Every city that claims to be a sports town has a hierarchy to their sports teams. It is not a secret that in Edmonton the Oilers are number one - space bar, space bar, space bar - the Eskimos are number two. With FC Edmonton fans literally willing the team back into existence in the soon-to-be Canadian Premier League, this author would like to give them the coveted first spot behind the big two dogs. Oh what this city would give to have some of the FC Edmonton optimism rub off on the Oilers and Eskimos.
Before I dive into the local sport scene, allow me to ask your opinion - how do YOU feel about the Edmonton sport scene and its teams?
The last two Oilers home games have featured a jersey thrown onto the ice and select “fans” throwing hats on the ice to celebrate an opposing team player scoring a hat-trick. The best thing for the Oilers is the fact they are going on a 3-game road trip. Unfortunately they are playing the Pittsburgh Penguins (Eastern Conference wild card team), Carolina Hurricanes (the team behind the Penguins for the wild card) and the Metropolitan Division leading New York Islanders with fans suggesting the team needs to win two out of three to keep playoff hopes alive. With the talk on Oilers social media being the impending revolt by current season ticket holders if the team does not make the playoffs, it may be a good time to a bottle drive or twenty because your turn on the season ticket holder waiting list may come up sooner than you expected.
Final signature to come tomorrow, Mike Reilly will sign a 4 year deal at right around $700k per season with the BC Lions. Sources say Esks were willing to do 4x700k as well to match.
— Ryan Rishaug (@TSNRyanRishaug) February 12, 2021
CFL free agency begins today (February 12th) at 10 AM. Eskimos star quarterback Mike Reilly has all but signed the contract to leave the team re-joining the GM that originally took a chance on him in Ed Hervey. Using a conspiracy theory thought process, the Eskimos fired President Len Rhodes yesterday (a man not popular among the Eskimo faithful) in an attempt to save some of the season tickets that will be lost when Reilly officially signs with B.C.. Continuing with the conspiracy theory, the reason GM Brock Sunderland never fired Jason “temper tantrum king” Maas is because of the success he had with soon-to-be Ottawa free agent quarterback Trevor Harris and needed him as bait in case the team had to enact plan B. The CFL is QB driven league, how are Eskimos fans supposed to react knowing they will enter the 2019 with a downgrade at that position?
Stepping away from the big two, there really is a lot of optimism to be found on the Edmonton sports scene. That optimism starts with the return of FC Edmonton and a few of the players the club brought back. The two examples I will use are Tomi Ameobi and Kareem Moses. “Ameobi, 30, played for FC Edmonton from 2014 through 2017, and ranks second all-time in goals (26) and third in appearances (107) across all competitions.” Maybe the name Moses does not ring a bell because the casual fan may only know him as the dancing guy after during Eddies post-games in 2014 and 2015. I, that casual fan, cannot wait to see him dance again!
Win Column is proudly listed on the Prospects website as a media partner. Spencer Love has been keeping you up-to-date with all the latest Prospects news (check it out here) while myself and Arik Krause recapped all their home games last season. This upcoming season features an expanded home schedule (4 more games) and Edmonton’s first ever WCBL All-Star game.
Friday May 10, 7 PM at the Edmonton Expo Centre, basketball returns to Edmonton! Win Column was at the Stingers introductory press conference and the words that resonated from that meeting were as follows: “A Stingers event will be like a rock concert meets a basketball game.” With former Saskatchewan Rush boss Lee Genier as President of the Club and Kail Schofield, a man of many roles for the Edmonton Rush, as Director of Business Operations the Stingers will know how to throw a party. With roster formations beginning soon, a basketball league focused on Canadian talent will be providing many positive headlines!
There is plenty to be excited about in regards to being an Edmonton Sports fan!
Prior to the NHL season I wrote a piece suggesting both Alberta NHL teams will make the playoffs. With nothing more than blind faith, the belief stands. The Oilers will be hard-pressed to make the final 16 but Oiler management can feel the shift among their fans who have gone from wanting to collect first round picks to wanting to win and win now!
June 21st the BC Lions and presumably Mike Reilly will be coming to Commonwealth Stadium. I believe in the city of Edmonton and I believe Reilly will be greeted with a standing ovation. As hard as it to picture right now with the loss of Reilly and J. C. Sherritt, the belief is the Eskimos will make the playoffs in a league that lets too many teams make the playoffs.
As a non-soccer guy, I purchased season tickets to ensure the Eddies came back to life. If you’ve never been to a live game, then that last statement will make no sense. Do yourself a favour, check out an Eddies game this spring.
Spoiler alert, baseball is my first love among sports. Going to a game does not have to be about the game itself. The pace of baseball is set so that you can go with a couple buddies, have a few wobbly pops and just enjoy being outside in a beautiful ballpark. If you are a diehard MLB fan or still burnt about the Trappers being gone, if you allow yourself to let your guard just a little bit you would enjoy a Prospects game.
Last but not least, the idea of a basketball league coming to Edmonton that actually has a solid financial plan is exciting. The team starting out in a 4,000 seat stadium is brilliant as it will create a demand for tickets. Don’t miss out Edmonton!