During the 80′s the title “City of Champions” was fitting for the Alberta capital. The Edmonton Oilers were a wrecking crew in the NHL, building a dynasty and celebrating multiple championships in a short period of time. Five Stanley Cups within a decade was impressive. Throw in the four Grey Cup titles for the Eskimos and Edmonton had plenty to celebrate and cherish in the sporting world.
But that was then and this is now and the City of Champions slogan doesn’t fit Edmonton any longer. Rather, Boston is the city deserving of that brand and last night’s Red Sox World Series victory put the exclamation point on it.
Not only was it the Red Sox third title in the last decade, but it was the cities sixth major sporting championship since 2004. Every team has won a title since the Red Sox ended the 86-year curse back in ’04. The Sox have 3, the New England Patriots 1 (with 2 in the three year’s prior), the Celtics captured 1 NBA title and the of course the Bruins with their Stanley Cup win in 2011. City of Champions indeed.
While everyone in New England and across Red Sox Nation is grinning today, Oil Country is in turmoil over their beloved Oilers. It’s hard to think of the this once proud historic organization as future champions, at least any time soon; let alone re-creating a city that boasts dominance in both leagues that are so fond to Edmonton.
But any Red Sox fan will tell you that a quick turn around can happen and for Oilers’ fans, they have to believe. This was a baseball team that was one of the worst in the majors last season and now they’re on top of the world, just one year later.
Key free-agents were brought in, a new manager was named and the product on the field reflected those changes. Throw in the tragic marathon bombings and this city had something to rally around, a reason to give back to the city and their fans.
Aside from the tragedy, this is a similar story that the Oilers and their fans are currently going through. One can only hope that the Edmonton story ends as happy as the one in Boston and while a championship may not be in the cards this year, perhaps a playoff birth could be that rallying cry for this city that should be known as the former City of Champions. That other title belongs in Boston.
Congrats to the Red Sox. Now, this Oilers fan has to believe that his beloved hockey team can turn it around much like the Sox did and restore glory to Edmonton. If it happened in baseball, who says it can’t happen in hockey.