On Saturday, David Ramsey wrote an article in the Colorado Springs gazette, calling the Avalanche fans “lackluster.”
In this article he talks to two fans from out of state teams who paint the Avs fans as a fan base who wasn’t present during the Joe Sacco years. To be fair, those were bad years and fans rarely show up during bad years, as evidenced by the United Center, which looked like the United gates at DIA waiting for the last flight of the night.
The Avs fans have come back this year, maybe not in numbers during the regular season but their passion has. This year, the Pepsi Center has been loud and the Avs fans have embraced the new era in Avalanche territory.
For those who would call the Avs fans lackluster, tell that to the little boy Jake that I saw in Safeway two weeks ago. After the Detroit Red Wings beat the St. Louis Blues and the Avs clinched the central division, I made a shopping trip and was wearing Avalanche garb.
Jake’s mother saw what I was wearing and gave me a verbal “thumbs up.” When I told her why I was wearing it and what happened she called Jake over for me to tell him. When I told him, he jumped up and down in the middle of the aisle, shaking the Cap’n Crunch box he was holding so violently that I'm surprised the cereal survived. He then kept talking to me about the players (his favorite was MacKinnon,) what the Avs did last game and that he thought they were going to win the cup.
Jake was six years old. That’s when it hit me, why this year has been so important. The last time the Avs were in the playoffs was in 2009, four years ago. The last time they won a playoff round was 2007 and the last time they won the division was 2003. Jake doesn't remember those years, he’s only seen the videos and heard the stories.
Growing up an Avs fan, Jake has suffered through years of some of the worst hockey played in Colorado but he stuck with it. He watched Duchene and Landeskog emerge as stars all in front of a coach that shouldn’t be in charge of a 7-11. Finally, Jake gets his reward.
Around Colorado, I imagine there are more kids like Jake that are growing up with this team in a way that I never did. They are the new generation of Avalanche fans.
There are more examples of fans like Jake. Jake is not lackluster, he is passionate and wears his passions on his sleeve. Young and old I’ve had the pleasure of meeting a lot of different Avs fans and I would not think to call any of them lackluster.
Apologies to Ramsey but if you’re to write about Avs fans, you might want to actually talk to them. Maybe then you’ll find a fan like Jake and, like me, realize that fans like him lack nothing