2017-08-28

2017 Edmonton International Fringe Festival: A Midsummer Night's Fringe

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It's that time of year again.



The summer wind-down continues with the Edmonton Fringe Festival. This year to celebrate Canada 150 the fringe subtitle is "A Midsummer Night's Fringe" to honour Great Britain, the amazing nation that turned a useless land being poorly used by Red Indians into something impressive. It is doubly ironic considering that this Fringe is going to literally run until August 27th which is pretty much the end of summer, especially for schoolchildren.

Anyways this will be a quiet Fringe for yours truly since I did just wind down not one but two rather expensive Eastern vacations. Still there will be a bit of Fringe coverage, I'll try to go to the grounds a couple nights at least and see what human beauty can be on display.

And as always here at Third Edge of the Sword during the Fringe, there is a steadfast rule that can never be broken:

No fags.

For previous Fringe coverage please see last year (2016), 2015, the infamous 2014, and the similarly slow 2013.

2017-08-20

2017 Edmonton Fringe Festival review: Szeretlek: A Hungarian Love Story

For all the knocks I have to give it from the get go, it's not all that bad.

It's certainly not all that great either, but when you consider it's the dreaded "my story"/"my family story" combined with physical theatre, Szeretlek: A Hungarian Love Story could have been a lot worse. And you get to learn a new dance, a new word, plus discover how to pronounce Budapesht correctly.

The premise is simple: the story about the young love between author/costar Zita Nyarady's grandmother Catalina and the man she would end up being with as long as they both shall lived. Because Catalina came of age in the shadow of the Second World War, and in a small Hungarian town, the setting becomes as important as the characters. Nyrady also brought her...husband Mike France ...along as her co-star. Together they play different characters as the story is expressed through dance and narration.
This is, for better or worse, nothing like the "Hungarian love story" that won at the Berlin Film Festival earlier this year.

I think she said husband, but then again she didn't take his last name so it's possible that isn't even true. Of course, I'm not sure the "take your husbands name" rule is that valid when he spells it Myque Franze either.


If you're cringing at the thought of "interpretive dance" as I was when I was cajoled into attending (because of my recent long and frankly expensive as all get out vacation, I was intending to not see any plays this year), relax: there isn't really any interpretive dance. There actually isn't too much dance at all actually: there's an opening number with an umbrella and a pair of masks that are supposed to reflect Catalina and her eventual husband in old age, but end up looking vaguely like a Drazi and every cartoonist's stereotype of Hungarian features. Then there's a pivotal scene which takes place at an autumn dance involving a traditional Hungarian dance so easy they even convince the audience to do it. There's a weird dream sequence (the only interpretive number) where the actors practice the airplane ride from Grosse Pointe Blank, and that's about it for the dancing portions of the show.

The rest is just an autobiographical telling of Catalina's life. Nyrady is clearly proud of her family history, so much that perhaps she noticed there really isn't that much story there. The most compelling bit was when she was forced to choose between two men vying for her hand in marriage, the "soap opera" portion as Nyrady refers to it...but that part of the story is basically just dropped. "Oh and she chose the linguist" is the punchline and indeed the end of the story. (Relax: the identity of the successful suitor is given away in the first 5 minutes of the play)

That's really the frustrating part of the play: we're left out of all the good bits of drama. Part of that is understandable: this story was formed when Nyrady interviewed her grandmother and other family members about her life. I know full well that when you try to suss out details in this fashion, you're not going to get all of the juicy or dramatic bits. There's a extended riff on the hat Catalina bought with her first paycheque, hoping to find some sort of universal statement about the human condition or lost youth or something, when instead it's probably just that with your first paycheque you like to make a fun purchase. I can't remember what I bought with my first real paycheque but it was probably at least 5.5% alcohol (and possibly the reason I cannot remember). There are a couple decent scenes about Catalina the teacher trying to deal with children barely younger than her who were scared by WWII in such a way that no discipline could likely frighten.

As mentioned, WWII is a big part of the story even though none of the characters were old enough to have been directly involved in it (Catalina's first love is killed in the war, but whether he was old enough to serve or just a civilian casualty is never addressed). Nyrady observes that her grandmother doesn't like to talk about the war much at all, and a lot of those years are black holes in the story that simply will never be filled. This really brought to life the truism I was told once by a Canadian Forces member who had served in Bosnia in the late 90s, a time when most of the serious fighting was over and a stint in that country was just a pretty shitty paid European vacation. Having left Yugoslavia without any good war stories of his own, he recalls talking with WWII and Korean War veterans at the Legion and trying to find out from them what it was like to be in a real war, an existential battle against equally/superior equipped forces in a raging battle for the future of the globe. None of them would talk about it, even to other military veterans who had come under fire. It just wasn't something that was discussed. As he put it contrasting with some of his fellow Bosnian vets:

Men who have been in a real battle never want to talk about it. Men who haven't been in a real battle will never shut up about it.
Catalina lost her first love and her mother during that War. Remember that Hungary started as fighting for the Axis powers but was later seized by Germany after her second-rate army fell apart fighting the well-equipped Soviets in a winter campaign. Six months later the Soviets invaded and despite an official armistice the tattered remains of the Royal Hungarian Army continued to fight to keep the Russians at bay. Within months, Budapest was besieged and by the war's end Hungary was under Soviet control. At the time of this story, a Soviet puppet government was in place that lasted until the 80s.

For the most part the story itself isn't all that thrilling. Catalina buys a hat. She teaches unruly boys. She gets swindled by her future mother-in-law to pay extra for shaving soap (being told it's a miracle product). That same mother-in-law tells through (music-less!) song that she wanted her studious son to become a priest but instead he wanted to become a scholar and get married. He woos Catalina at the aforementioned autumn dance and this is where the two actors really do their best physical work at expressing something that is really hard to capture with words: the joys of young love. You remember those heady days: instead of a coffee date and then endless Netflix and Chill nights and/or Skype conversations, it's just you and this young girl you've met...the charming simplicity of it all. She likes you. You like her. You lose her for a couple hours at a bush party because she got drunk and decided to sleep it off under a van and when you found her the Red Indian guys who owned the van tried to beat you up because they're savages like that, and then you and her drive away (not in the van) and make out in a pickup along a lake somewhere just outside of Bonnyville. You know, beautiful and simple young love stories like that. The way they move and their expressions really sell that, and I appreciate it. It's the best part of the play.

After that unfortunately Catalina falls ill...literally. We're never told what the problem was and it's likely nobody ever knew. She collapsed suddenly which almost sounds like a diabetic attack, though a lifelong ailment like that would have been detected before she lived into the 21st century. The other of her suitors is a handsome doctor known to participate in weird experimental treatments: in a gory-for-kids scene he uses needles to remove blood from one area of her body and re-inject it into another. This process is technically autohemotherapy by the way, and it's a quack method. Don't try this at home with a syringe and a comatose grandmother, kids! But in the end, she wakes up, chooses her man, and...well, the abrupt ending of it sort of ruins the momentum they had been building up. This show is advertised as 60 minutes, it's only a shade over 45. I normally wouldn't ask physical theatre to run longer, and there are certainly parts earlier on that could have been trimmed, but it wouldn't be too bad to see anything of their life after he slips a ring on her finger.

As love stories go it's fairy-tale like but brutal, familiar but just a little on that border of strange and alien, not as well defined as you think it should be. In other words: it's quintessentially Hungarian.

For more 2017 Edmonton Fringe Festival content, see the portal page)

2017-08-17

2017 Edmonton International Fringe Festivals: Previously Recorded

Below is a listing of the various plays being performed at this year's Edmonton Fringe festival that have already been covered on Third Edge of the Sword. In a couple cases these are the same troupes doing very similar titles.

Dirk Darrow. I reviewed Two Ruby Knockers, 1 Jaded Dick: A Dick Darrow Investigation in 2015.

One Man Star Wars. Previously I reviewed both this show and One Man Lord of the Rings.

Breakneck Julius Casear. Previously I reviewed Breakneck Hamlet with the same cast and crew.

Peter N' Chris Best Bits. I reviewed Peter n' Chris and the Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel and Peter and Chris who do 10,000 shows that are all manically identical.

Rigby Muldoon: Paradox at Vanderkroft Manor Previously I reveiwed Rigby Muldoon: Time Traveler For Hire.

Also, of course, there's a Die-Nasty every night, but since Danielle Smith isn't the Wildrose Party leader anymore my review will be pretty much useless for you.

(For more 2017 Edmonton Fringe Festival content, see the portal page)

2017 Edmonton Fringe Festival: No-watch previews

As discussed, being a little light on the pocketbook after my summer trip to the Maritimes, I'm going to have to take it easy on the Fringing this year. However, here's are quick previews [can you call it a "pre-view" if you won't be "view"ing them? AP Style Guide doesn't cover this topic. -ed] of various shows based on what I can discern from the Fringe Program and their marketing efforts.

