03 June, 2006


As some of you have no doubt noticed from my commentbox, I've been fussing with sacamano and mudcrutch79--even though I really don't feel like it.

And I got a teensy bit rankled at various comments in blogland about this Open Letter to Edmonton, even though I really have no reason to get rankled.

Why? I don't know. Fightin's just what I do...

...but that's changing.

I've said all I'm going to say about the real-or-imagined-take-your-pick culture war between Oilers Nation and the Caniac Nation (est. 1997). I've spoken my piece, and I'm just going to drop it as of the moment I hit the "publish post" button, because there's really just no damn point.

And really, my fussing with the Oilers fans is half-hearted at best, because I don't feel any kind of hate for them or their team. Oh, I'm sure that the fans all mostly partly might possibly decide to hate me because of where I live, because I gave the Oilers up some years ago, or because of some sense of automatic "superiority" because they're Canadian and therefore immediate hockey experts--but I don't hate them. I just can't get angry at them or hate them, because...well, I just can't. Oh, I'm sure I'll have some choice words for My Golden Bitch by the time this is all over, but I just don't feel the hate for all y'all in Oilers Nation.

(Perhaps this would be different if I were a Canucks fan--but what do I know, I'm not an angry Ruthenian accountant from Burnaby).

At any rate--Oilers fans, you're welcome to visit and talk hockey, and hopefully you find at least some of my posts entertaining (if a little crack nicotine-addled). If you're coming to Raleigh, I hope you enjoy your stay and have a good time regardless of what the result on the scoreboard may turn out to be. But I officially give up caring what all y'all think of me, my fellow fans, or my town, because in the grand scheme of things it really isn't worth the self-induced rise in my blood pressure.

Good night, and good luck.

Go Canes.

(written while listening to "Leid und Elend" by KMFDM)

Of ALL people to do something like this....

...it had to be Kevin Dineen.

Goddammit son, didn't you learn a damn thing from what happened seven years ago?! I...I just...

Words can't express how livid I am right now. Thank the gods he's at least alive to (hopefully) learn something from this.

For all those who still don't get it.


This is what you get when the Royal Bank of Canada buys a North Carolina-based chain of banks (Centura Bank)--and it's why the Canes' barn has "RBC Center" on it.

Sheesh. Look for a little info before trying to run some smack on our arena's name, people.

02 June, 2006

OK, I gotta say this.

SabresFan, please knock off the whining.

Your team is damn good--scary good. They're the only team that really scared me in these playoffs. They can skate like the wind, and they're tough customers too. I respect them a great deal, I really do. If the 'Canes had been as decimated as the Sabres were, I honestly don't know if they'd have done half so well--take that for the compliment that it is.

Please stop diminishing your team's accomplishments by being sore losers--there's a line between being unhappy about your team losing and just flat being a sore loser, and a lot of you are crossing that line with your whining about the officials and screaming "ZOMG BRIND'AMOUR IS CLASSLESS!!!!1one" because he took a shot at your coach (who refused to even go near the handshake line after he gave Lavi and our other coaches a dead-fish--if that's not classless, then I'm the King of Siam).

Your team lost, and I'm sorry. The officiating sucked, and it sucked on both sides. If some of you bothered to read the comments on various Canes boards today, you'd see a hell of a lot of us fans giving the Sabres some mad props--and that, by the way, is something that we DIDN'T do with the Habs or the Devils--because they are a good team.

But I guess that just means that we don't know shit about hockey, huh?

Whatever. Had the Sabres won yesterday I'd be on the Oilers bandwagon, sure--but I wouldn't be crying and pissing and bitching about the refs or wishing the Sabres' plane would fall from the sky or whatever, because that would cheapen everything that the Hurricanes had accomplished.

Good luck to your team next season--may the Sabres one day bring you guys some peace (but not at the expense of my 'Canes. Nothing personal, of course--'s just hockey).


The Acid Queen

Tour Guide for Oilers Fans

Well, it seems that there are Oilers fans coming down here for Games 1 and 2 of the Cup Finals. Great--we love it when visitors come to the Triangle to enrich our tax base and see the place for themselves (rather than listening to the drooling knuckledraggers on XM or hockeybuzz.com)!

As a public service for our visitors from the Sovereign Republic of Alberta (they've got oil and they've got guns--don't fuck with 'em), we here at the Virtual 'Cue Shack have decided to offer ten simple tips to make a visit to the RBC Center a good one:

1) Calling us rednecks (especially stupid rednecks), telling us that we don't deserve a team, dropping ign'ant KKK and NASCAR smack, and other such garbage will not get you a very warm reception. No, not all Caniacs have an encyclopedic knowledge of hockey--and yes, some Caniacs are a little cerebrally-challenged--but quite a few of us DO know our sport quite well (and a good many play in one of the booming rec leagues in the Triangle) and are trying to help the n00bs in our fanbase come to know (and love) the Sport of the Gods like we do.

