Colorado Avalanche: No Tiers in Hockey Fandom

Apr 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche fans cheer in stands of the Pepsi Center during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche fans cheer in stands of the Pepsi Center during the first period against the Anaheim Ducks. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

Being a fan of the Colorado Avalanche is something that is cut and dry, plain and simple.

My editor, Nadia Archuleta, recently released an article detailing the levels of Colorado Avalanche fandom:

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In the comment section, people were asking about how she would define those that do not live in Colorado, and have to watch most – if not every one of – the games on TV.

Luckily, I also live out of the state of Colorado for school – I go to Montana State University – so I know what it’s like to be relegated to the couch for most of the games.

However, I will say that I drive back as often as I can to go to games, particularly when they work with my schedule. And, I assuredly never miss an opening night, so perhaps that makes my points moot, but I’ll carry on anyway.

Furthermore, I suppose I graduate from MSU in December, and if it weren’t for the Avalanche, I would be staying in Bozeman; alas, I must be closer to my team.

I’m not really here to discuss that type of fan though because I’m actually just writing this to set my understanding of fandom straight, and hopefully give some shred of evidence that suggests being a fan is more simple than tiers (sorry Nadia).

I generally don’t like to brag about how much I love the Colorado Avalanche, but I also think that I don’t have to.

On any given day I can be seen wearing a jersey, shirt, socks, or if you’re lucky, my favorite pair of boxers.

All kidding aside, everyone who knows me well enough knows how much of a love I have for the team; my passion certainly borders on obsession, but that’s what being a fan is all about, especially when it involves hockey.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Denver Broncos, and I have respect for fans of football, but let’s be honest, it’s really not hard to make sure that you catch every single game during the season.

Sundays are the days that people relax in most respects, and it’s called Thursday Night Football for a reason. Making sure that one catches all 82 hockey games is another story entirely.

Thus, I propose the following:

If you’re an individual that frequents this site, then you are already a serious fan in my opinion; furthermore, if you watch all 82 games during the season, then you are a serious fan in my book.

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It doesn’t have anything to do with the length of time you’ve been watching the team, how many games you’re able to make it to during the season, or whether or not you’re willing to give Joe Sakic and Patrick Roy time to take this team in the right direction.

I will say however, that I have one stipulation for Avalanche fandom, and that is a visceral loathing for the Minnesota Wild, that’s all.

Once again, that’s a personal vendetta just because I saw the last game Roy ever played in: a game 7 loss to the Minnesota Wild. And, I also saw the last time the Colorado Avalanche were in the playoffs, also a game 7 loss to the Minnesota Wild.

So, since I know Minnesota Wild fans also occasionally come across this site, do not get it twisted — my hatred for the Wild is entirely warranted as any fan hates their team’s rival.

Let’s get back to the topic at hand.

I don’t believe in tiers of fandom, I believe you are either a fan or you’re not, there’s no half-assing it. You either invest enough into the team to catch all 82 games – live or recorded – and keep up to date on the dealings of the team (free agency, draft, trades, etc…) or you don’t.

There’s no in between. If you’re on this site frequently, then you’re also on other sites frequently; I’m not going to make any bones about that. It’s pretty clear-cut in my head.

If it wasn’t that clear-cut then I’d have to account for the individuals that won’t even stop by MHS to refute what I am saying right now, the ones that aren’t even accessing these fandom manifestos.

So perhaps this is an exercise in futility, but I am convinced that to be a fan of hockey takes real dedication, and anyone who is willing to put in that dedication for the Avs deserves the moniker of “Colorado Avalanche Fan.”

If you don’t want to put in that dedication and are only there when the weather is fair, then that’s your own prerogative and I’m not going to ostracize you for it. I just think you might want to reconsider what it means to be an Avalanche fan.

But once again, I think if an individual falls under that category, then they’re probably not even reading this right now.

Being a Colorado Avalanche fan is simple to me; in fact, being a hockey fan is simple to me.

These blogs for the fans by the fans exist for a reason, and the entertainment of hockey exists for a reason — you either enjoy all facets of what it means to be a fan of hockey, or you don’t, plain and simple.

With that being said, I’ll drop my final two cents to the floor, and you guys can take it or leave it. If Roykic are unable to make the playoffs this year then they should both be fired, and that’s just the nature of hockey.

Think of Bruce Boudreau and his recent firing from the Anaheim Ducks. He was expected to make it to the Conference Finals at least, and more probably the Stanley Cup.

He didn’t – making it respectably to the second round – and he received the sack because of it.

The NHL is a league based on results, and if KSE (Kroenke Sports Entertainment) don’t fire Roykic after another year of not making the playoffs, then it just shows that they don’t care about this team moving forward and becoming a formidable threat in the West again.

If Jon Cooper can lead the Tampa Bay Lightning to back-to-back Conference Finals – with one appearance in the Stanley Cup Final – in his first three years of coaching, then Roy should be expected to do the same.

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Especially after leading the team to the playoffs in his first year coaching (remember Jon Cooper was a finalist for the Jack Adams award in the year that Roy won it).

I still believe that the players and the core of the team need to take responsibility for their inability to close out games (the sole reason we missed the playoffs last year), but in the end, coaches are responsible for the actions of their players on the ice.

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We all know that Roy and Sakic want to win, and have winning attitudes, but if those desires and attitudes are not manifested in the performance of the team next year, then something needs to be done about it.

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Finally, I’m writing this on a bus in China right now, so if you think Colorado Avalanche fandom is entirely confined to Colorado, then think again. If you care about your team, then you care about your team, and that’s all that matters to me.

Have a good one folks!