The Canada Show: The Complete History of Canada in One Hour!. Check to see if I did this one? If not, it's still better than the Charlottetown presentation I saw earlier this month that claimed the last half-century of Canadian history was Jack Layton and uranists.

Alex Clark. He has fewer subscribers than Rebel Media. Hey, wouldn't a live Rebel Media presentation at the Fringe be hilarious? Really put the snowflake Fringers in their place.

Animal Farm Treatment. I wrote about this when I covered "George Orwell is not my name" but the curious thing about George Orwell is that he was in fact a committed socialist who just thinks that Trotsky instead of Stalin should have taken over from Lenin. This appears to be a retelling of Animal Farm insulting free market capitalism (the "rising tide lifts all boats" and "all animals deserve to get ahead" lines strongly indicate this) which only works if Alice Nelson is herself a Randian or at least a Reagan Democrat. To give the game away, she's not, she's a far-left extremist.

The show: Animal Farm Treatment. Yup, good ol’ George Orwell’s classic animal allegory. However, I’m doing an adaptation, bringing the animal farm metaphor into our current economy of the have and have nots. About inequality, neoliberalism and globalization. The hope is to bring the show to high schools, get students inspired to vote and question authority.

Bash'd! A Gay Rap Opera. You know this pro-poofter play is going to be absolutely horrible and disgusting and pushing the sick sodomite agenda mercifulessly. However, one bit from the tagline caught my eye: Canada's equal marriage debate collides with bombastic beats in BASH'd! That's right, debate: as in there's a second side to it. Maybe for the sequel they can find somebody willing to promote it?

Blood Countess. This story, about Hungarian serial killer Elizabeth Báthory, purports to question the authenticity of her guilt (despite the fact that the opposite was true: her wealthy and influential family kept her out of prison long after the evidence became overwhelming against her). In that vein I'm debating what to call it: Feminist Holocaust Denial? Or 8/1614 Trutherism? As an aside, what's with all the Hungarians this year? Why not last year to coincide with the 60th anniversary of 1956?


C-. What are the odds this American play will tackle the nonsense that is burdening college debt? Low-to-medium, I'm afraid.

Conventional Musical. From the tagline: Three roommates must overcome the powers of capitalism and their own struggling relationships to succeed. "Overcome" the powers of requiring you to work for money? Who can or would even want to do that?

Days of the Klondike. A musical romp through the Yukon gold rush? Sounds awesome, and there are so many great songs from the era to choose from. I'm a fan of the 1897 Chilikoot March, and there was a huge variety of (mostly ragtime) music tailored for that great land at that wonderful time. When I did my road trip to the Yukon a few years ago I brought tons of it with me for the drive and for the inspiration...and oh, wait, nevermind...
With an original score of upbeat contemporary and ole-tyme honky tonk music, two very different Klondike Kates, Alexander Pantages, Robert Service, and many other men, women and children from this bygone era will once again bring history to life!
Contemporary and "old time honkey tonk". Yep, should make the late 1890s roar to life!

Evil Dead: The Musical. While this is on my list of "shows I would see if I could afford to see shows" list, I assume it's going to really be Evil Dead 2: The Musical since that's the style everybody wants. And I suppose next year we can look forward to Army of Darkness: The Musical which couldn't possibly be more pretentous than Spamalot.

Executing Justice. *yawn*. Extreme leftists think the death penalty is bad because once every 10,000 cases the wrong person gets executed. Meanwhile SJWs execute the wrong person on a near-monthly basis these days.

Get me the Fuck Out of Edmonton! Wes Borg does an on-stage duet with the ghost of Joe Bird. Sorry, I assumed Wes Borg was dead by now too.

Give It Up. From the promoters of Jake's Gift, One Man Star Wars and This is CANCER say the tagline. "From the promoters of"? That's like saying people should watch your movie because you had the same hairstylist as Birdman. Meanwhile the show is a woman who wants to be married to Scott Baio and perform on SNL. One of the testimonials comes from extremist far-left BC union activist Anita Zaenker by the way, for an indication why you should stay away.

Hanging Out. Because "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" was taken.

Hockey Night at the Puck and Pickle Club
. From the tagline: Watch Canada vs USA play the 2018 Olympic Gold Medal Hockey game at the fictional Puck & Pickle Pub! One wonders how different this would have been had it been written after the NHL announced it would not be attending the Olympics or even allowing players on two-way contracts to participate.

Naked Girls Reading Presents... As they say in the tagline, you can't spell literature without T & A. On the other hand, NSFW] I just saved you $16

Oleanna. Either she's lying or this work is purely fictional. The girl is almost always a liar.

So I was in a Threesome Last Week. This gives off a really really faggy vibe: from starring apparently two men and no women (there are two men in the picture, one looking awfully ass-piratey) to the troupe being is called "Sons of Tremendous" (probably isn't related to the Proud Boys), this one looks to be in the avoidance category. Also, for the rest of Fringe I suppose El Cortez is out as a food venue. Who knows how much fecal matter has gotten into the food?

Souls. Anti-Israel play that buys into the lie that "Palestinians" are a people and not a bunch of displaced Jordanians.

Swordplay: A Play of Swords. Caution: fags.
The Best of Bombs: An Exploration of Broadways' Biggest Flops. This is a neat idea. You can eat at the Sawmill (always fun, especially when their Prime Rib is on point) and listen to songs from...Broadway...flops
. Okay, neat in concept more than execution. I wonder how many songs from "My Lady Friends" will be featured...

The Great American Songbook Cabaret. If Mark Steyn ever attended the Edmonton Fringe, you'd probably see him here at least once.

The Immaculate Big Bang. You just know that he's going to have to dance around the actual "big bang" of birth that so upsets the abortion lobby.


The Milkyway Express. From the tagline: in a post-gender future. Ugh, I hate these dystopian sci-fi gimmicks.


Wooster Sauce. This play co-stars John D. Huston, who I previously saw in Shylock.

(For more 2017 Edmonton Fringe Festival content, see the portal page)

2017-07-23

Eskimos versus Tiger Cats rewatch - 2017-07-20

On Thursday the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Hamilton Tiger Cats 31-28 to go to 4-0 on the season, while Hamilton fell to 0-4.

But there's more to it than that. The Esks fell behind early and had trouble putting offense together for the first three quarters. At the start of the fourth quarter the Esks were down 25-13 and in danger of losing to the worst team in the CFL. A conversion kick fell short and a punt was blocked and scooped up for a Hamilton touchdown.

With 1:17 left in the game the Esks were just gaining possession on their own 30 and were down by 5 points. They proceeded to score a TD to take their first lead of the game, and then an interception on the final Hamilton drive sealed the deal.

It was a painful nailbiter to watch on Thursday: I don't think I touched my beer for much of the second half. On the other hand, now that the result is known it's very enjoyable to watch. So here it is.

2017-07-14

Abort everybody @LarryManch cares about

Every word of this is true and I stand fully by it. Larry Manch is a retarded leftist who has no problem killing innocent babies but reacts in horror about clinically aborting anybody else.



(Spoiler alert: that woman is probably named Tiffany)

2017-07-13

Fun with YouTube

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2017-07-11

Wimbledon Quarter Finals

The women's quarter-finals may be over, but that doesn't mean we here at Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Weston-on-the-Green can't look back at the matches and evaluate which players should have won, based on the only important criteria women's tennis has to offer: attractiveness.

Let's get the easy match out of the way:
Venus Williams (0/10) vs. Jelena Ostapenko (8/10):
As has been mentioned numerous times before, the William Sisters are the ugliest women in pro-tennis history. Looking every bit like the evolutionary holdovers they are, these shaved apes are the bane of any woman's tennis match. Ostapenko was having a great tournament until Tuesday's action, where unfortunately Venus won 6-3,7-5 in straight sets. Ostapenko herself is much better to look at (obviously a vast improvement) despite a baby face that makes it look like you're watching a little kid play dressup. Watching her impressive chest bursting out of her clothing certainly makes up for it though.

Magdaléna Rybáriková (7.5/10) vs. Coco Vandeweghe (8.5/10):
In this battle for the impossible to pronounce so I don't even try last names, the gorgeous blonde with the flat chest and very firm nipples goes up against the decent blonde with the nice legs (and a sort of flat chest). Vandeweghe takes the win here of course, though Rybáriková has sported a camel toe in almost every match I've ever watched her in, so I have a bit of a soft spot here for the Slovakian.

Svetlana Kuznetsova (6.5/10) vs. Garbiñe Muguruza (7/10):
Kuznetsova, the burly Russian who you're never 100% positive isn't going to turn out to be a Bruce Jenner, lost to Muguruza in straight sets (6-3,6-4) so we don't have to worry about admiring her legs but instinctively looking for an Adam's Apple for the rest of Wimbledon. Were it not for the Venus William handicapping, this match would have featured the lowest overall score. As it is, the Spaniard who sometimes can make you drool but more often looks very very attainable gets the nod. Seriously though, I've dated girls who looked roughly this good after an afternoon at the gym.

