Wayne Gretzky: ‘The Cursed One’

So after watching the horror unfold at last night’s hockey game, I started to think about what had gone wrong. Sure, we can blame the “what the fuck is going on in his head” defense of Chris “Edmonton isn’t good enough for me because I’m tall and have a perfect nose and sleep around with newscasters” Pronger, or the goaltending, which was obsene… OBSENE – and made me wish, for the first time ever, that Luongo was around to stop the madness on his home rink. But the REAL person to blame here, I thhink, is Wayne Gretzky.

Let’s rewind, shall we? He left the Oilers, and never again won a Stanley Cup. Then there was the scandal with his wife and all that gambling sketchy business. Then at Turin… oh, Turin… what happened in Turin stays in Turin. Badd coaching, oui? How bout Phoenix? Who was their coach? And then he left and what happened next? Drastic improvement. Maybe even a playoff run, no matter how short-lived it may be. and remember when his daughter sang at the heritage classic? And everyone was all, “she has such a beautiful perfect voice!” and then we found it that we could attribute that ‘beautiful perfect voice’ to overdubbing. And now, he lights the torch at the Olympics. Firstly, the torch doesn’t light. And there’s Gretsky, making awkward “what’s going on?” eyes at Steve Nash. And our metal count is severely lower than it was at the last Winter Olympic Games. Even with extra funding and a quadruple dose of national pride. I thought athletes were supposed to play BETTER on home soil.

“But what about the gold medal in Salt Lake?” you might ask. Remember the lucky loonie? Its powers clearly battled Jinxy Mc. Jinx enough for us to pull one out of the hat. And that explains THAT magic moment, evidently.

And then there’s Rexall Place… high above the stands hangs Gretsky’s retired Oilers jersey, a commemorative momento to his contributions to the team he so thoughtlessly abandoned for greener pastures. The Oilers haven’t been the same since, except when they brought their playoff A-game, which… they lost. On the Oilers home rink. Coincidence?

Which brings me to last night’s hockey game. Who was in the stands? Who sat down with Gene Principe and discussed the results and what the team “needs to do”? #99…. plain as the nose on Evgeni Plushenko’s face.

And so I think Gretsky and his jinx should stay away from my Vancouver Olympics experience. Because all of this disaster was pre-written as soon as it was decided that he would be the one to carry the torch (through doomed pouring rain).

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