The CFL season starts tomorrow. I'm a staunch patriot when it comes to three-down football but I can't remember being less excited to make that statement. I think we now have to ask, have a city's sports fans ever suffered through a worse 13 months? At about 8:30 pm on June 6, 2006, the Oilers were ahead 3-0 late in the second period of Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals. Within an hour they had coughed up that lead, watched their starting goalie get physically broken into several pieces by Marc-André Bergeron, put the clownish Ty Conklin in net, and lost the game when Conky went behind the net with 30 seconds on the clock and decided to pad Rod Brind'Amour's playoff scoring totals. They went on, of course, to lose the series, face a trade demand from their best player, move his heavily discounted contract to Anaheim for two disappointing youngsters, and miss the playoffs by a million miles as Anaheim won the Cup, laughing and jeering all the way. Meanwhile the CFL Eskimos finished last in the West and hence missed the playoffs for the first time since 1971; Kevin Martin couldn't get past the 3-4 Page game at the Brier; and our Northern League team, not that anyone gives a damn, enjoyed a losing season punctuated by a little-noticed June meltdown involving a vicious brawl, a deliberate forfeit, and the firing of the manager. The whole Chris Benoit thing isn't really "sports" but it certainly fits the ugly pattern—the guy had the same kind of status here that Brett Favre does in Wisconsin or Derek Jeter in NYC. Is it any wonder that some Edmonton fans are already cheering for the Oilers to tank the '08-'09 season just for a crack at John Tavares?