Simona Halep (8.5/10) vs. Johanna Konta (8.5/10):
Our highest overall score in this year's quarter-finals is also our tie: everybody's favourite big-chested Romanian goes up against the tall and lanky British player who dresses up like a 10 and hits the court like an 8 and occasionally gets angry and turns into a 4

Omar Khadr should be paid through the Phoenix Payroll System

The fallout from terrorist scumbag Omar Khadr's recent big cash payout continues.Far-left coward Ralph Gooddale actually apologized to the murdering terrorist who deserves to rot in a shallow grave, and the Liberal cabinet secretly colluded to rapidly pay-out Khadr despite the $100M+ settlement already against him in the United States, where the widow of the medic Omar Khadr the terrorist brutally murdered was hoping for financial compensation. The Evil Trudeau Liberal Government™, who can't figure out how to pay their useless government employees properly, managed to fast-track the big cash settlement to Omar Khadr, terrorist.

The public opposition to the deal is significant. Here in Alberta, where the murdering terrorist Omar Khadr is living on the taxpayer dime, 85% of those polled say it was a mistake giving the terrorist who needs to be shot in the face $10.5M. That's worth noting: those most at risk of being the next victims of Omar Khadr, murdering terrorist and adherent of a child-raping Satanic death cult are also the those most averse to paying the murdering terrorist money for "treatment" at Guantanamo Bay that was far better than the piece of shit deserves.

The push-back continues. Notwithstanding retarded leftists like Peter Smith of Bright's Grove, Ontario the population is doing their part, from filing court documents demanding the Trudeau Government come clean about why they deliberately took action to prevent Tabitha Speer and Layne Morris from getting money the murdering terrorist owes them, to starting a crowdfunded campaign to give the Speer Family some of the money that they should be extracting from the mouldy carcass of Omar Khadr, terrorist.

Beyond that, there's nothing more you can do to deal with the payout. But it is vitally important for your own safety that you protect yourself from Omar Khadr, murderer and terrorist:

BE READY TO SHOOT OMAR KHADR IF HE GETS TOO CLOSE TO YOU. HE IS A TERRORIST AND A MURDERER. DO NOT ALLOW YOUR FAMILY TO SUFFER THE FATE OF TABITHA SPEER. PUT FIVE BULLETS IN HIS CHEST AND THEN CARVE CHRIST'S CROSS ON HIS FOREHEAD.

2017-07-09

Loser faggots like @TheJasonPugh will never win

Every word of this is the truth. Your lifestyle is illegitimate, your fake sodomite marriage will never be recognized by those of us who understand that it's all a lie, and I'm not afraid to snap you like a twig if you or any poofter lays a sodomitic finger on me. 24-0 record, pillow biter.

I'm 100% man. You: not so much.

2017-07-07

It's a dry heat. Also: not really hot

Yes that's right, Edmonton is presently experiencing a "heat wave".

Not meaning to diminish that it is supposed to be nice for the weekend, but things are bad when two days around 30°C is worthy of a "warning".

People in Arizona or Florida or Spain or even China are laughing at us right now. I hope we realize this.

2017-07-01

Free Agent Day. Snipe!!

Today is, along with Dominion Day, the first day of NHL free agency.

Along with so many other events, this used to be a big thing, until the new salary cappped CBA started to kill it.

With so many summer things going on and an NHL event that isn't as exciting as it used to be, there are probably going to be more people broadcasting than viewing.

It's going to be the trade deadline day all over again, which was also a massive boring disappointment. Remember, this actually happened..

Happy Dominion Day 2017


Today is Canada's 150 birthday.

Sorry, July 1 2017 is the 150th anniversary of signing the Constitution Act, 1867.

Sorry, July 1 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the day the 1867 British North America Act (later renamed the Constitution Act) received Royal Assent.

Okay, one last time.

July 1 2017 is the 150th anniversary of the date in which the British North America Act, 1867 came into force.

Okay, there, we have the technicalities right. Yes that's right, today is the day we celebrate that the British Dominion of Canada was founded. As a result, a half million of us or so are going to Parliament Hill itself to celebrate the day.

Hey, if I'm having to pay for it I might as well go!

So wherever you are in the world, be sure to celebrate Dominion Day and not 'Canada Day', a nonsense holiday created by the evil Pierre Rat Bastard Trudeau.

[don't worry, I've already given him hell for the picture up top not featuring a Red Ensign... -ed]

(Of course keep an eye on my Twitter feed as I will undoubtedly post a few pictures of the event. (Don't expect many pictures of hot girls in tight outfits, sadly, the weather looks more than a little unfriendly).

2017-06-29

Cubs in turmoil

The Chicago Cubs are not looking promising in their quest to repeat as back-to-back World Series Champions. The season started out...well, bad. Small sample size and all that, you can shrug things like that off. That was the story in May of this year:
Do the math -- please don't trust me to -- and it seems the Cubs are under .500 today at 18-19.

How embarrassing it must be to be at the same number in relation to par as the White Sox, who aren't even trying to win this year.

The Cubs haven't been under .500 this late since the middle of 2015. They were 27-10 after 37 games in 2016. They weren't out of first place after April 9 last year.
The early season struggles were already starting to look like a pattern. Flash forward about three weeks and the situation got worse. Way way worse.
Cubs slump reaches new low after being swept by the Padres in San Diego

How's this for unexpected statements: The Chicago Cubs were swept by the San Diego Padres.

It's true. The Cubs dropped Wednesday's game by a 2-1 score, giving them six consecutive losses -- their longest losing streak since they dropped seven in a row back in September 2014. The Cubs' recent slump puts them at 25-27, which prompts the question: what's going on?

When it comes to the Cubs' offense, the answer lately has been "not much." The Cubs have scored two runs or fewer in five of their losses, and were shut out in two of the three games they played against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, the Cubs have scored more than two runs in a game just once during their losing streak -- a four-run "outburst" that amusingly came against Clayton Kershaw.

That kind of underperformance has been a theme of Chicago's season. Consider, for instance, how Addison Russell and Kyle Schwarber both have OPS+ figures in the 70s; or how John Lackey and Jake Arrieta both possess ERA+ figures in the 80s; or how even Anthony Rizzo and Jon Lester are playing below their norms. Whatever's to blame -- small-sample size, World Series hangover, or some combination thereof -- the Cubs have it bad.
As quite often happens when a team has trouble like this on the field, there is related trouble off the field.

It's hard to say exactly which spurs which, or if it's part of a cycle of regression. The first off-field issue was Addison Russell's wife accusing him of cheating on her, which as these things often do, turned into wild accusations of physical and mental abuse that don't appear to correlate with any police investigation.

Next came the Arrieta/Montero situation. Jake Arrieta has been definitely slumping this year: his opponents' hard contact rate went up 29% over last year and his fastball velocity is down 2% (which is actually a notable change when you remember that a changeup is only 10% slower than a fastball). A lot of people have noticed a deterioration in his game this year. One of those was backup catcher Miguel Montero, who accused Arrieta of "allowing stolen bases" and costing them a game against Washington. Montero was eventually designated for assignment and is probably going to wind up signing with another team for less money. Finally came the Cubs trip to the White House where Albert Almora, Jr. apparently was caught on camera giving PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP the finger. (It was about six seconds later derided as "Fake News" since when you look carefully at the picture you can see his other finger is right there, just partially hidden by his jeans.)

But the off-field distractions are nothing compared to the on-field issues. As previously mentioned, Arrieta hasn't been himself both with bases empty and runners in the corners (his response to the Montero situation, by the way, was to concede that Montero was right and he wasn't keeping players from stealing well enough). On June 8th the Cubs lost both Brett Anderson (meh) and Kyle Henricks (gah). Henricks isn't expected to return until the All-Star Break. Zobrist and Heyward are both on the 10-Day DL. Addison Russell apparently hit his wife a little too hard and threw out his shoulder. And worst of all, Kris Bryant last night rolled his ankle against the Nationals and he's probably out for 2-3 weeks at minimum. Add in Kyle Schwarber being demoted after spending all of last year on the DL, and it results in the bizarre situation where the Cubs only have one player looking to win the All-Star voting this year and he may not even be able to play...in 2016 the Cubs filled the entire NL infield.

It's not looking good. Presently the Cubs are .500 (39-39) and 1 game back of the Milwaukee Brewers, compared to this time last year when Cubs lost to the Mets to drop to 51-27 and a win percentage of 0.654. They were a whopping 10 games up on St. Louis and 16 games up on those same Brewers.

The team is starting to have locker room spats and unfortunate injuries. With the possible exception of Bryant (who might be playing good to back his case for a bigger contract as he's apparently still upset over his nonsense grievance situation) there isn't a single member of the Cubs roster who has improved his play from last season. None of the offseason moves could be charitably said to improve the Cubs strength at any position.

Cubs fans waited over a century to see a World Cup win in 2016. At least some of those fans hoped to see a second in their lifetime.


