  Since then, I have been trying to make up for lost time, as far as poutine is concerned.  Here in Austin, one grocery store actually carries squeaky cheese curds, though somewhat unreliably.  Our original plan for celebrating Canada Day 2009, was to make poutine, because "it's Monday" also works around here as an excuse for such. Alas, no curds at the store, so we have settled for a 750ml Unibroue Trois Pistols, a Terry's Chocolate Orange, homemade maple shortbread cookies, and worrying about the free agent market.

I am unabashedly disappointed that the Sedins will not be coming to Edmonton.  I know it wasn't much of a risk, but still, it would have been lovely to have them in Copper and Blue and I was mentally drawing up lines around the Sedins +1 and Horc and Hemmer +1 and sighing ecstatically.

Ah well.  This Heatley business is bewildering and seems to have no happy resolution. Perversely, if it does go through, I will miss Laddi the most.  He's a feisty player, and has an air of the undersized underdog trying to prove his credentials and courage, so much so that I mentally clock him at several inches shorter than his rightful 6'3".

To all I wish a day filled with good libations, celebrations, and constant applications of F5 to the TSN homepage.

To anyone kind enough to still visit this languishing blog for updates, my sincere apologies for my lengthy and unplanned (a now-resolved personal medical debacle) hiatus.  I'm back to posting at least sporadically: preferable (I hope) to not at all.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Job Opening: Oilers Mascot

The Oilers are offering a new job with the organization, on the heels of (much smaller) coaching announcements in the last 48 hrs:

We are currently seeking enthusiastic and motivated individuals to help promote our team as our mascot at various events in the community. No experience as a mascot is necessary; however, preference will be given to those with some acting or public promotion experience. • Hours of work will vary, including mornings, evenings and weekends. • $12/hour. • Costume supplied. Training is provided for those who enjoy greeting/working with families and the general public

I have to say, the Oilers must be footing a lot of overhead these days, if all they can offer for the honor of dressing up in a fuzzy (?)  costume of a design yet to be revealed is $12/hr in Alberta's economy...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Alumni Gossip

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Rachel Hunter and former Oiler Jarret Stoll will marry this summer, in Northern California, according to People.  Congrats to the happy couple.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Properly Accessorizing Fanships

Back in February/March I traveled to Santa Barbara for a few weeks with D for his work. We did it as a roadtrip from TX, and it was pretty fun, except for the part where my wallet was stolen out of my bag on the UCSB campus at the end of the first week. 

I needed a cheap replacement to tide me over until I got home (Of course, ID and credit cards were another, hairier matter altogether), so I found myself glumly examining my options in The Saddest Target Store Ever(TM)  in Ventura, CA and was amused by the inadvertant shout-out to the Copper and Blue this seemed to represent.  Since I'd already had one wallet boosted from my current bag, a little zipper action would ease my paranoia.  Also, I'd have something to dig loonies out of the next time I was at Rexall Place and needed a hotdog.

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Finally, it seemed reasonable in the interest of parity, as this is my go-to carry-on bag when I travel.  (I sewed it myself, after spending eight years debating the best deployment of this now discontinued logo fabric.)

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Confess: What extremes have you worn or made in the name of representing?

Friday, May 1, 2009

Vampires blog?

I just discovered Google Reader and joined the 21st Century.  Now I know what Black Dog said seconds after he opined it!  I uh, also get a lot of nerd feeds. Because I am a nerd.  This confuses the "recommend" feature, which after I added 17 subscriptions in assorted categories, still can only come up with "Cult of Hockey" as something I might like.  Anyway.  RSS is teaching me new things!

Did you know this guy:

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blogs for

Yeah, neither did I.  Apparently he's been doing it for three years now. Huh.  In his most recent entry, this Flyers fan working in Hollywood shares this exciting, nay, suspenseful scoop:

I went to the San Jose / Anaheim game on Friday and this woman comes up to me and said that her father owns the team. She was really nice and invited us to go and sit in her father's box. At the end of the first period, my son Jay and my good friend went up to the box and met the owner. The owner's daughter had baked cookies for the team and she shared one with Jay. 

