Posted by: Dave Richeson | November 11, 2010

The Edmonton Eulers

A few years ago I found an alteration of the logo of the Edmonton Oilers (a Canadian hockey team in the NHL) in which “Oilers” was replaced with “Eulers.” I printed it and hung it outside my office door. Now I can’t find the original, but you can see a scanned copy on the left.

I decided to ask my Twitter followers if they knew where I could find this mystery logo. I haven’t gotten a reply about that, but Blair Miller pointed me to a fantastic Wikipedia edit from April 15, 2009. It was a section on the Edmonton Oiler’s page that read:

Edmonton Eulers

During the month of February 1972, the Oilers temporarily changed the franchise name to the Edmonton Eulers as a tribute to mathematician Leonhard Euler (Euler’s number ~ 2.72, thus corresponding with the month 2/72). The team introduced jerseys with lowercase “e”s in place of the usual capital “E”s at the beginning of both city and team name, first wearing them during a home game on February 1. For the entire month, the team utilized a pricing scheme for individual tickets akin to Euler’s formula to approximate e, using n as the day of the month:

\displaystyle \lim_{n\to\infty} \left(1+\frac{1}{n}\right)^n.

Ticket prices started out at $1.50 on February 1, topping out at $2.67 on February 29. Fan reaction to the temporary change was mixed: in general, casual fans were deeply confounded and upset by the change, while more mathematically-oriented fans welcomed the change with open arms, some going even so far as to suggest that it be permanent. The tension and confusion were relieved on March 3, when the Oilers reverted to their old jerseys for an away game against the Winnipeg Jets.

The edit lasted for about 2 hours.

While of course it would be really cool if this were a true story, it is easy to debunk. No, I didn’t go to Snopes, I just looked at the Edmonton Oiler’s schedule. It turns out that they were founding members of the World Hockey Association and this league’s first season was 1972-3. The Oiler’s first game was October 30, 1972 (as the Alberta Oilers), several months after the supposed name change.

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Responses

  1. [...] I was quite surprised the other day when I read this Division by Zero post: [...]

  2. What’s next, the Calgary Bernoullis?


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