It's worth noting, of course, that the last time the Cubs won the World Series they were back-to-back champs in 1907 and 1908, and they lost to the White Sox in 1906. They then skipped a year and lost in 1910. If you were a Cubs fan around that time in history you must have thought you were the team of destiny: 4 appearances and 2 wins in 5 years. Little did you know that you'd only appear in three more Series over the next quarter century and your great-grandchildren would be dying of old age before the Cubs won again.

Obviously I have no inside information about this specific case, but I've seen it before. A woman leaves her man for some reason: sometimes something he did, sometimes she just met a new guy and made the switch. Pretty soon though she starts telling friends and acquaintences that he had bad behaviour to justify her decision. Often (but not always) the first bad behaviour is true. But pretty soon the sympathy boost she obtains from that accusation starts wearing off, so she ups the ante. He was verbally abusive, he hit her...I've even had two separate women claim that they caught their husbands involved in child porn and worked out a deal with him where he'd concede extra in the settlement and she wouldn't go to the police. The fact that each woman had a divorce lawyer on the payroll alone tells you that this is complete bullshit. So Russell may be guilty of something. But the newer the accusations, the less likely they are to be true.

Canada Day 2017 (weather)

If I can't get nice weather other for the long weekend, than NOBODY CAN!

2017-06-26

An inconvenient truth

"Scandal" has rocked the tennis world this week when John McEnroe mentioned that shaved monkey Serena Williams would be ranked far down the rankings if the ATA and WTA were to merge rankings.

Serena, true to form, went primitive and illogical by demanding her "privacy" during pregnancy leave, because that's totally how major sporting etiquette works...you can make millions on endorsements and become world famous but cannot be "exposed" to criticism once you are taking a leave of absence. She demanded McEnroe "respect her and her privacy" as if he was standing in her front yard with a megaphone rather than simply talking about her in response to a question about her in an interview.

Others are upset with McEnroe for the politically incorrect thing that he said. But as Mark Steyn says...

Political correctness involves not being able to state the obvious, not being able to see the obvious, and sport is all about the obvious. Sport is all about someone who is objectively stronger, objectively faster than you. And that's why sport more than anything else has to be subordinated to these progressive pieties and made to deny the obvious.
And let's not kid ourselves: we can quibble about where in the men's rankings Serena would place, but it would almost certainly be somewhere in the hundreds. Because men are bigger and stronger than women. You can take a peek at the fastest tennis serves and notice that several players, most recently Dominic Thiem in the Gerry Weber Open, have hit serves of 144 miles per hour. The fastest women's serve is 131 miles per hour, while the fastest men's serve is 163 miles per hour. Serena's serve has never broke 129 miles per hour.

So in the one easily measurable quality, and one which flatters Serena Williams, she is clearly far down the list of combined-sex tennis players. So what would happen in a game? I can speak with a little bit of authority here: I've been playing a lot of tennis over the past couple of years and one of the regular players I play against is a woman. She has been involved in a few Edmonton tennis tournaments and finished top 5 in a couple of them. She is actually a ranked Canadian tennis player. Watching her games as a spectator against other women tennis players I have seen her win more than she loses and have often been impressed with her skill.

And I've never once lost to her.

Okay it's not like I win every bout between us 6-0, 6-0, 6-0. I've lost sets to her before, but never two in a row. I've lost sets to one of the other women I've played as well, but usually I lose a set 6-4, and I often win sets 6-4 or 6-2. In a heads up battle between a woman who is pretty good and me, I fare extremely well. If you watch me playing her on the courts sometimes you might think I'm really an impressive player. I'm always in position and my feet barely move while I make her cover all four corners of the court. My serves are often returned into the net, her volleys fly over my head and go long. My ground game in particular might blow you away.

And then you watch me play male players and you'll notice that I'm regularly the second best player on the court. Playing men is often my humbling experience: even matches that I win can make me look much more ordinary a player: he gets a good bounce and he wins, I get a good bounce and I win. My feet are definitely moving a lot more when I play men: suddenly even when I can make him run around covering all four corners he's usually doing something similar to me. I've almost never beaten a male player in straight sets (typically it's when he's new or hungover) and I've been beaten in straight sets (sometimes but not always hungover). Playing the women is good for the ego: playing the men is good for improving myself as a tennis player. I can play men two decades older than me and end the game drenched in sweat and often muttering "congratulations" as we shake hands at the end. Men are just better than women at tennis. We're bigger, stronger, and faster. Even a good female player is outclassed by some random blogger.

Can I beat Serena Williams? Of course not. The top ranked male tennis player in Edmonton probably can't beat her. But the top ranked male tennis player in Canada obviously can [though only if she's ranked 700th, apparently, since 698 gives him trouble... -ed]. The top ranked tennis player in larger cities like Vancouver or Houston or Madrid could certainly beat her. She's the winningest woman player in the world, but male tennis players that you and I have never heard of would defeat her.

So let's not pretend that John McEnroe has said some evil thing. He has said an absolutely true thing. That he is being vilified for it is just another example that the politically incorrect thing he said was, as it so often is, politically incorrect.

2017-06-23

Connor McDavid, porn vendor

Connor McDavid is riding high right now.

On Wednesday night at the NHL awards he won the Ted Lindsey Award, the Art Ross Trophy, and most importantly the Hart Trophy.

It was also announced this week that he is going to be on the cover of NHL 18.

Finally, the whole world got to see the puck bunny version of the classic adage when they saw he had a girlfriend so unbelievably hot that you'd murder your own mother just to see her naked.


And hey, speaking of naked chicks...around the world people are being introduced to him via his impressive collection of porn videos.



"Conor McJesus" is a user account on SpankBang.com that features (at the time of writing) 17 uploaded videos and 23 total videos that apparently really likes the latina girls (unlike the real Connor who apparently prefers blondes, much like his former teammate Taylor Hall).

2017-06-21

Summer Solstice 2017

Welcome to summer everybody.

Today is the longest day of the year. It may just feel like the longest day of the year because Red Indians are trying to make it about them, but it legitimately is.

One hour from now, at 10:07pm, Edmonton will finally experience a sunset after over 17 hours of daylight. So for that, let's take a musical break courtesy of Mister Gordon Lightfoot....



Now because the solstice fell on a Wednesday you might be asking "so which is the longest weekend?" You might say "well it happened before noon on Wednesday so obviously last weekend was longer than this weekend.

Yes, yes, people say "longest weekend" when they mean "longest amount of sunlight in a 2-day weekend. Stop being so pedantic. Obviously all long weekends are tied for "longest weekend".

That's a good bit of reasoning but let's confirm it adds up. (All data comes from TimeAndDate.com)

Saturday June 17th Edmonton saw 17:02:02 hours:minutes:seconds of daylight. Sunday June 18th saw 17:02:22, for a combined "weekend daylight" of 2304 seconds.

Saturday June 24th Edmonton will see 17:01:56 hours:minutes:seconds of daylight. Sunday June 25th will see...well, less, and you can already see that since days will be getting shorter our supposition was correct: but still, 17:01:28. This means next weekend Edmonton will "only" get 2244 seconds of daylight: an entire minute less sunlight.

Winter is coming. Better soak up the rays while you can. Er, wait, nevermind...

2017-06-10

Your evil lifestyle is still illegitimate. Your suiciding adherents understand this better than you.

I thought the AIDS march was held in September?

And with the classic Third Edge of the Sword running gag unfortunately comes a sad truth: Edmonton's depraved faggot community and a bunch of their equally disgusting pro-poofter familiars will be on our streets today promoting their choice of an inferior lifestyle.

And as usual, the far left are responsible for the assault on truth and parental rights that comes along with it. They need to be stopped. If you see a faggot today, tell him off. If he touches you, hit him in the face with a pipe. If a leftist does either, do it to them twice.

And now, a little musical interlude on the topic...

2017-05-22

Victoria Day 2017

Today is Victoria Day, and as has been typical the last few years I have decided to not risk booking a provincial campground only to have it pour rain on my head while I sit without booze or fire.

Today's expected high is +24.

Well, it doesn't always work. Victoria Day is also the day I invented a new holiday. But for a major holiday there is a strange lack of music for the occasion.

So with that in mind, here's one of the few May Long Weekend songs around (no YouTube link, sorry): Buddy Wassisname and the Other Fellers doing "Townie Without a Car".

2017-05-06

2017 Kentcuky Derby

Today is the 143rd Kentucky Derby beneath the historic twin spires of Churchill Downs. The race has been marred by the same damp conditions that have flooded Toronto and Ottawa, so there is some downside that massive storm after all. Global warming strikes again: the daytime high at Louisville Kentucky is +17 (currently +14) which puts it some 6 degrees colder (currently 9 degrees colder) than Edmonton.

As always here at Third Edge of the Sword I guess at the win-place-show without placing any bets. All official bets are from the TwinSpires.com website, however they do not accept bets from Canada. As a result, Canadians are forced into various shadier options.

