Colorado Avalanche: Blogging About Team Becomes Platform for One MHS Writer’s Expression

Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy reacts after the winning OT goal was scored by Joe Sakic against the St. Louis Blues. Photo by Hyoung Chang (Photo By Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
Avalanche goalie Patrick Roy reacts after the winning OT goal was scored by Joe Sakic against the St. Louis Blues. Photo by Hyoung Chang (Photo By Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images) /

For one of my lasts posts as co-editor of MHS, and about the Colorado Avalanche, it only seems fitting to write about my co-editor Nadia Archuleta, the one who got me started at MHS.

When I applied to Mile High Sticking and to write about the Colorado Avalanche, I never thought I’d actually get hired. I think I am a decent writer, and it’s what I do for my living now, but writing about the Avalanche seemed too good to be true.

Anyway, for the application, I wrote an article about a Ryan O’Reilly trade, that actually became my first post for MHS. That was two years ago and some change.

I had no idea what I was writing, or how I wanted to convey my message. But thanks to the guidance of my peers — Nadia being the main writing shaman where that is concerned — I was able to distill the information I wanted to write, into my voice. I sought new ways to express what I wanted to say, and also keep the fans interested.

Ultimately, it is my experience writing for MHS that earned me a ticket to my current job. And, for that Nadia is most certainly an individual I have to thank because of the knowledge I gained.

So, it is with great pleasure today that I write a post about Nadia, and ask her some questions about what it means to write at MHS, and what it has meant to her writing career.

Let’s Get Started

As you all know, Nadia is a staunch Patrick Roy fan, and a big fan of Erik Johnson, and as such a lot of her writing has to do with either one of them as her topics. She has written, 1,280 articles to date, which trumps my now 341 by a wide margin. And, she continues to write for MHS, even through some trying times.

(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) /

Personally, I have a lot of respect for that, even if some her articles are quote: “crazy ass” ballads to Patrick Roy. I know that I can’t commit the time and effort this job requires at the co-editor level anymore, so I respect those who can find and make that time.

Anyway, time for the questions.

What is your favorite post that you’ve written?

My 1000th post came out on the 2-year anniversary of my becoming editor of Mile High Sticking. Needless to say, it was about Patrick Roy. It was about how his stats were actually better than Martin Brodeur’s when you accounted for the shootout and Brodeur’s longer career.

Getting to that 1000th post on that anniversary (September 2) was a large part of the reason I didn’t actually quit when Roy resigned. I wanted to, and I didn’t feel like an Avs fan for a long time. But I wanted to get to that milestone. Then I didn’t want to give up on something I’d worked so hard on. Roy had reason to leave the Colorado Avalanche — I didn’t have the reason to leave Mile High Sticking.”

How did you become an Avs fan, and what do you love most about the team currently?

“I became a hockey fan in the early 1990s when the Pittsburgh Penguins weren’t so annoying about winning back-to-back Stanley Cups. I’m a native Coloradan, though, and I was dying for my own team. It was thought we’d get an expansion team, and I was fine with that. But I was at a Denver Grizzlies (IHL) game when I found out the NHL was moving the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado. It was like the best Christmas morning ever.

What do I love most about the team now? They’re still my team. I tried to turn my back on them and ended up getting a Colorado Avalanche tattoo.

They’re going to suck this season, and that’s going to hurt, but they’re my team.”

What are some things you’ve learned from writing for Mile High Sticking?

“I’ve learned way more about the Colorado Avalanche than any sane person should! I mean, I’ll be talking to fans, and I’ll get to a point where I just have too much in-depth info about the team!

Honestly, I learned a ton about blogging and social media marketing. I look at some of my early posts, and I wonder what I was thinking. I’ve really found my voice as a blogger thanks to the (welcome) grind of producing an average of one post a day.”

What do you hope to achieve moving forward?

“I know a lot of writers take these jobs hoping to make the jump into traditional sports media — or start their own outlet like BSN did. That’s not my goal at all. I love doing what I do how I do it, as a fan blogger. Mile High Sticking is a site written by the fans for the fans of the Colorado Avalanche.

I’m pretty sure I’m the longest-tenured editor ever at MHS. That means something to me. I hope to keep growing the site and teaching bloggers how to find their own voice.”

What advice would you offer to an aspiring writer?

“Set goals. I wrote briefly for a West Coast site about hockey, and the editors required me to write two posts a week. That forced me to get down to writing. At MHS, we have post quotas we have to meet. Again, that forces me to get down to writing.

DALLAS, TX – APRIL 8: Erik Johnson
DALLAS, TX – APRIL 8: Erik Johnson /

That kind of discipline means I can produce a high rate of writing now.Naturally, good writers must be good readers. If you want to write for a site, read it first. Reading actual blogs is how I got over my classic training as a writer — I have a B.A. in writing, and blogging conventions fly in the face of traditional and academic writing.”

What advice would you offer to new writers for the site?

“The above! Read the site and get a feel for the conventions. Then, commit to writing at least one post that’s turned in on a specific day of the week.

Likewise, when writing for a fan site, join Twitter. I swear, the news comes out faster there than anywhere else. It’s also a good way to get a feel for what fellow fans are interested in. What’s more, they come up with insights that might not occur to you, and it’s always good to have another perspective.”

Erik Johnson is obviously your favorite player currently on the Avalanche, what would you tell him if given the chance to meet him?

“Patrick Roy is one of my top-two figures I love and respect. (The other being Till Lindemann.) I’ve been to so many practices, and I could have met him, but what do you say to such a great man? Now, I’d just like to show him my tattoo as a sign of that love and respect I have for what he did for my favorite team.

Referring to Erik Johnson, I lost my mind when Roy resigned as coach. Erik Johnson came onto Altitude Sports radio to talk about the situation. I was ready to hate every Avalanche player on the team because I felt, in that initial hot rage, that they were the reason Roy had left.

More from Mile High Sticking

However, EJ got onto the radio and said the only things that could have soothed me — that the players should have been there more for Roy and that they were all shocked that he’d left. And that he respected Roy. I was still upset, but hearing EJ talk helped me feel a little less manic.

Erik Johnson is always like that — a true character man, someone who is a leader even in the worst of times. A man who doesn’t shy away from the tough questions or the tough situations.There are fans out there who all but stalk players to meet them — including one who’s “taken possession” of Erik Johnson as her personal Avalanche player. I find that unseemly.

However, if I got the chance to talk to Erik Johnson, I would tell him the above story and thank him for that moment. There are so many times that I say to myself “I wish EJ wasn’t my favorite so this action could make him my favorite” — that radio interview was just another one of those times.”

Bringing It to a Close

The daily grind at MHS is fun, but it is definitely a difficult job. Nadia is right, you have to read everything out there in order to have the necessary knowledge to bring to the table. And, you have to put a schedule together that works for you so that you can reach your quota. But, the reward of writing about your favorite team is ultimately worth it.

Anyway, most of us like to read about the Avalanche on a daily basis, so it’s pretty cool to say that you’re one of the writers those fans read.

Next: 10 Reasons to Attend Avs Home Games During 2017-18 Season

If you want to write, then Nadia is a great example to follow. She doesn’t always make the fans happy, she sometimes write things that people question but she ultimately doesn’t stray from her beliefs, and is unwilling to compromise on matters where she has conviction.

A true fan, and a pleasure to work with. Thank you Nadia!