I already know my team sucks, so save your breath, loser, because you and your team suck much, much worse
I'm an Avs fan. And I know that this places me among the second tier of most loathesome and despicable hockey fans. While I'm not as entitled and self-obsessed as the fans of any Canadian team, I'm used to a certain degree of divisional (at least) dominance, TV time, and national recognition. And sure, I don't have the recent-years bragging rights of rotten-from-the-top organizations like the Red Wings and the Devils, but my fandom is certainly spoiled by big-budget success stories, great-player poaching and maelstroms of scapegoating whenever things go south. And no, I wasn't rooting for them before 1996. So that's out of the way.
What I'm saying is that I know full well that the Avs, as an organization, are dicks. And that Avs fans are spoiled, whiny jerks.* But what I also know is that Red Wings fans are literally bugfuck insane. And that Devils fans are the most ignorant and classless bunch of sports fans on the planet.** (Note here: I live in Oakland and interact with Raiders fans every single day.)
I know that the fans of the Blackhawks were the shyest, most retiring bunch of milquetoasts you'd ever want to avoid until the old man was finally promoted to hell. Clammy, dead-fish handshakes and high-fives felt like handling week-old entrails out back behind a slaughterhouse. Now, of course, the posturing and preening is positively vomitous, and it's likely that they'll have a Cup to pose next to, thanks primarily to the Canucks sucking and the Pens, Caps and Sharks choking. Which means that 'Hawks fans will likely be mumbling their asinine platitudes about the Original Six*** and the best logo in sports**** until 2061, the next time they win something. Watching the fanbase inflate and put some bass in its voice has been hilarious. Certainly funnier than the nicknames.***** Basically they're like Red Sox fans, only without the going-to-the-zoo charm.
Look, I get it. Dumb teams who don't get the cap are gonna spend a lot and suck. This gives us the Flames, with their peckerwood red-wearers, and the Rangers, with...well, their two good players. Smart teams will spend some money and have some success, but never quite get there, because they fall in love with players who aren't quite as good as they're made out to be: see here the Kings and Canucks.
The Penguins will always be given players of unimaginable skill and will. The Flyers will always be bullies with second-rate goaltending. The Red Wings will always be old and good and just generally hate criminals with fans who couldn't name two of the three members of the Production Line if you promised to spare their houses on Devil's Night. And, mostly, your team won't really matter, no matter what that team might be.
And the Avs and their fans will always have self-regard out of proportion to their accomplishments. Especially since next year, the team is almost certain to revert to the mean. What does that mean? 38 wins is what that means. You know how Cody McLeod went from 15 goals to 7 over the last 2 seasons? Well, it says here that: Anderson isn't playing 71 games next year; Duchene and Stewart are gonna score 15 apiece; Stasny will continue to be the world's greatest third-line center; our defense will continue to look horrifyingly inept against teams that are strong, fast or skilled; David Jones will be mediocre for a full, injury-free season, instead of a world-beater for a quarter of one; Peter Mueller will play like a Coyote instead of a number-eight draft choice. Odds are that David Koci will have two beatings-received-of-the-year candidates again this year, just like last year, however.
But at least we won't be the parade-planning second-round specialists of Vancouver, the one-good-line (well, except at center) Calgary brain surgeons, a bunch of people in Edmonton who couldn't outfight or outskate Pat Quinn even if he put his cigar down, or the forgettable scrubs in St. Paul. Or whereever they put their dozens of remaining fans to sleep 41 nights a year. (I do applaud their decision not to bore them in the playoffs anymore, however.)
The simple fact is this: it's gonna be a long, hard season for the Avs next year. If you don't think so, you're arguing not so much with me as with history and science. Damn' near every forward overachieved last year, and Andy was absolutely revelatory. Don't bet on it happening again.
And I'll be there for them every game, with a belly full of beer and a heart full of scorn for the other team, whoever it might be. So you can go to hell.
--Collision (minus one, 10:20 TOI, 7 PIM)
*Who don't even fill the building anymore, in a completely unacceptable recent development.
**Just ask J-S Giguere.
***Which doesn't exist.
****Not even the best logo in hockey. Might not even be the best logo in Chicago!
*****Although the best joke was when Macajew told me they were gonna solve their salary cap problems were gonna be fixed by "trading" Brian Campbell. Uhm: to whom, exactly? What does that market look like?