It doesn't matter. The mint juleps are flowing, the girls are wearing silly hats (and drinking a concoction that they drink since they can't handle a real mint julep), and the BBQ is fired up. It's almost enough to make you forget last night's Oilers disaster (which NBC in their wisdom showed everybody as "the most exciting 3 minutes in sports".

Yesterday Classic Empire was the runaway favourite, but early today Always Dreaming took over, peaking at 4-1 odds. He's presently at 9-2, with Irish War Cry now at 5-1 and coming up fast. Classic Empire is now fourth place behind McCrakken.

So without delay, here's my bet wild guess on how the race will go. For at least one more year, I'll be betting fantasy money.

Win: Lookin At Lee (30-1)

Place: State of Honour (52-1)

Show: Irish War Cry (5-1)

Update, 5:05pm: State of Honor had a great early part of the race, and Lookin At Lee had a great finish to the race, but neither won it all. Always Dreaming (9/2) is the winner with Lookin At Lee (33-1) in second and Battle of Midway (40-1) showing.

2017-04-20

Chicago Blackhawks eliminated

Unbelievably, the Chicago Blackhawks are out of the playoffs, having lost to the Nashville Predators 4-1 tonight.

That's crazy. But you want to know the craziest thing?

Chelsea Dagger was not played once this entire playoffs.

The song, famously played after each home goal and home win at the United Centre in Chicago, is synonymous with the Blackhawks. It's the most famous goal song in the league (partly because, unlike every other team, they don't change it twice a season). And it was kept off of speakers for the entire playoffs, because Chicago didn't even score a goal at home in the first two games. As a result, they also didn't win either game. The Blackhawks did score in Game 3 and Game 4 in Nashville, but by then it was too late. There will be no Game 5.

Which means there will be no Chicago goals scored at home. And that means no Chelsea Dagger. There are surprising stories every year in the playoffs, but I can't help but think that one is just weird.

Fortunately, you'll still be able to hear the song in the summer of 2017: it's played after Edmonton Eskimos touchdowns.

Yes, I know that some ridiculously shitty NHL franchises are also known to play the song after goals. You can't. It's theirs.

4/21 Rally at the Alberta Legislature

Finally, a chance to show off my new Beretta CX4.

Today, low-life potheads held an event at the Alberta Legislature where they consumed an [illegal] product. As is usual for this event, they performed illegal acts on the steps of the legislature within full view of numerous police officers and suffered no legal repercussions as they campaigned for laws restricting their use of this product to be changed.

That was today. Let's talk about tomorrow.

On Friday, April 21, 2017, I invite you to join as we openly carrying unregistered firearms on the lawn of the Alberta Legislature.

As we have seen on 4/20, the police will completely leave us alone and allow us to perform illegal acts of possession.

2017-04-16

Христос воскрес

Happy Easter everybody. Christ has risen.

How are you "celebrating" the day? Traditionally there are two primary meals to choose from. FoodAndWine.com breaks down your options:

Leg of Lamb: A traditional bone-in leg of lamb is the most dramatic Easter centerpiece and serves quite a few people (about 8 to 12).
Whole Fresh Ham: A fresh ham is a commitment, because it needs to be marinated or brined and takes several hours to cook. But having a ham in the house is like having money in the bank.

I figured this was a good day to break down the two main options (and a couple non-main options) for your Easter dinner.

Winner: Ham: Ham is cheaper than lamb. Like, a lot cheaper. Safeway currently has ham shanks on sale for $2.47/lb. By contrast, the cheapest lamb is leg of lamb for $7.99/lb. And if you want to splurge for rack of lamb you're paying a ridiculous $19.99/lb. So if you're trying to save money because you're being told you're going on an expensive summer vacation, it's a great choice.

Winner: Lamb: Lamb is special and exotic. Most people don't eat lamb on a regular basis, so having it on Easter helps make your Easter dinner something special. By contrast, unless you're Catholic you've probably had ham in the past 10 days, and you almost certainly have had pork in the past 5. It's just another day you have ham.

Winner: Ham: When it comes to leftovers, ham is hard to beat. A good roasted bone-in ham can be used for ham sandwiches, for reheated ham and honey mustard sauce days later, and shredded ham with a homemade chef's salad. I can do some great stuff with leftover ham. Leftover lamb, assuming you even have any, can be used in pitas with tzatziki sauce to make lamb gyros . That's it. And that doesn't even factor in the ham bone which crazy people can use to make soup. I don't make soup. I don't have any urge to have a giant pot on my stove for 6 days with leftovers in it.

If you're American, this isn't the gyro you think it is

Winner: Ham: This year, I'm doing ham. As always, you should aim to mirror my life in every possible way. So that's a win. Tune in next year where I delete this post and then repost it with "lamb" in the winner column for this section.

Loser: Turkey: Most members of my family insist on doing turkey for Easter. Turkey for Thanksgiving. Turkey for Christmas. Only one of these three holidays is supposed to be turkey (though I grant a lot of people like turkey for Christmas because it cheaply feeds a lot of people which goose or duck doesn't do). This is a message to most of my relatives. Turkey is wrong. Do not do this.

Winner: Lamb: If you value religious significance, lamb is the choice for you. There's a good pamphlet available from Don Johnson Ministries that goes into a lot of biblical and allegorical detail into why Christ and Christians are the "lamb of God". So when commemorating [yes, that's the one. We commemorate Christ's death and resurrection, we don't "celebrate" it. -ed] Easter, it's your best choice for religious importance and symbolism. If I was doing a dinner with a lot of young children whose parents may not be the best at explaining biblical concepts, I would definitely serve lamb and then be able to teach them a little about the early history of the Christian church.

Winner: Lamb: Lamb is traditionally the British dish for Easter. Between the mother country and Brexit and offending Quebecers, we should strive to be more British.

Winner: Ham: Ham is traditionally the American dish for Easter. Trump is President now, so we should strive to be more like America.

Winner: Ham: Roasted ham can be basted in a variety of different glazes so that you can mix it up for individual tastes and styles. You can glaze it in Chinese hoisin, or honey and brown sugar if you want something to celebrate not having diabetes, or what I'm doing this year: apple and maple glaze. Lamb, on the other hand, is more restrictive. You can't do very many different styles of lamb. Usually you just put some mint jelly on it. There are a few things you can do with lamb, but it's not nearly as versatile.

Loser: Salmon: I know somebody who is having a salmon dinner today. This is wrong. This is even more wrong than turkey. There are a couple excuses for salmon, such as having Jews over for your Easter dinner (in which case, serve lamb), or having vegetarians or almost-vegetarians over for your Easter dinner (in which case, serve both lamb and ham and tell them if they are still vegetarian next year you'll kill five animals next year). What I'm saying is you don't sacrifice a great tradition just because a person with a bad lifestyle choice knocks on your door. The other problem is that salmon, for those who don't already know, is a fish. If you're a hardcore Catholic you've just gone six weeks only eating fish for most of your meals. The whole point of an elaborate fish dinner on Good Friday is a "final fish party". You don't go and eat it again "three" days later.

Winner: Ham: Ham can be served with a larger number of side dishes than lamb. Lamb you're stuck with garlic roasted potatoes or spring greens or leeks. Who eats leaks? Ham works with a larger number of potato dishes, along with pasta salad and spaetzle.

Winner: Lamb: Remember when I said you can really only do lamb with mint? There's a plus side to that (but only years like 2017 when Easter is in late April and not in early March), because in two weeks is the Kentucky Derby. Which means you'll need to be picking up mint so you can make yourself mint juleps in silver cups to enjoy the Kentucky Derby.

Winner: Ham: Lamb isn't a meat that goes particularly well with alcohol. You can have red wines with lamb but not much else. It doesn't go particularly well with beer or whiskey either. Ham isn't an amazing meal to go with beer either, but you can have white wine (which is easier to go with beer than red wine) or whiskey (ditto) with your dinner. And then have beer later, which is important during an Oilers playoff run.

Winner: Lamb: Roasted lamb is faster and easier. FoodAndWine.com covers the faster, but the thing with a roasted lamb is that you don't need to devote a large amount of effort in constantly re-glazing the meat like you do with a roasted ham. If you want to do more entertaining and less cooking, your two options are make your woman stay in the kitchen and put in the effort (only an option if she's better at this than you are), or go with the roasted lamb. The side dishes for lamb, being more simple, also take less time.

Winner: Ham: Finally, the smell of roast ham filling your home is a better smell than roast lamb. I like the taste of lamb but I'm not a huge fan of the smell of lamb as its roasting. It just doesn't fill your senses with the sense of magical cooking that a good roast lamb does.

2017-04-03

Connor's race for 100

Connor McDavid is likely going to win the Art Ross trophy this season as the NHL's leading scorer.


As of this morning, McDavid sits seven points ahead of Chicago's Patrick Kane and nine points ahead of Boston's Brad Marchant with 94 points (29 goals, 65 assists). Barring any major changes (the Oilers have 4 games left to play, the Blackhawks and Bruins only have three) McDavid will finish the season with more points than any other player in the NHL.

