Saturday, October 23, 2010
Give us an N, Give us an O, what does it spell, Nooooooo!
Cue the dancing girls!
The prospect of cheerleaders invading Canadian hockey rinks seems to be splitting the faithful in Edmonton these days.
The Oilers announced this week that they would be the first Canadian based NHL team to embrace, er, make that employ, that American phenomenon the cheer leader.
A mainstay of some 23 American rinks and International hockey, the cheerleader in Canada has normally been confined to the nation's 8 CFL franchises, university and high school teams and it's lonely NBA squad (oh how we still miss the Vancouver Grizzlies and of course the dance team).
Oilers President and CEO Pat Laforge said during the cheerleader launch, that the new squad would be a source of entertainment for the fans and add a little extra spice and sparkle to Oiler games.
The move towards a more cheerful and "spicy" rink experience is one that is apparently gnawing at the soul of Canadian and Oiler hockey traditionalists, so much so that in Edmonton there is an apparent backlash growing to the Oilers plans.
While the Edmonton front office prepare for audition night, a number of those fans that would be subjected to the cheers and gyrations are taking to their computers to stop such folly.
An online petition has sprung up, as well as the ever popular Facebook page (though this particular page is proving rather difficult to track down) all designed to bring an end to the visual interference of the on ice experience.
So far the quest to turn back the tide isn't exactly overwhelming, with a slowly building data base of voters and commentators logging on to the site to cast a vote and leave a thought. And while we won't offer up a our own aye or nay on the topic, we have found the commentaries to be rather interesting.
We imagine that as for the movement to stop the cheerleaders, the organizers will continue forward hoping that Oiler fans will want to focus on hockey and not on distractions from the sport itself.
A wishful thought perhaps in yet another rebuilding year for the Oil, as we head towards November, the Oilers currently hold down last place in the Western conference with but four points on the season thus far, based on two wins out of five games.
At that pace, by March, Oiler fans may be wishing for any kind of distraction from another disappointing season.
Cue the dancing girls, Oiler fans may very well welcome the diversion!