Currently, Hildy is in the middle of a friendly series of interviews with our new rivals in
Conference III the Norris Division the Hull Division the Central Division, which you should check out (I'd post a link, but there's probably one to the right of your screen - seriously, how fucking lazy are you?). However, we all know that none of these new teams will really feel like divisional opponents until we get that blood-boiling hate flowing though our veins.
That's where I come in.
I feel it's my job to help bring you the stuff you really need to know. So for the next few Thursdays (hopefully), I'll bring you a Q & A with our new division mates'* former arch rivals. First up, we have J.J. from Kansas from Winging It In Motown to tell us why we should hate the Colorado Avalanche. Given the source, I'm sure you'll find some of his reasons actually quite endearing, but give him a chance anyway. He speaks a lot of truth.
*No Blackhawks or Predators, because A) if you don't already hate the Blackhawks, you're probably a Chicago fan in disguise, and B) if after all these years you still need a reason to hate the Preds, here you go.
SLGT: Which current Avalanche player is most deserving of our scorn, and why?
WIIM: As a Wings fan, I'm tempted to say Steve Downie because he's the reason Kyle Quincey ended up on the Red Wings. As an American, I'm tempted to say Erik Johnson because he's a former #1 pick and an embarrassment to Americans everywhere expecting their #1 overall picks to not be busts. Matt Duchene is the best choice though. it's not so much that the rules don't apply to him, but he actually grew up loving the Avalanche, so it means he's also really fucking stupid. He also looks like what would happen if you waterboarded Christopher Mintz-Plasse with deer antler spray.
SLGT: What about the Avs past: what's the most annoying moment in Avalanche history from your perspective?
WIIM: Winning the 1996 Western Conference Finals is easily the shittiest thing the Avalanche have ever done. The league's refusal to expel Claude Lemieux for slamming Kris Draper's face into the dasherboard created a butterfly effect throughout the world which led to the Todd Bertuzzi incident, as well as 9/11 and Johnny Cash's death. If not for that stupid team, the Red Wings would have won three consecutive cups and would unquestionably be the league's last real dynasty. Also, I make fun of this a lot, but the Avalanche retiring Ray Bourque's number for playing 128 total games with them is insulting to both the sport of hockey and the concept of a jersey retirement.
SLGT: Why is their style of play The Worst Thing To Ever Happen to Hockey?
WIIM: Do the Avs even have a style of play? Is "pray your three good forwards can save your awful defense from getting you crushed again" a style? The problem isn't so much the Avalanche's style of play, but their management style. Stan Kroenke is super-duper rich and he gives negative shits about actually making sure his team is competitive. Whatever he can do to squeeze dimes out of his team's shitty fanbase is what they're going to do, even if it involves insultingly lowballing your own stars. Jeremy Jacobs may be the devil himself, but at least he wants the team to win. Kroenke doesn't care. (Ed. note: Rams fans pretty much know what you mean.)
SLGT: How about Colorado. What's the biggest reason Denver & Colorado suck? Is it a fun place to take in a road game?
WIIM: Denver isn't such a bad place to take in a game if you're a fan of the road team because there's a good chance you're actually going to be in the majority when you're there and you know you're going to have plenty of elbow room. The problem with Colorado is the same as the problem with any stunningly beautiful expanse with majestic views and fresh clean air: it's full of assholes. Being surrounded by those assholes at a game is a no-win situation. You're either stuck with the knowledgeable ones who are so bitter and angry about how awful they've been run that it's just not fun to drink in their tears or you're surrounded by the delusional shitbags who don't know their assholes from the team's third pair (because they smell the same) and you can't enjoy their misery either because they're too dumb to know they're that bad.
SLGT: Avs fans: idiots or fun drinking buddies? How are they when they show up in your building? DO they show up in your building?
WIIM: Hilariously, @AnthraxJones is one of my top five favorite Twitter accounts and he's an Avs fan. Now that the rivalry has died, I've found a bunch of actually bearable-if-not-completely-
SLGT: Lastly, what would you say is the biggest reason to hate the Colorado Avalanche?
WIIM: The Avs are an embarrassment to hockey. When people start adding asterisks to Conference III teams making the playoffs, the Avs are going to be a huge reason why that is. Even with fewer teams in your division, they're basically a walk and making the playoffs in a division which contains that stain of a team is instantaneously a lesser achievement than it otherwise would be. They make all of their hockey decisions on whether it's the best financial one rather than the right one (which is why Gabriel Landeskog is their captain... because "youngest captain ever" is something that makes national reporters talk about you while "Avs name kid who idolized them but is otherwise not really notable" only gets the local reporters interested).