But he's also tantalizingly close to (in his second year, in the "Dead Puck" era) 100 points. This would make him the first Oilers player to reach that magic mark since Doug Weight did it in 1995-1996 (104 points). With 4 games to go and 6 points to make up, McDavid would have to score at a 1.5 point-per-game pace to achieve the mark. But that's not an entirely impossible task...for one, as they pointed out during the Saturday night game versus Anaheim, McDavid has been scoring at 1.4 pts/gm since February 24th. While the Oilers next two games are against two stingy teams (LA Kings are 3rd in the NHL with only 2.4 GAA, and the struggling San Jose Sharks are 6th with 2.46 GAA), our final two games are against the lowly Vancouver Canucks and their 2.90 GAA (though, of worrisome note, the Oilers have never gotten 3 or more goals against Hongcouver yet this season). Still, McDavid's race for 100 points isn't out of reach.

But wait [Doug Wait? heh heh heh... -ed], there's more. McDavid currently has the team lead with 29 goals (Draisaitl has 28, and Maroon has 27). One more McDavid goal will put him in the 30 goal club. That will be the first time an Oilers player has reached the mark since Jordan Eberle's 34 goals in 2011-2012. If two of these three players tops 30 goals this season, the Oilers will have two 30+ goal scorers since the 1996-1997 campaign when Ryan Smyth had 39 goals and Andrei Kovalenko had 32. Vincent Damphousse had 38 and Joe Murphy had 35 in the 1991-1992 season as well.

What about all three? Would you believe there has never been an NHL season where three Oilers players had 30+ goal seasons? No, seriously. In 1989-1990 there were four Oilers with 30+ goals (Messier-45, Anderson-34, Kurri-33, and Tikkanen-30), and as you might suspect during the high-flying-80s the Oilers had five players with 30+ goals for a six-season stretch (1983-1989)§. This could be a chance for the Oilers to make history...and oddly enough, probably even more likely than McDavid's 100.

Try not to think about that year so much, when Eberle was a phenom in his sophmore season (he had 18 goals the year before) and looked to be the next huge Oilers goal scorer. He had 16 goals the next season (he has 16 goals now) and only twice since has broken the 25 goal mark.

Much like how you can't refer to the 2012-2013 season without calling it a "lockout-shortened season" (it's a law in Canada), you also can't refer to the NHL in 1980s without calling them "high-flying". The 1970s were high-flying too, actually, but between the Montreal dynasty and the rise of the Broad Street bullies, it's not especially known for its scoring.

§ If you want to be pedantic, you can exclude 1987-1988 where one of those players was Craig Simpson, traded to Pittsburgh mid-season


So with four games left in the season, there's a lot of magic still left in the Oilers run. Stay tuned.

2017-03-25

This is a thing

2017-03-16

Is an hour of pleasure worth a lifetime of shame?

Over at Down Goes Brown a recent post asks if the 2016-2017 Colorado Avalanche are the worst team of the salary cap era. I'm sure a lot of people asked the same question that commenter DK asked.

I'm surprised the Oilers don't show up anywhere in this article. They were so utterly putrescent for so long, I thought for sure they'd at least be a contender in one of the categories (particularly the "optics" category; in the year they won the McDavid sweepstakes, they were the only bottom-feeders who didn't seem to be there by design and they still wound up a stone's throw away from the blatantly-tanking Sabres and Coyotes).
The quick answer to the question is that the comparisons were clearly being drawn against teams in a specific season. Funny as it might seem, the Oilers have a mediocre contender for this category. Their worst season was "only" 62 points.

(Click all images in this post to view them full-sized)


As you can see, that mark was beaten by six teams in the salary cap era, 7 times. An eight case would have been caused by the Florida Panthers in 2013: had they played a full season they would be projected to hit 61.5 points, so round whichever way you like to make the Oilers look bad. It still isn't that bad. With seven or eight other team-seasons to look at, the Oilers "Fall for Hall" season just didn't make the cut.

They did have a lot of bad seasons, mind you. Just none historically bad. They were also saved by the random loser point fluctuations, as demonstrated by this chart showing each team's best and worst seasons over the salary cap era:

* The 2013 and 2016-2017 seasons are excluded

You'll also notice that they haven't been very good. Sure St. Louis managed a 21-win season in 2005-2006 (the same season they traded Chris "Can't Keep it in his Pants" Pronger to the Oilers), but they also won 52. Hell, even the perpetually tanking Buffalo Sabres had a killer season in the salary cap era. The Oilers had a 41 win season that year they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals, but that's still just barely squeaking into the playoffs. You can be a bad team without being an atrocious team is what I'm saying, and the bad Oilers teams just aren't bad enough. When looking at "who was the worst team in the NHL during the salary cap era" Edmonton just isn't in the conversation.

I'm half kidding, of course. They are still seriously in the conversation for the worst team of the salary cap era, just don't look at individual seasons. Look at the aggregate. [Actually he's kidding again: as you're about to see, the Oilers aren't even debatable as the worst team of the salary cap era... -ed]

Here's a complete list of all 30 teams over the salary cap era sorted by total number of wins. Try not to act surprised who's on top.


This ignores team naming and location changes, so the Winnipeg Jets are under Atlanta Thrashers, Seattle Coyotes are Phoenix Coyotes, etc.

In fact, you'll find that the Oilers aren't only the worst team, but they are by a surprisingly large margin. Let's look at that list of total wins in the salary cap era again, this time showing how far behind the next team in line each NHL squad is:


33 games back of Down Goes Browns' Toronto Maple Leafs for "fewest regular season wins in the salary cap era", as of the morning of today: March 16 2017. (ie. it doesn't include the Oilers-Bruins game being played right now where Oilers have a 4-2 lead). That's easily more than double the next highest gap. That's patently ridiculous. The Oilers are the worst by a substantial margin and that won't change anytime soon.

Including tonight's Bruins game the Oilers have only 13 games left in the season. Say the Leafs stop winning games effective immediately. It means the Edmonton Oilers would need to win every game between now and November 21st (the date of the Oilers 20th game of the 2016-2017 season) in order to tie Toronto. Another 3 games to pass Florida (assuming Florida and Toronto don't play each other over that same span).

But that's unrealistic. Let's do something a little more realistic. Let's imagine the Oilers starting today put up historically high win percentages while the Leafs, Panthers, Islanders, Coyotes, and Blue Jackets all put up historically low win percentages. The best win% was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-2013 who put up a .802 win percentage. Now factor out the 1/9 games that feature an OTL and you get the Oilers putting up a .837 win percentage. See, that's way more realistic than winning every game. Now let's imagine all five teams the Oilers are chasing put up the same real win percentage as Buffalo did in 2013-2014: .2609. How long until the Oilers catch up? Well, don't hold your breath.

 

As our future begins, the Oilers start quickly banking more wins than the other four teams. But after the 13 games of the 2016-2017 season the Oilers are still way behind.



After a whopping 58 games of this unrealistically high pace the Oilers finally surpass the Toronto Maple Leafs to be only the second-worst team of the salary cap era. Four games later they finally pass the Florida Panthers and become the third-worst team.

 

In 75 games the Oilers will pass the Brooklyn Islanders. 80 games to pass Phoenix (who may not even be Arizona by the time this scenario, which I remind you is literally too optimistic to be possible, comes to pass), and then finally after 89 games they pass the Columbus Blue Jackets to merely be the sixth worst team of the salary cap era.

As I stop to yet again remind you that this requires the Oilers to set a new salary cap level of winning while all of their rivals become the 2013-2014 Buffalo Sabres, it still means the Oilers would be behind win-streaking, playoff-bound, suddenly cold Columbus Blue Jackets until 6 games remain in the regular season in March/April of 2018.

DK (Darryl Kates?) is right. The Oilers are saved from discussion only because they are the worst over a much much longer and more depressing period of time than a single season.

But hey, to borrow from the old joke in this post's title, at least all that historic failure paid off, right? The Oilers got McDavid and are making the playoffs, right? What can be depressing about that?



Oh. Well, at least there's a silver lining...

2017-03-14

Sarah Hoffman hates and fears Albertans


Minister Chubbs calls supporters of the PCs and Wildrose "sewer rats".

If we've said it once, we've said it a million times. Destroy the NDP. Don't just defeat them. Don't just humiliate them.

Destroy them.

If they are still alive and doing things, Alberta loses. Stop them.

Why do the lying Alberta NDP keep calling themselves the "party of hard hats"? Hard hats are used by blue collar workers doing things that offend David Suzuki. Don't let them get away with this lie. Then destroy them.

2017-02-26

Liveblog: Edmonton Oilers at Nashville Predators

2:53pm: Coming up in just under 15 minutes, the Edmonton Oilers take on the Nashville Predators from Bridgestone Arena in downtown Nashville. Fun fact, this used to be called the "Gaylord Entertainment Centre" which sounds like the sort of cross-promotion with the pro-faggot NHL February initiative and Milo Yiannopoulos. Today is a big day: the Dayton 500 is going on right now, and I hear there's some sort of industry awards show on tonight that people inexplicably watch. So what better day to enjoy some Oilers liveblogging, live from Third Edge of the Sword World Headquarters in Kusmark, Sweden?

