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I’m a hockey fan. Ok I’m not, but I feel like I could have been, at some point. I mean, I go to games when I’m offered and every now and then will check some hockey stats. But I’ve never seen the point of getting excited for sports until something is about to happen, ie: playoffs. How I’m I supposed to care about an outcome of a hockey game when the team still have dozens of games to play. Doesn’t it all seem a little anti-climatic.

That’s why I found it so surreal, this past weekend, to be a Flames fan at the battle of Alberta in Edmonton. I was prepared for the heckling, that’s obvious, I was wearing the Flames jersey. Needless to say my night at the Rexall Centre was eventful.

Oilers fans are passionate. Unfortunately for me this past weekend Oilers fans were passionately angry. With Edmontonians still fuming at the trade of their star player Ryan Smith, I certainly felt as if I had stepped in to a warm pile of something when I ran past the Wayne Gretzky statue on my way to the game.

From the moment the first puck was dropped, Oilers fans were relentless. Even if you weren’t wearing a flames jersey, unless you were wearing Oiler’s colours you were wearing the wrong colours. Hearing screams of me sucking, or orders to go back to Calgary were as common as they were in high school. And I won’t even fill you in on the details of trying to go to the bathroom.

This would have been fine and dandy if it wasn’t for the Calgary Flames winning the entire game. It made no sense for them to be yelling “Calgary Sucks” when we were winning. If the winners suck, what does that make the losers? But seeing as I was deep in oil country, so I decided to keep that point to myself.

I also slightly enjoyed their teasing because they actually could not have found someone who cared less about the game. I mean, yes Go Flames Go and all that. But I would have been just as happy catching up on my old Buffy DVDs. I feel like that they were wasting their energy. I also liked knowing that back in Calgary, I was paying a whole $1 less for the Super Draught that they pour at these games. When you’re a Flames fan in Edmonton, you gotta take what you can.

So as the night came to a close and the Calgary Flames won 4-2, I walked out of the stadium with a new found pride for my hometown team. It was a weird feeling, and then I realized the heckling had stopped. Oilers fans, with their head in their hands, were no longer able to see my bright red jersey. Without even trying I had won, and who doesn’t love that feeling?

I think it says something that even Chris Jericho was scared to wear Flames colours. That’s right, I went there.

Mike Morrison