Battle of Alberta Victory Day: Not Much is Getting Done Today
Coming out of COVID, boy, did Edmonton need this
By Steven Sandor | May 27, 2022
Let’s face it, you’re not at work. Sure, you might be in the office. Maybe you are, ahem, supposed to be working from home. But the fact that you’re reading this proves that you’re being about as productive as the sloths from Zootopia.
Or maybe you’ve called in sick or are using a personal day. Hopefully, you were honest. You didn’t make up symptoms that you don’t have. You just said, “still celebrating last night’s win” and hung up the phone.
If there ever was an unofficial holiday in Edmonton, today is it. This is the Day After Edmonton Won the Battle of Alberta. This is where Oilers fans try to piece together the events of the night before. Where they were when Connor McDavid scored the goal to put the Oilers in the NHL’s Final Four. And, like Wayne Gretzky and Esa Tikkanen of Battles of Alberta past, McDavid put the dagger to the Flames in the Saddledome, so Calgarians would have to endure sudden death, at home, yet again.
Maybe you were at the Moss Pit downtown. At a party on Whyte Avenue. Watching with family at home. Or, the Rogers Centre watch party. Then, everything became a blur. And, now, we have an unofficial long weekend. Today is a day for Edmonton to do… not a heck of a lot. And, now you’re looking at clearing your calendar for next week. The Western Conference Finals are coming, and you’ve got to get your priorities straight. This is maybe your biggest task of the day. You’ve got to reschedule meetings. If there’s something you can’t get out of — say, a good friend’s wedding — you need to spend time devising a strategy on how you’ll remain updated on the games during the reception. Really, if your friends have souls, they’ll have a TV on, or maybe postpone their nuptials. Priorities, people.
This is the day where you walk through your neighbourhood and say, “this would be a good place for the Hyman statue.” You stare into the backyard and realize you can finally spell “Puljujarvi” without needing to double check.
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When kindergarten classes begin in September, 2028, teachers will say “Is Connor here?” and an entire class will call out “present.”
For many of you, this is the first Battle of Alberta that you were able to watch unfold as it happened. The previous clashes were the stuff of arena hype videos. They didn’t have the midnight-blue jerseys with the highlighter orange numbers back then. Oh, how you disliked those jerseys when they were first worn by the team. Now, you own one and have two more on order.
Hey, get back to this article. You have time to re-watch the McDavid OT winner once you get through this.
There are weeds in the yard, they will continue to flourish. The dishes will remain in the sink or the dishwasher. You notice the streets are unusually calm for a weekday, as if it was a Sunday morning. If your phone is buzzing, it isn’t the office — it’s a family member or friend with a LEON OMG or a FLAMES LOL.
Tonight, you have one job. You will work to summon the same karmic forces that propelled the Oilers to four straight wins. Now, the goal is for Colorado and St. Louis to play four straight overtimes. Like the Oilers themselves, you know you should only enjoy the Battle of Alberta victory for a short time, and it’s time to get the game face on ahead of Round Three.
Long-term forecast? When it comes to productivity, June is going to be a total write-off. And, after suffering through COVID, boy, did we need this. There’s a bigger picture of what sport can mean to a community — how it’s giving us a reason to come out of the shells that we’ve built through the pandemic. It’s given us the impetus to reintroduce ourselves to our neighbours, to become part of large gatherings again. It’s helping us recognize that community still exists. And maybe that’s the greatest gift that the Oilers have given us; that we’re breaking down the walls that we worked so hard to build — and then got so comfortable having — during the pandemic. We are social animals. We are a community. We need… people.
Preferably people wearing orange. Or blue. Or midnight blue.