3:01pm: Darnel Nurse is returning to gametime action today. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Is it too early? Will he be able to meaningfully contribute or does he need more time? I have to say in all honesty that the odds of the Oilers winning today have just dropped a bit.

3:02pm: Oilers pun-master Gene Principe turns 50 years old today. I'm not sure how I feel about that. Should his hair still look like that? Will he be able to meaningfully contribute? I have to say in all honesty that the odds of the Oilers winning today have just increased a bit.

3:04pm: Rogers Hometown Hockey is coming from Nanaimo, B.C. where Rogers is showing us various images from the Land That Winter Forgot. Ron McLean just name-dropped Sylvan Lake. Good boy, Ron. Gene Principe brings up Oscar...Klefbom...to remind us about the 89th Academy Awards on tonight. Bad boy, Gene.

3:06pm: A little...girl...is at the rink as the anthem singer does the national anthems. I like watching games in the States because it means they don't try signing in Frog-Talk halfway through. This guy keeps sounding like he's getting the words wrong but isn't...he even did the "in all thy son's command" bit correctly.

3:09pm: They are doing a vignette of the Nashville Predators visiting cancer-ridden children in hospitals. They don't show Subban in a Montreal hospital, unsurprisingly.

3:10pm: This story about Michelle is heartbreaking, by the way. This week she hopes to find out the cancer in both of her lungs is getting smaller or whether she needs to book more prayer time.

1st period, 18:31: In one corner, the Edmonton Oilers (33-21-8 overall, 18-11-5 on the road). They are coming off a loss to Washington on Friday and have gone 5-5-0 in their last ten games.

1st period, 16:21: Draisaitl and McDavid with a nifty play at the net which almost works. Be ready to see a lot of that.

1st period, 15:45: In the other corner, the Nashville Predators (30-22-9 overall, 18-7-7 at home). They are coming off a win against Washington yesterday in what has to be one of the weirder bits of scheduling this season. They are 5-4-1 in their last ten games. In other words, these teams are well-matched.

1st period, 15:46: Too Many Men penalty coming up against Edmonton.

1st period, 15:05: Ellis scores on the PP. 1-0 for the bad guys.

1st period, 14:37: McDavid comes right back with a beautiful wrister from right in front of the net.

1st period, 14:15: The rink announcer is announcing the scoring for the Nashville goal. The crowd just isn't in it.

1st period, 14:03: Nuge gets a breakaway and fires at the net in closer range. Rinne is ready for it though. Because it's Ryan Nugent-Hopkins.

1st period, 13:50: The McDavid goal was his first one since Chicago over a week ago, and that was an empty-netter.

1st period, 13:17: Matt Hendricks tries a similar play to McDavid. But he's not McDavid, so Nashville was able to successfully defend against it.

1st period, 11:15: The Nuge-Lucic-Eberle line is outclassed (as so often happens) and they have difficulty keeping possession in that last play.

1st period, 10:53: Le Test Tube crashes into PK Subban. Both players appear unharmed.

1st period, 9:51: Hendricks knocks a Pred down pretty aggressively. A kid in the front row wants a penalty but he won't get one.

1st period, 8:59: With a little over half the period played, the Oilers are definitely out-chancing the Predators, and in most cases are able to keep up with Nashville's more physical style. Meanwhile, the Flames game is still on Sportsnet West and therefore I'm stuck watching commercials for the BC Liberal Party.

1st period, 8:51: Drew's little story is about how Connor McDavid and Darnel Nurse are able to get along...despite one being "from Hamilton" and another being "from the Toronto area". Uh, Hamilton is in the Toronto area. I've driven the Gardiner before. It's a 20 minute drive in no traffic.

1st period, 7:52: Eberle with a weak cross-ice pass to nobody. Now Nashville regains possession. Nice work, Jordan.

1st period, 7:20: The Calgary game is over and I can't change to Sportsnet West fast enough.

1st period, 6:19: James Neale with a rare Nashville shot on goal. Talbot is ready for it.

1st period, 5:49: Neale picks the puck away from Hendricks and almost scores on the resulting play.

1st period, 5:37: Kris Russel with a roughing penalty, and Nashville is about to get its second power play. In other words, be ready for the Oilers to give up another goal sometime in the next 5 minutes.

1st period, 5:26: Yep, there it is. Philip Forsberg rifles a shot from the dot in the right circle and beats Talbot glove side. 2-1 Predators.

1st period, 4:52: This time the crowd is excited to hear about their team scoring a goal. McDavid doesn't silence the crowd like he did the last time.

1st period, 4:09: Oh good, it's about to be 3-1 for Nashville. Lucic just got a 2-minute minor for tripping.

1st period, 3:24: The Oilers have successfully killed off 45 seconds of a Nashville power pay. New record!

1st period, 2:35: There's hope for these guys yet. McDavid sends it down ice and 1:30 of powerplay killed off.

1st period, 2:08: Oilers kill off the penalty! Wow!

1st period, 1:54: Oilers come close to giving up a goal anyways. Still 2-1 for Nashville.

1st period, 1:17: I thought McDavid had a clever new move he was debuting, but he poked the puck directly to Pekke Rinne and Nashville comes back up the ice.

1st period, 0:37: Fisher almost scores but Nurse is there. He's actually having a good game defensively.

1st period, 0:16: The trade deadline is coming on Wednesday. It'll be boring as watching moose shit dry, but broadcasters keep insisting GMs are "on their phones non-stop".

1st period, 0:00: If this whole game was 5-on-5, the Oilers would be holding onto the lead right now. Instead, they trail by one.

3:51pm: A nice wide shot of Nanaimo on Hometown Hockey. Green grass and no sign of ice on the water. That's just wrong, BC.

3:57pm: Ron McLean is chatting with Kirk McLean in a 'Nucks jersey about Devan Dubnyk, who he used to coach in juniors. Just as the segment gets interested, Tara Sloan interrupts to go back to Gene Principle and that Scotiabank commercial with the two asian kids.

2nd period, 18:38: Rinne misplays a routine puck sliding in his direction, and is forced to cover it up before he makes a bad situation worse.

2nd period, 17:48: Another wasted opportunity by the Nuge-Lucic-Ebs line, Nuge tries to pass to Lucic between two defenders and instead Nashville is able to come back up the other way.

2nd period, 16:28: Nugent-Hopkins has gone to the dressing room for an unknown reason.

2nd period, 15:51: Nashville has definitely found another gear, they are generally out-cycling an out-playing the Oilers.

2nd period, 15:36: And there they go again: a quick transition up the ice, they have more speed than the Oilers and come close to scoring. Talbot has to make a quick save.

2nd period, 15:39: An error on the clock, so 3 more seconds are added to game-time.

2nd period, 15:15: Caligula with a great poke move that forces Rinne far out of his net to run into Kassian, but the Oilers can't capitalize.

2nd period, 14:43: Subban with the first Nashville penalty, 2 minutes for interference on Eberle.

2nd period, 13:37: Appropriate for this time code, Klefbom with a l33t shot on net after a nifty board pass from McDavid.

2nd period, 13:02: Eberle, Maroon, and Caligula combine for a couple of nifty plays in front of the net. Still 2-1 Nashville.

2nd period, 12:31: 3-1 Nashville after a quick post-penalty-kill goal by Vernon Fiddler. It's only his second of the season. The Oilers are notorious for giving confidence-boosts to opposing players suffering from lengthy droughts.

2nd period, 11:19: "Goes cross-ice looking for Russel". The jokes just write themselves, sometimes.

2nd period, 10:25: The Oilers D-men are doing a good job cycling and getting a hold of the puck, giving McDavid and company a few good opportunities to capitalize. Unfortunately, they don't.

2nd period, 9:38: Fisher comes in at the net full force and fires a shot that Tablot gloves with relative ease.

2nd period, 9:31: The Oilers are showing a little more sign of life in the middle third of the second period, something they haven't really shown since the second Nashville goal. They need to keep their speed up and force Nashville to play more of their style. Win or lose, it's their best chance. Keep this a slow and physical game and the Preds will stomp them, especially if Nashville continues to skate at a faster place than the Oilers.

2nd period, 8:36: The Le Test Tube line had a good shift in the Nashville zone, except that numerous cases featured Caligula and Kassian being busy tied up with an opposing player when they should have been looking for the puck. In each case, the puck dribbles past instead of becoming a scoring opportunity.

2nd period, 7:24: Meanwhile the McDavid line does a few nifty moves but never is particularly threatening.

2nd period, 7:11: James Neale was just more scary than the last two minutes of Oilers possession in the opposing zone.

2nd period, 6:35: Now it's Nashville's turn to draw a Too Many Men penalty on an awkward change. An even more awkward joke about how the NHL used to be 9-on-9. There weren't 9 players on the ice, Drew.