Yeah, I'm mean.  Other genre tv hockey fans, btw?  Michael Rosenbaum, a.k.a. Lex Luthor on Smallville.  Though he's buddies with CFP, if they're letting random celebrities do it I'd still like to see him blog for, especially if it was in the voice of Lex Luthor:

The Ducks played unacceptably tonight.  Though Chris has been a valued acquaintance for a long time, I simply can not allow things to continue like this.  Please make the usual arrangements.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Is there such a thing as watching *too much* playoff hockey?

Maybe, when not only are you convinced you can tell the Sedin twins apart, you're actually right.

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(picture via Mirtle, of course)

That's Daniel, by the way. The question is, where's Henrik?

Monday, April 27, 2009

Somebody likes me

For reasons unclear, NHL Center Ice showed the Blackhawks shellacking the Flames THREE times in its entirety this weekend.  No complaints here.

Not hockey, no, but pretty darn exciting stuff to watch last night:

I like this kid.  For those of you who don't follow baseball, stealing home happens maybe a couple times in an entire season across the league, on average.

Red Sox Sweep Yankees.  Pretty sweet words.


It's summer, and like most autopsies, the Oilers post-season is starting to  make me fairly queasy.  I'm not enough of a stats gal to weigh in on the Draft, and I'm such a baby in Hockey Fan years (I maintain they are far more aging than dog years) that I can't reminisce with the best of them yet.  I'll be lurking on the comment threads of my betters in the Oilogosphere, and offering a strange summer mish-mash of Red Sox baseball, hockey culture oddities, reaction to traumatic off-season front-office moves, and rambling personal anecdote here, hopefully on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.


For the record, Tambellini does NOT have my permission to trade Ales or Horc.  If he can find some way to sneak the Sedins in under the cap, I am so listening.

Friday, April 24, 2009

In homage to Lowetide:

This is John Valentin. He played 11 seasons in the Show, 10 of them for my Boston Red Sox, batting .279 lifetime. He was the shortstop for the Bosox from his rookie year, 1992, until 1997 when some kid named Nomar Garciaparra came up through the farm system and displaced him to third base. Val was deeply unhappy with the move, and expressed his feelings to the media in spring training, but treated Nomar with great class, enough so that Nomar once credited him with teaching him how to talk to the press. Val seemed to think that the best revenge was living--or fielding--well, and that he did, essentially robbed of a Gold Glove that year by Robin Ventura of the White Sox, who expressed surprise at his own win when it was announced.

In terms of on-field achievements, flying beneath the Boston sports media's radar was Val's speciality, despite a superb fielding percentage year in and year out (.971 in his first three seasons at short), perpetually leading the team in doubles, and becoming the only man in MLB history to hit for the cycle AND perform an unassisted triple play. Valentin was a team leader, a close friend of slugger Mo Vaughn (with whom he not only came up through the farm but roomed with in college as well), a devoted fundraiser for Boston children's cancer charity The Jimmy Fund, and played hard and played hurt. The Boston sports media, as was their wont, focused on his New Jersey wisecracking tone, and his criticisms of Boston's disastrous GM, labeling him a troublemaker and ungrateful. The hero of the 1999 playoffs would leave Fenway in bitter circumstances, in 2001, play one more season for the Mets on a shattered knee, and retire in enemy territory.

Val was my first sports hero. He had many things to recommend him to a teenage girl in the early nineties, and his intelligence and oddball humor were just some of them. (What can I say--a 9.71 fielding percentage is girl bait!) I amassed a collection of Valentin cards in the hundreds (the rise of eBay was remarkably well-timed) and recoiled in a souveneir shop on Yawkey Way when I was asked while picking through their Valentin cards, "Hey are you that girl, who's like, stalking John Valentin?" For the record, as I said then, and I'll say now: No, I was not. Eeek.

Tonight I learned he's managing an AA team in Chattanooga, and I'm delighted to hear it. I hope someday he's welcomed back into the Red Sox organization with a reconciliation to warm my teenaged heart. Stay classy, Val.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Gene Principe is NOT a psychologist, true.

Hey, Oilers?
I'm not mad.  No, I'm not.  Why would I even bother any more?  It's just so exhausting for me.  I mean really, my being mad isn't even going to make a difference with you, is it?  It's not like you ever think about how I'll feel when you go out there and skate around listlessly.  Stop rolling your eyes at me and listen.