2) Yes, Sportsnet DID move back the start time of a Leafs game so that they could show a NASCAR race in Toronto. Sorry to disappoint you, mudcrutch79 (who tried to call me for a 5-minute bullshit major over at The Battle of Alberta), but it's teh tr00f. This means that none of you mooks have any right to drop the NASCAR smack on us--especially since 1) Raleigh hasn't had a NASCAR race since not long before I was born and 2) Fox Sports has never asked the NHL to move back a game so they can show a race. If you want NASCAR, please go 2 hours' southeastish to Charlotte.

3) I guarantee that as long as you're polite (see #1 above), you'll have no trouble with 99.99% of the Caniac Nation. There are always going to be a couple of bad apples in every barrel, but in general we're pretty cool with people who are cool with us.

4) Alcohol sales in North Carolina start at 7:00 AM and stop at 2:00 AM, Monday through Saturday. Sunday, sales don't start until noon. This is an old law that might not get repealed any time soon. Spiritous liquor (i.e. Wild Turkey, Black Death, Rumple Minze, and so on) is sold only at ABC stores, which are open from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM Monday through Saturday and closed on Sunday. Again, this is an old law.

5) Please behave yourselves, and don't make me ashamed to have ever cheered for the Oilers at any point in my life (especially in the first round).

6) When you tailgate, it's considered polite to clean up after yourselves. If you need a trash bag, it's OK to ask nearby tailgaters for one.

7) You're generally welcome to join Caniacs' tailgates, as long as you're willing to endure a little good-natured jibing--it's wise to ask first before just barging in, because some folks are a little xenophobic thanks to the actions of certain asshats in a previous playoff round. Contributing beverages or food to a gathering that you join is considered polite. Engaging the Mighty Foot and denting a car hood, however, is not (and I guarantee that if you get arrested down here and are from Canada, no bail bondsman in this state will help you).

8) If you are coming down from Canada, PLEASE HAVE YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU if you intend to buy alcohol--Canadian drivers' licenses aren't acceptable for alcohol sales in North Carolina.
8a) If the retaildroid says "I'm sorry, we don't serve Oilers fans here", relax--it's a joke. Trust me, I'm only kidding.
8b) We don't have Tim Horton's here (which makes me very sad), but we do have a lottery. If you want to get a Powerball ticket or two, feel free. The state's educational system will thank you.

9) If you're looking for a 'Canes message board to visit, letsgocanes.com (affectionately known as "Teh LGC") is a good place--but they are quicker on the banbutton than I am, so BEHAVE YOURSELVES.

10) Some of our fans may decide, after having a few brewskies, to get in your face and act like they were raised by dysenteric amoebae. If this happens, and you have done nothing to provoke it (see 1) above), please find one of the securebots in the blue blazers and talk to them. The ushers may not do anything to help you, but the folks in the blue blazers will. If you started the shit, then you're pretty much on your own.

Just remember these handy tips, and your visit here should be smooth as glass (regardless of the series outcome).

Work hard, rock hard, eat hard, sleep hard, grow big, wear glasses if you need 'em, and Go Canes.

01 June, 2006

The Unity of Rings

(Indulge me a moment, folks. I'm feeling quite contemplative at the moment and want to get this out.)

When I was a child, I was an Oilers fan--the only one in my little hometown in North Dakota. I lived, breathed, ate, slept, and dreamed Oilers from their first NHL game in 1980. They were the first team I ever saw play--and whenever I could go to my grandmother's house to watch them (on her stolen cable connection), I would. Every once in a while, when the weather was just right, I would be able to pick up CHED.

When I left home after graduating high school, I lost touch with the NHL--but I still called myself an Oilers fan.

But there was this other team out on the East Coast....

...a team whose page was always the first to fill up in the Panini sticker albums that I'd get every season.

...a team that I got SO MANY cards for--way more cards for them than I got for the Oilers.

That team came to North Carolina in 1997 and changed its name from the Hartford Whalers to the Carolina Hurricanes. I went to a couple games, the first two seasons in Greensboro (I'd have gone to more if my old '73 Dodge Dart had been able to make the trip), got to know the team and the players and more than a few of the fans, but I still called myself an Oilers fan.

I was, of course, deluding myself. I didn't realize until after those two teams met the first season in Raleigh--that I wasn't an Oilers fan anymore. I couldn't be, because I didn't love them and hadn't since I was 19.

Prolonged absence, it is said, makes the heart forget--and how true it is in this case.

