That’s So Jungle: October 7, 2010
Could not think of a better segue into tonight’s game. This wasn’t your average home opener, this was chaos in its purest form. As a fan base, we hadn’t been this amped for a home opener in years, possibly decades. As a result, a loooooooot of shenanigans happened on this night. It was a home opener. It was a Battle of Alberta. It was the peak of our season (game one). It was the first NHL game for Taylor Hall and Jordan Eberle. It was the first and only time I’ve ever thrown a punch. It was October 7, 2010.
Obviously we had a lot of expectations coming into that season. Oilers fans were electrified by what we thought our future looked like.
Hell. Can’t win them all. But you know what we did win? This game. The fight. The pass of the decade. This game had it all for Oilers fans. This was the first game of what we envisioned to be a critical building block season. With a stockpile of high draft picks, we felt like we were about to torch the NHL. And this game gave us so much hope. False hope, but still hope nonetheless.
The first two periods were your typical, miserable Oilers hockey. The boys led 1-0 after 40, with the lone goal coming from a rare appearance by Gilbert Brule. This game was also the peak of his tenure as well. The third is when shit went bananas. Just over one minute into the final frame, Jumbo Jim Vandermeer made a TEXTBOOK shorthanded pass will be remembered for a lifetime.
They will sing songs about the angle and timing of that pass for generations. All those grade school physics lessons from sweet Caroline, Alberta, paid off for Jimmy V. Anyways, Eberle went down and scored his first NHL goal.
This was approximately the point where I lost every sense of reality. One minute later, Hemmer made it 3-0. Three minutes after that, Horcoff made it 4-0. Pandemonium. At this point the “Calgary sucks” chants were so loud you could hear them all the way from the local taverns in St. Vegas. This is how the night finished:
Also ended up being how Raitis Ivanans’ career finished. He didn’t play another game that season, and only played in one more in his career before forcing himself to call it quits. Now obviously, if you know the Jungle Jagaloons, things started to get a little chaotic around this time. By now, all aspects of humanity went straight out the concrete slabs that smother our building. Savagery ensued. Back then, our goal song wasn’t that toxic array of moose shit Stadium Love, it was Don’t Stop the Party by ya boy Mr. 305. And let me tell ya, it was a goddamn party inside the Jungle. Like ‘Pitbull with an endless amount of Bud Lights’ party.
The fans were actually handed these little cardboard helmets at the start of the game. Shit got so hectic that at one point, one of my buddies got hauled out by security in cuffs while still wearing his cardboard helmet. Christ was I ever proud of him for refusing to take off that outrageous bucket. It was so indescribably Jungle it hurt, and that was before the third even started. While all the suits at the Glass Jungle sip their martinis and talk business, we’ll be at the Crown telling stories to the good people of St. Vegas about the Animals of the Concrete Jungle, the power of Rexall beers, and the pure madness that used to take place inside that historic barn.
Anyways, we would win our next game against those corrupt queef sticks, Florida, before ultimately losing six straight. Classic Oilers. Calgary went on to win 16 more games than us in 2010, but we’ll always remember this one as the time we literally ran them back down the QE2. Wouldn’t hate a little déjà vu of this barbaric atmosphere in the Jungle one last time tonight.
PS – I’ll be at the farewell game, but tonight will be my last time getting Jungled at the Jungle. And that’s incredibly sad. So tonight, when McDaddy burns through Dougie Hamilton like a fucking napalm strike in Nuketown, think of me polishing off a cold one in honour of all the great times I’ve had in that barn while Stadium Love simultaneously crucifies my ear drums.