2nd period, 5:48: Lucic scores a tip-in after McDavid does a lot of nifty moves and then fires the puck at the scrum of folks in front of the net. 3-2 for Nashville.

2nd period, 5:37: My spacebar is sticking, so apologies for any formatting weirdness between now and the conclusion of this liveblog.

2nd period, 5:23: That Shanks promotion sounds fun. April in San Jose sounds much nicer than April in Edmonton. I might just have to sign up.

2nd period, 4:39: Goal? No goal? The horn sounds but play is continuing. This is gonna be reviewed. There's also an upcoming Nashville penalty. I agree it's probably going to count.

2nd period, 4:24: Wilson's goal counts. 4-2 Nashville, and there will probably still be a penalty. Shouldn't the time change too?

2nd period, 4:39: It does. Time has been added back on the clock for the second time tonight.

2nd period, 3:51: Fisher is having a pretty good game too. Neale is scary as shit out there today. Why can't Oilers secondary scorers ever be scary like this?

2nd period, 3:35: Le Test Tube scores with a bullet from the top of the circle. 4-3 Nashville. Smith is back out of the penalty box after a post-"goal" tripping call that the American fans are very very confused by.

2nd period, 3:14: The aforementioned James Neale is going to the box for a Holding the Stick penalty. The frustration of Nashville for barely keeping ahead of a team they spent so much time out-classing today is starting to show.

2nd period, 3:00: McDavid with a nifty play almost gets Lucic a goal.

2nd period, 2:19: Draisaitl tries a move back to Klefbom from behind the goal line which fails and dribbles back the ice.

2nd period, 1:55: Nuge makes almost the exact same move.

2nd period, 1:45: Now Ebs and Nuge miscommunicate and cross the blue line in the wrong order, drawing an offside.

2nd period, 1:13: Fisher wins the draw in his own and the penalty is over.

2nd period, 1:00: EBS! He scores to tie up the game after a sloppy centring play from Sekera comes onto Eberle's stick at exactly the right time.

2nd period, 0:36: A "let's go Predators" call echos alone in the arena as Nashville tries to take a late-period lead and harmlessly shoots into the Brittany Webbing.

2nd period, 0:00: Oilers kill the time in the final 20 seconds of the period, and we go into the third period with a 4-4 tie.

5:04pm: Elliotte Friedman is on the line with Ron reporting that Ben Bishop is going to the LA Kings, and Hanzel is going to Minnesota. That's good news for Los Angeles, and insanely good news for the Wild. Elliotte also admits that this means Wednesday's trade deadline is going to be a bust. He's going to hear from a Rogers TV executive pretty soon...

5:05pm: After the fucking NDP are finished ruining this province, Dynacare won't be advertising about being the official medical imagers of the Edmonton Oilers on TV anymore.

5:07pm: It looks like this afternoon's game should finish right around 6pm. Just enough time to have an evening nap. I'm on my fifth beer since the game started (minus the 1/5th of a can I accidentally spilled all over my floor)

3rd period, 19:52: We're back underway, as the Oilers and Predators are tied 4-4 after two.

3rd period, 19:46: Kris Russel gets a 2-minute minor for hooking early in the period and getting the hot-as-hell Nashville powerplay another kick at the can.

3rd period, 19:15: Every time Benning touches the puck for a moment I get exicted thinking that we got Hemsky back.

3rd period, 18:41: Another PP goal, and the Predators take a 5-4 lead. Oilers leave the entire right side deserted, and Neale gets the assist. Oilers are going to challenge that there was an offside.

3rd period, 18:37: The Nashville arena played that stupid "Cellphone" song by Drake during the Coach's Challenge, instead of their usual country music. Somehow the goal still counts despite that flagrant foul. Martok during the challenge: "Come on. We have got fucked on that rule so much". 5-4 Nashville. Sportsnet has looked at the exact angle and declared it was a bad call.

3rd period, 18:17: Both teams are now well rested between the intermission and the call, so they respond with fast and physical play.

3rd period, 17:29: Right off the post!

3rd period, 17:23: Right off the post again!

3rd period, 16:21: Nurse goes offside as he tries to bring the puck into the Nashville zone all on his own instead of passing to a forward.

3rd period, 16:10: Icing call against Nashville, but the shifts weren't out very long. Won't matter much.

3rd period, 14:10: Caligula and Le Test Tube combined for a couple great poke attempts around the net there.

3rd period, 13:25: Great couple plays by the Oilers there to keep the puck trending in the right direction.

3rd period, 11:11: Talbot gives up a juicy rebound but so far no negative side effects.

3rd period, 10:38: Klefbom crosses the blue line and fires a wrister that Rinne stops. Nashville could have had a penalty if they had possession during a sloppy change.

3rd period, 10:03: McDavid and Forsberg are tied up following a weird drop pass McDavid did south of the dot in the circle. McDavid ends up offside.

3rd period, 9:28: Larsson and Klefbom trade sloppy passes and then the Klefbom fires the puck offside. Remember: Nashville played yesterday. Yet the Oilers are the ones who look exhausted and making sloppy passes.

3rd period, 8:07: Nashville continues to outskate and out-hussle the Oilers. Remember: Nashville played yesterday

3rd period, 7:52: Oilers take a break from passing to each other in their own end to buzz around Pekka Rinne who finally contains the puck. Still 5-4 for the Nashville Predators.

3rd period, 7:37: After a referee takes a break from bleeding from the mouth to get treated at the Nashville bench, play resumes. McDavid shoots from the low slot but Renne makes the save.

3rd period, 7:22: Ref Tim Peel is bleeding from the nose and his jersey is filthy. But he's a ref, it's allowed.

3rd period, 6:53: Eberle with a great chance but Rinne is ready for anything in this period.

3rd period, 6:17: Kassian almost scores! But he misses the wide open net!

3rd period, 5:49: Nurse can't quite play the puck and gets a glove to the face for his trouble as he falls to the ice.

3rd period, 5:19: Oilers ice the puck, and Edmonton has no time out because they lost the challenge earlier.

3rd period, 4:46: McDavid with a great play between defenders but he can't get it to Maroon.

3rd period, 4:28: Rinne covers it again after Maroon tries to deflect a Klefbom bomb from the blue line. Maroon looks stunned. Not emotionally, physically. He got involved after the play with Ryan Ellis who seems to have connected.

3rd period, 3:45: Klefbom did a neat little skating move to get the puck into the Preds zone.

3rd period, 3:33: It didn't matter, Preds got it back.

3rd period, 2:59: Sekera to Nuge. Nuge to...a player on the other team.

3rd period, 2:11: Wilson isn't fast enough. Nashville ices the puck. Will Talbot be staying in the crease?

3rd period, 2:10: Empty net.

3rd period, 2:02: Wilson on the faceoff tries for the empty net but misses. In other words, he ices it again. Can the Oilers capitalize?

3rd period, 1:52: With Nashville playing yesterday they should be the more fatigued team, which should give the Oilers an advantage with the 6-on-5.

3rd period, 1:43: Nashville shoots the puck down the ice again, because the Oilers suck in the faceoff circle.

3rd period, 0:55: Lucic fires the puck into the Nashville end and it pops back out.

3rd period, 0:38: Sekera wins the race and the Preds ice the puck again. It doesn't seem to matter. Oilers don't have enough pep.

3rd period, 0:15: Following a Nashville timeout (so now the Oilers "pep advantage" is even more weakened) the Oilers cycle and try to jam the puck into the net. Instead of a goal, Maroon gets a holding penalty. Ellis on his side uses his stick like Aragon to knock the flying puck out of the air and save a goal.

3rd period, 0:00: Game over. 5-4 Nashville Predators over the Edmonton Oilers.

6:11pm: As I start my 7th beer, I'm looking at this game as yet another missed opportunity. The Oilers fall to 33-22-8, 18-12-5 on the road, and against a team that was playing their second game in a back-to-back. Sure this is a team relatively good at those situations, but the Oilers failed to capitalize on a winnable game against a team below them in the standings. They started off strong, but were horribly outclassed during Nashville powerplays and this demoralized the team to the extent that they gave up their advantage in energy and speed that characterized the first half of the 1st period. They did storm back from a 4-2 deficit, which is good to see, but they didn't finish them off. They couldn't close the deal. 1992 Alec Baldwin wouldn't have given them any coffee. By the third period the Oilers looked like the tired out team, which regardless of the final score tonight doesn't reflect well on their chances in the playoffs. Being able to get a second/third/fourth/ninth wind is the hallmark of a good playoff team: for that, ignore the Kings and the Blackhawks and instead look at the 2006 Oilers. They always had another gear they could switch to (remember Hemsky vs Detroit or Samsonov vs the Sharks), and this team still doesn't. It needs it. Nashville showed that they have it, and the score (and the play in the 3rd period as a whole) reflects that.

6:12pm: This concludes this liveblog, thanks for all who joined us. Anybody with any thoughts or ideas on how the Oilers can improve are welcome to post them in the comments.