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CFL

Someone’s Gotta Be The Worst Team In Edmonton

12:20 PM EDT on June 12, 2023

REGINA, SK - SEPTEMBER 16: An Edmonton Elks helmet on the bench before the game between the Edmonton Elks and Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium on September 16, 2022 in Regina, Canada. (Photo by Brent Just/Getty Images)
Brent Just/Getty Images

It's always comforting to see a new sports executive get his wings—sort of a rite of passage for folks with more money than sense and more ego than restraint. So happy birthday to Victor Cui, the president and chief executive officer of the Edmonton Elks of the Canadian Football League, who has run the team for roughly 17 months after making a fortunette in the mixed martial arts game.

So after the Elks lost their home opener to Saskatchewan on Sunday, Cui decided to put a happy face on the disappointing day with this optimistic tweet:

Well, yes, when the losing streak is 18 games long and stretches back to October of 2019, that will get noticed, as it did in that most Canadian of ways, courtesy Sportsnet's Mark Spector. This passive-aggressive exchange lasted only as long as you see it, and in the end everyone seemed to agree that a crowd of 32,000 is good for a team that only won four games a year ago, and an 18-game home losing streak is bad for a team that used to dominate the league.

While we don't want to dampen Cui's spinstincts, especially as it comes to his bosses (the Elks are fan-owned, like two other CFL teams), this might be the time to let him know that leading with a negative tends to blot out the positive, especially when the negative is factually unassailable. In other words, he needs an editor to teach him how not to bury his preferred lede, and that a compliment that begins with Never mind those awful people isn't really a compliment at all, but rather grudge-venting in the guise of fan photos. In other words, if you're sure someone else is going to point out you haven't entertained those same fans in more than 1,300 days (by far the longest home winless streak in pro football history on either side of the border), you don't have to be the one to do it. Just thank the folks that came out and move on.

We offer this in the most Canadian way possible, so that nobody gets their feelings too bruised by the dichotomy of large crowds growing accustomed to unhappy rides home: The next home game is two Sundays from now against Toronto, and if the Elks lose there, it's going to be someone's arse. Cui’s patience cannot be relied upon forever, and you know how those vicious media bastards can be when given a 1,350-day head start and the Oilers don't start training camp for another three months.

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