They've been having a rough go of it lately, and I can understand that. The team has missed the playoffs 7 times in the last 9 years - sometimes falling just barely short of the post-season and sometimes missing it by miles.
The management has mishandled and traded away beloved players and replaced them with untested rookies, and as fans, we are asked to hold on for now. To look to the future at what the team will be once these highly sought-after draft picks turn into bonafide superstars.
It takes time to rebuild a team, and I get that. I am willing to wait for the new glory years that will hopefully rival the Oilers dynasty of the 80's/90's. As a fan, I don't expect the team to win every game, every year - I know there will be losses (sometimes many in a row) and I can be patient.
But, in the meantime, I do not need to be distracted by girls in tiny skirts shaking their pom-poms in my face.
Last year, in an effort to increase the fans' excitement at buying tickets to watch a losing team, the Oilers management decided to start a new cheer team. They auditioned some girls, tarted them up in skintight (unflattering) outfits and paraded them around to appease the masses.
The hockey club celebrated them for being the first Canadian NHL cheer team. The hockey fans rolled their eyes and scoffed at these "dancers", and used their routines as an opportunity to head to the bathroom or buy another beer.
There's a reason why no other Canadian hockey teams had cheerleaders dancing around.
Ice rinks are not conducive to dance/cheer routines. There is no big open field for the girls to shake their groove thang, or to jump and flip and twirl. Instead, there is a giant block of ice...which is kind of slippery. The entranceways to the stands, which are large enough to dance in, are set back and not within the sight lines of most fans in their seats, so this leaves the troupe confined to boogey in the seating area.
They shimmy out, in single file, to stand directly in front of a row of seats - seats with people sitting in them - and proceed to wiggle around and wave their pom-poms in the air (because the limited space doesn't allow for much more) until the commercial break is over, before they shimmy, single-file, back out of the row.
And as the hockey season progressed, when it became apparent that the crowd's attention was waning, the routines became increasingly more sexual (slutty), so the "cheer team" began to more closely resemble "lap dancers" for those in the rows they were dancing in.
Who ever thought this was a good idea?
Obviously somebody does, because they are now holding auditions for this year's "Octane" team. That's one thing about this hockey club - they can stick to a bad decision like flies to shit.
I guess that just means I'll be spending more of the TV time outs in line to buy beer.