No, I'm not mad.  I'm just very, very disappointed, and I don't want to talk about it anymore.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Well thaw me a hot dog

...or however the saying goes.

Tomorrow is Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox (the home opener no less!).  Were I home in Boston, I would be one of many with creative excuses to take the day off work or school, or my work or school would be facing reality and just letting me watch there.  It's sweet, really.

As I'm in Texas, I'll  crank up the AC, thaw myself a hotdog (Hebrew National is the only way to go) and let myself slide into summer, known in some quarters as the "off" season. 

A little distraction from the inevitable *cough* is nice, no?

ETA: Or, you know, the game could be postponed until tomorrow for rain, leaving me with a potentially horrifying MLB-NHL double-header.  Whatever.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


We're playing the Sharks tonight.  We are clearly not going to the playoffs.

And yet.

Here I am, wearing my Oilers t-shirt as I work on my dissertation.  And I will watch tonight.

Because even disappointing hockey is better than no hockey, and a long, hot summer of that's coming upsettingly soon.

I like MacT.  I'm sad this situation has become what it has, because I think driving the blame truck up to his door's a bit scapegoat-y.  It's gonna suck to watch him coaching another team that beats us over and over and over next year...

OK, happy thoughts.  Clap Clap.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

They did it AGAIN

I made it home in time to see the last 10 minutes of play.


Important Observations about Hair

(I'm afraid I don't have a twinge of regret about missing tonight's game against Anaheim. I have tickets to see Neko Case at a good venue in Austin, and well... no contest.)

Apropos of tonight's game, I would like to make an observation about Anaheim that I started noticing around the time of the All-Star game. Players go there, and then their hair starts to flee. CFP's included. What is it about this team that makes a man's hair give up and go into retreat?

Meanwhile, Sheldon "greasy" Souray, despite my speculations that his contract included hefty quantities of under-the-table Rexall-brand hair gel, got a fairly decent haircut... for him...

Which is more than Tom Gilbert can say. I know the performance won an Academy Award, but really, is modeling your "look" on Heath Ledger as The Joker really such a great plan?

Yes, it's come to talking about matters tonsorial. Because really, do we even want to talk about the playoffs today?

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Worse for hockey, fashion, or movies? You decide.

"Despite the controversies, Mr. Avery’s star seemed on the rise last year. Beau Flynn, a Hollywood producer (and Ms. Flynn’s brother), sold a movie idea to New Line Cinema focusing on Mr. Avery’s time at a fashion magazine. The working title: “Puckface.”"

Hey, I interned with a high-profile fashion magazine house too! I wonder if he felt as much pressure to develop an eating disorder as I did?

"But Mr. Avery’s bankability took a hit last December, when, before a game with the Calgary Flames in Canada, he sought to stir the pot by alluding to a Flames defenseman who was dating a former girlfriend of his — the actress Elisha Cuthbert — as well as to a Kings player who was dating the model Rachel Hunter, whom Mr. Avery had also gone out with."

Oh, I missed the part where he insulted Jarret too. Keep it Klassy, Sean.

"He has invested in a new restaurant and bar, Warren 77, with Mr. Abramcyk and Chris Miller, a former art dealer. Mr. Abramcyk, who played hockey as a teenager, said he met Mr. Avery at Smith & Mills, a night spot Mr. Abramcyk co-owns in TriBeCa. The two became friends, and Mr. Avery invited him to play hockey at a rink on the property of Mr. Robbins and Susan Sarandon in Pound Ridge, N.Y.

“Out of the blue,” Mr. Abramcyk said, “I was down and he was on top of me pushing his stick down on me like you see hockey players doing on TV.”

Mr. Avery was only pretending to be angry, Mr. Abramcyk said during a tour of their new spot, which will have a vintage sports theme, on Warren Street.

Originally, Mr. Avery had planned to invest in a different project with Mr. Abramcyk and his brother. The plans went awry, Mr. Abramcyk said, when Mr. Avery egged the two on when they got into a dispute about working on New Year’s eve.

“The old Sean is crazy,” Mr. Abramcyk said. “I didn’t speak to my brother for three months.”"

