Colorado Avalanche: For the Love of the Game

The Colorado Avalanche are the worst team in the NHL. What does this identity crisis mean for the fans?

The Colorado Avalanche entered the holidays with a surprising 2-1 OT victory over the Chicago Blackhawks two days before Christmas.  I wouldn’t go so far to call this a Christmas miracle, but it certainly felt like one.

It been tough being an Avs fan lately, and by lately, I mean since the mid-2000s.  The 2001 Stanley Cup championships seems aeons away, as does the feeling that the Avs might ever have a chance at the Cup again.

The last decade has seen the once-proud Colorado Avalanche franchise win only two playoff series and miss the postseason six times.

Now, the Avs find themselves in last place on the National Hockey League.  It has me wondering how Toronto Maple Leafs fans have held on so long to disappointing teams.

To be fair, it’s only been sixteen years since the Avs last won the Cup, compared to the fifty year drought currently faced by the Maple Leafs.  Hell, the St. Louis Blues haven’t ever won the Cup, another streak lasting fifty years.

Numbers aside, the Avs record of late has been hard to swallow for a fan base grown expectant of swift and glorious victories.  Maybe we’re not in Maple Leafs territory, but it certainly feels like it.

Cumulatively, the team and the fan base seem to have hit a point where there’s not much left to say about the on ice performance – we’re just not that good, even though we could be.

Before their victory against the Blackhawks, the Colorado Avalanche racked up a five game losing streak, one shy of their season record of six. Overall, the last ten games have seen the Avs go 3-7.

In the midst of this embarrassment, I’ve been wondering what’s kept me and other fans going.  Surely no logical person would willing subject them to such abuse.  Yet, we keep turning on the games, hopeful with each one.

The answer to this is simple – we do it for the love of the game.  I don’t believe any other force in the universe could compel me to care so much about something I have no control over and that keeps on getting worse.

After every loss, I’m already looking forward to the next game.  And no matter how bad they’re playing, I can’t give up on them.  That would be worse than watching them lose.

I’ve loved the game of hockey since my first game at McNichols in 1996.  As a six year old, I had no idea how much sway the Colorado Avalanche would have over my life.

Twenty-one years later, I can’t give up on the game that’s given me so much joy. I love the the game of hockey and I love the Colorado Avalanche – now more than ever.

Three years ago, I saw Pearl Jam at Wrigley Field.  Now, I could care less about baseball, but the highlight of the night was when Pearl Jam singer and Cubs super fan, Eddie Vedder brought Cubs legend Ernie Banks on stage.

Wearing his Cubs jersey, Vedder than proceeded to lead the crowd in a sing along of his Cubs anthem,  “(Someday We’ll Go) All the Way”. This song has stayed with me, reminding me of the pure love of sports.

Three short years, the Cubs have broke their 108 year long championships drought.  Hopefully, the Colorado Avalanche won’t have to wait this long, but if they do, I have some words for you I learned from the Cubs fans:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DjC6G0L8zWQ

“Someday we’ll go all the way, yeah, someday, we’ll go all the way”

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