Mar. 30, 2011 - Issue #806 : Insidious
The voice of the Oilers calls it a career
Farewell to Rod!
It's one more week of playing out the string for the Oilers. Here's the latest piece of string. The Oilers lost 4-0 to St Louis. The Oilers lost 5-4 in a shootout to Calgary. The Oilers lost 2-0 to Los Angeles. Those three losses marked numbers eight, nine and 10 of a dismal winless streak.
"Goodnight and goodbye from Edmonton"
With the last few games relatively meaningless, the game against LA on Tuesday was notable for being the final Rod Phillips-called game after 3542 games and five Stanley Cups. I grew up in Edmonton and in the days before cable sports networks, radio was still the prevalent source of Oiler hockey. That's right, young 'uns: television was not always an option. I heard a lot of games on the radio (while walking uphill 10 miles to school in waist-high snow). When I think of Oilers hockey, I hear Rod's voice. I always appreciated that, despite unashamedly being the team's biggest fan and booster, he was never afraid to matter-of-factly call out the team when they were not showing effort. His criticisms came across like a disappointed father. However, the angry father came out when referees missed calls that Rod saw or made phantom calls against the Oilers. He never spewed venom in those cases but dripped with bemusement. ("I can't believe that call. Horrible.") You will be missed, Rod. And, for the record books, the last Rod Phillips-called Oiler goal was March 8, 2010 in Philly. J-F Jacques scored.
Sorry, what's that, Bryan? You're bloody kidding me. DY
Every time there's a banner ceremony—and there's been a lot lately—I ask myself, "Is this really necessary?" I'm not saying that Rod doesn't deserve a banner—certainly he deserves it more than Coffey—but perhaps the Oilers need to bring it back a bit. Including Rod's, the Oilers are now hanging eight banners in the rafters. As a point of comparison, the Montréal Canadiens—who have almost five times the number of Stanley Cups, more than six times the number of players in the Hall of Fame, nearly a century more of history—have only 15, representing 17 players. I know those were some great teams, I know those guys mean a lot to us, I know they're deserving of our recognition, but perhaps there's a different way to honour players and broadcasters. I love Rod and I already miss him—I've missed him all this year—but I'm just saying. BB
Oiler Player of the Week
Rod Phillips: Duh. DY
Devan Dubnyk: Did you see the rob job he pulled on Jokinen? Even Olli was left looking at the Jumbotron, jaw agape. BB
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