Saturday, April 12, 2014

My best memory of Ryan Smyth

It was 2006.  I had planned the trip of a lifetime to go to the world cup.  That year I had also decided it was a good idea to buy playoff tickets to the Oilers.  Back then you could only buy all the games or none.  So I had tickets to the finals during our trip through Europe.  As an Oilers fan whose first memory of hockey was pretty much when Wayne Gretzky got traded, I've suffered through a lot and didnt want to miss the finals. I believe we left for London and it was 2-0 Canes.  We watched a couple games in London and Amsterdam, by fluke seeing several of the same people each game.  The only night I didn't watch the game was game 5, I fell asleep at a hostel in the red light district in Amsterdam that night.  It was OT, I said to a buddy "If the Oilers win I'm happy, if not I cant stand to watch.  If they win, I'm going to Brazil vs Australia in a couple days.".  The extra game meant I could sell another ticket on Kijiji and afford to go.  Fernando Pisani scored in OT and the girlfriend (now wife) and I were able to find scalper tickets.  The picture here is of our last night in Munich which was also game 7.  Its myself and some dude I never saw again.  Our train left Munich at 7am the following morning, and as a barely out of school newb to the workforce budget was a priority. The natural choice was to watch soccer all day in the fan zones and stay up to watch Game 7.  That day we met a ton of Canadians who wanted to watch the game as well as a crew of 8ish Aussies who came along. The Aussies all day sang this song, that always started out with the word 'Aussies' ... and it was to the tune of the song go west.  After a while, I noticed that the words were never the same. I asked him how he decided the words. He said, they are several staples but for the most part we just make them up kinda like the ole Chicago store song. I told him we needed to make an Oilers one and he was on board the process.  He said tell me something about the Oilers.  Our first story was about Ryan Smyth and how he lost his teeth from a shot by Pronger and how he picked his teeth up off the ice and didn't miss a shift.  I dont remember the words to that song.  I wish I did.  All I remember was 'Ryan Smyth he has no teeth' (to the tune of go west).  That stupid song was stuck in my head as well as our 2k6 travelling crew's head for several days.  What a great memory for a suffering Oilers fan.  Ryan Smyth was front and center, not the best player but the heart and soul of the team.

Off to the game tonight.  You'll be missed Smytty.

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