As the Colorado Avalanche face their division rival Minnesota Wild, and Minnesota’s Star Tribune denies the existence of a rivalry (more on that below), let’s look at the light-hearted aspect of a hockey rivalry. And by that I mean jokes at the Minnesota Wild’s expense.
A skunk walks into a bar. He sees a trio of guys wearing Minnesota Wild jerseys. One chose the Mikko Koivu third jersey, one chose the Charlie Coyle away jersey and a third, unwise guy chose the Matt Cooke red and green jersey.
The skunk saunters over to the bar and calls the bartender over. He tells the bartender, “And you all think I stink.”
A delivery driver in Denver, Colorado, liked to scare rival fans with his delivery truck — there are an awful lot of them, you see. Usually his pranks were innocuous. If he saw a fan in a St. Louis Blues jersey crossing the street, he’d give a loud honk to make the fan jump. For Chicago Blackhawks fans, he threw the occasional Slurpee — he’d spent more than he’d like to admit on that commodity. However, he saved his best for Minnesota Wild fans.
Whenever the driver saw a hapless person in Minnie green — or even worse, Minnie red and green — walking on the sidewalk, he’d swerve over as if to hit him. He’d swerve back onto the road, though, after just missing him.
One day, he saw a man in a priest’s collar walking down Colfax Avenue. Thinking he’d do a good deed, the driver stopped and asked the priest if he needed a ride.
“Thank you, yes,” the priest agreed. “I’m on my way to the Denver Mission.”
The pair rode in silence for awhile — long enough that the man sort of forgot the priest was with him. As he rounded the corner of a busy street, he saw a chubby fellow in a red and green Minnie jersey. It was like red before a bull, and he swerved sharply to scare the fan. He knew he had missed the fan, but as he swerved back onto the road, he heard a thud. He looked in his mirrors, but didn’t see anything.
He remembered the priest. “Sorry, Father,” he apologized. “I almost hit that Minnesota Wild fan.”
“That’s OK,” the priest assured him. “I got him with the door.”
NB: Don’t really try that!
A kindergarten teacher in *Bloomington, Minnesota, was inordinately proud of his fan-ship of the Minnesota Wild. He wasn’t allowed to wear any of his gear to school, because the dress code was professional. However, whenever possible he’d use a Minnie player or Wild reference when teaching.
The teacher could tell that the students didn’t get his references. So, one day, he brought in his red and green Minnesota Wild jersey for his own version of show-and-tell. He told them all about how Minnie had knocked the Colorado Avalanche out of the playoffs a couple times. He glossed over the fact that the Wild had never won a title, much less a championship.
At the end of his speech, he asked for a show of hands. “Who likes the Minnesota Wild?” Being gullible children, most of the students’ hands shot up. One cute girl in smart-looking glasses kept her hand down. Annoyed, the teacher kept her in during recess to question why she didn’t join in.
“Why didn’t you raise your hand?” the teacher asked.
“Because I don’t like the Minnesota Wild,” the girl answered. “I’m a Colorado Avalanche fan.”
The teacher frowned. “Why on earth are you a Colorado Avalanche fan? Didn’t you hear what I told you about the Wild knocking them out of the playoffs?”
The kindergartner answered, “Yes, but my mommy and daddy say the Avalanche have two Stanley Cups and a bunch of titles. They’re Avalanche fans, so I am, too.”
Peeved, the teacher unwisely snapped, “That’s no reason. What if your mommy and daddy were both idiots? What would you be then?”
The girl cocked her head and blinked solemnly at the teacher. “I guess I’d be a Minnesota Wild fan then.”
*Yes, that’s Avalanche defenseman Erik Johnson’s home town — good thing he had a different kindergarten teacher!
The real joke comes in the fact that the Minnesota Wild and their fans want to deny up and down that there’s a rivalry. Michael Rand of the Minnesota Tribune wrote an article in which he quotes Minnesota coach Mike Yeo:
“That’s garbage is what it is [McLeod’s check on Mikael Granlund and fight with Charlie Coyle]. We’ve seen the league respond to things like this. There’s rules in place to try to prevent things like that, and I’m quite certain that they’ll take a good long look at that. You feel it was going that way all game long. They were obviously very emotional all game long.”
By most accounts, them’s fighting words — or whining words, at least.
In response, Colorado Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said during a post-practice press conference:
“To me, garbage is what [Matt] Cooke did to [Tyson] Barrie, not what McLeod did at the end of the game.”
He added that revenge was not a part of the Colorado Avalanche game plan since they intended to stay focused. However, he did remark:
“If we were talking about revenge, we would have done something way before that, when they hurt Barrie.”
According to Rand, those are the words that are supposed to incite hate in Minnesota Wild fans.
Well, here in Avs Nation, we all know what Patrick Roy’s response to such taunts are, “I can’t hear you because my Stanley Cup rings are plugging my ears.”
And I imagine it’s a mite hard to see over his Jack Adams Trophy.
Joke’s on the Minnesota Wild.