Hahahaha! Good times! I would totally go ahead and invest with him after that!

"Later, in the locker room, he described the few seconds when both players had shed their helmets and gloves and were poised to exchange blows.

“It’s the most honest moment of clarity I have on any level of life, as funny as that sounds,” he said. “Before I went away and after I went away, it’s still the quietest time I ever have in my head — when I’m about to engage someone in that manner.”

“You know,” he added, “everything kind of goes quiet.”"

Is he saying he usually hears voices? Because honestly, given the way this peach behaves, I always imagined something close to silence all the time, maybe with a faint whistling sound.

For more of these sparkling anecdotes, check out today's NYTimes article.

An Open Letter

Dear Craig MacTavish,

Any time you want to come over to our apartment and swear for a few hours, you are welcome to. Depending on what would make you more comfortable, we can discreetly vacate the premises, or we can stick around and join in. Whatever you please. We have some nice mini-quiches from Costco in the freezer we could heat up, and I'll make dessert--strawberries are in season, and since we buy those at Costco too, and the whipping cream, I'm certain there'll be enough to go around.

The thing is, MacT, it's clearly good when you let it out. Case in point would be Friday's game against Anaheim. You looked like you were freakin' out on the bench, and somehow the team pulled out a tortuous win, despite many of the copper and blue looking distressingly unfamiliar with the business end of a hockey stick. Maybe you simply intimidated the voices that pester Roli, maybe Roli became inspired by what he thought was your similar plight, but whatever happened, it was ultimately for the good.

Tonight? You had that introverted, resigned look I've been noticing of late, and the team--well, I don't know what they were, but they weren't exactly fired up. And against the Minnesota Christmas Elves, really they should be.

I'll level with you, MacT. I was really hoping to be watching the playoffs in HD, with the Oilers in them. Can't we work something out? Because tonight, doing my taxes was the consolation for having to watch a hockey game, instead of the right way round.


Friday, February 20, 2009

An invitation to represent--

I knit. While watching hockey. I knit three sweaters during the Cup run in 2006.

I recently joined ravelry, which is free and has excellent resources for knitters, and I was of course searching the member groups to see if there was an Oilers group for me to join among the many NHL ones representing. To my horror, there was not an Oilers group, but there was a Falmes group.

Clearly I could not let this stand. So I started an Oilers group. I'm "marriedtotheoil" over there too.

So if any of you reading this happen to knit, and you'd like to join me as the playoff-berth suspense knitting ramps up, (or you know other Oilers knitters who would, tell them to) sign yourself up if you already have an account, or get an invite for a free account on Ravelry's homepage.

But we can't let just Calgary represent.

Trade Season

I was all set to write a post about the Oilers Tuesday. Then I was going to try again last night.


Instead, with all the ample trade speculation in the media, I'll share a excerpt from a thought-provoking essay from retired MLB player Doug Glanville.

“This is John Hart,” relayed the Texas Rangers’ general manager. “I have some news you may have expected. I have traded you back to your old team.” When he said “old team” my heart stopped. I had signed with Texas in the off-season as a free agent since they were the only team that had assured me I would be a starter. One offer I declined was from the team with which I played for the previous five years, the Philadelphia Phillies. And being that my Rangers contract was worse than the one the Phillies had offered me, it seemed crazy that when all was said and done, I could be traded back to Philadelphia with a contract inferior to the one they originally offered me.

“As you know we have underperformed as a team,” Hart said. “It isn’t your fault; you are doing your job, but with the trade deadline upon us, we wanted to make some moves. So, I traded you back to Chicago.”

I was a Chicago Cub again. Back to where it all began.

Mr. Glanville now writes a regular column for the NY Times, on professional sports from a player's perspective. If you haven't checked it out already, I highly recommend it for a fresh perspective.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Get Well Soon, #46

Dear Zach,
Yes, I give you a hard time here, a lot. But in some strange, perverse way, you've become one of my favorite Oilers in a season that has been, shall we say, dispiriting. Seeing you writhe in agony on the ice a few minutes ago was truly upsetting, and seeing your knee bend a way that ultimately ended the career of my favorite baseball player made me distressed indeed.

So please, rest up, get well, and do everything the doctor says. We want you back healthy, asap.