Monday, August 02, 2010

Poor Edmonton Sports Fans 

I was at the Taste of Edmonton festival this past week at Churchill Square and saw this gentlemen in an Eskimos jersey.
My immediate reaction was laughter. The Eskimos were 0-3 at the time of this picture (now they are 1-3).  However, his jersey got me thinking about 'Good Sports' in Edmonton.

Sports in the City of Champions is in bad shape.
  • Eskimos at 1-3 with a recently fired Head of Football Operations.
  • The Oilers were absolutely brutal last year and while they have a bunch of good kids - I predict them to finish in the bottom 3 of the league this coming season.
  • The WHL team is horrific and have been since they came back in 2007 after losing a franchise in 1998. 
  • The lacrosse team; the Rush, had their first winning season since their inception in 2006 last year but are 26-54 all time. 
  • The Capitals are putting together a good year after making the playoffs but it would be hard to consider this as even the 5th best professional league on the continent. (FYI: I love going to Caps games)
  • Athletics at the UofA are outstanding and are a bright spot - however coverage of their games/competitions are nearly non-existent.
The poor team performances, the NIMBY attitudes regarding the Velodrome, the deficiency of quality pubs playing hockey games with sound during the playoffs, the lack of official support for a new arena, and the less than stellar attendance and sponsorship at the Indy leads me to believe that Edmonton is not a sports city and it's a poor place to be a fan of 'Good Sports'.

I've felt this way for awhile and its definitely limited my attachment to the city overall since I moved here in 2007.  The most exciting games I have been to involving an Edmonton team were because of the competition they were playing rather than the home team. No body cared last year when the Oilers were playing except if Sid and Ovie came to town.  Last year the Eskimoes lost a game to the Roughriders due to their taking a procedure penalty on the final drive. The stadium was so loud for the Riders defense that the home team actually screwed up. It's bizarre.

I have no problem cheering for the Redwings, Roughriders, or Blades while I live in Edmonton as the alternatives all stink and the fans here are all too willing to accept crap.

I want to live in a sports town.

Big thanks to Kelly B for taking this picture in Regina where people live and breath the Riders.
Of course there is not much else to cheer for there now that Jordan Eberle is gone.
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