Not only that, but the Oilers--who had been my solace, my comfort during a very lonely childhood in the middle of the North Dakota prairies--didn't need me. They didn't need the geeky Nodak who had a mad crush on Kevin Lowe as a teenager and whose two favorite Oilers were Esa Tikkanen and Reijo Ruotsalainen (I mean really, how can you NOT love a guy with a name like "Reijo Ruotsalainen"?) They just didn't need me.

But this other team, these Hurricanes....they needed me. Not in terms of ticket sales or anything--but I just felt like they needed somebody to love them, the geeky freaky-deaky new kid in town. And the more I learned about the Hurricanes and their past as the Whalers, the more I came to get to know them, the more I found myself saying "Well shit, where the hell was I?"

The answer, of course, is that I was in a pretty one-sided relationship with somebody that more or less ignored me. So I sadly and somewhat reluctantly (because it's hard to let go of something that you've held on to for so long) cut the ties and put my Oilers jersey in a box in my closet, never to be worn again.

So, these Finals are kinda personal for me, because it means that in a way I'm coming full circle with the meeting of my past (the Oilers) and my present (the Hurricanes).

And I still feel pretty calm about all of it.

Go Canes.

Posted while listening to "Lateralus" by Tool

I still believe.

All we have left now is faith, fellow Caniacs. Faith in our team, faith in ourselves, faith that the Hurricanes will win.

I believe in them. Wholeheartedly, totally. This isn't a time to be wishy-washy. This is a time for will--perfect, genuine, complete, crystalline, pure. We must be resolute in our determination, unshakable in our faith. We must rise up, fellow Caniacs, and with one voice and one heart and one soul will our team to victory.

Forget the Sabres fans that'll show up at the RBC tonight. Forget Garth and his flagrant and unrepentant lies. Forget about Lindy Ruff's acting like a horse's ass in the media. Forget about those things, for they do not matter.

The only things that matter now are the 20 guys wearing the Sightless Eye that will take to the ice tonight for the fight of their playoff lives. Focus on them, cheer for them, and most importantly love them--that love, that focus, and that energy will be returned a thousandfold.

The lots at the RBC open at 5:00, the puck drops at 7:30.

Go Canes.

30 May, 2006

Everything is proceeding as I have forseen.

Game 7. I'm really not surprised--I saw this coming at the start of the series, because as I've said before these two teams are pretty much clones of each other.

The Canes blew their cool like they did in Game 3, and the Sabres took advantage of it--the only thing that kept it from being a blowout was Cam Ward (who I want to adopt).

I feel strangely calm about all of this, really.

Dear Canes,

Come on home and get a little rest. Thursday's a new day and another shot at redemption.



(written while listening to "Adrift and At Peace" by Nine Inch Nails)

29 May, 2006

We interrupt these playoffs.....

....for something that, today, is a bit more important regardless of one's political leanings.

I come from a family of warriors.

My paternal grandfather joined the US Army during World War II, and served in the Army Corps of Engineers as one of the builders of Garrison Dam.

One of my maternal great-uncles fought at Anzio AND Montecassino in the US Army during World War II.

My father served in the US Navy for 25 years, and earned a Purple Heart at Da Nang after being shot in the ass by a sniper.

One of my maternal ancestors fought for the Confederacy as a volunteer from Indiana during the Civil War--his reasons for doing so are lost to time, but he fought for his cause all the same.

My maternal uncle volunteered to serve in the US Army and was a door-gunner on the Cambodian border in the mid-60s, when his own government was vehemently denying any action in that part of Viet Nam.

Another of my paternal uncles served in the Navy after Vietnam, and two of his brothers served in the US Army--one (the baby of his family) during Desert Storm.

I have had numerous cousins serve in the Navy, Marine Corps, and Army. Had my knees not decided otherwise, I would have served as well.

(And some of you wonder why I have a big ol' bug up my ass about Jack Todd.)

Happy Memorial Day to all servicemembers (even you, Chief). Thank you for defending my right to be a bitchy, disagreeable old battleaxe.

28 May, 2006

Paging Ned Barnett, Ned Barnett....

...please pick up a nice steaming cup of SHUT. THE HELL. UP.

Toolbag Junior gives aid and comfort to the enemy, Film at 11.

Somebody get me an airsick bag, please. Better yet, they should just tell Ned to stick to Carolina basketball or something else that he knows just as little about. Just keep him the hell away from hockey.


Dave Lee and I were chatting about the whole Briere "situation" last night. Mind you, Briere's comments were not very at all captainly--and Ruff is enough of a hard-ass that he'll bench the boy in a big hurry--but I'm smelling a heady aroma of smokescreen from the whole thing...as if the Sabres are trying to play the Hurricanes into their hands by making it sound like the locker room is falling into disarray. Lulling the enemy into a false sense of security, and all that.

I guess we'll see what happens tonight, huh?

Puck drops at 7:30, lots open at 1:30 for tailgating (and, if you're a Sabres fan, hood-denting).

Go Canes.