Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the Avs versus the world

OR
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?

4 comments:

jefcanuk said...

I didn't find something to take issue with until I read this: "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." Look, it takes a special kind of awful human to kill hockey in Chicago, we all know that. It also takes a special kind of fan (not 'fair-weather' or 'bandwagon') to say "i reject this team, not the sport, until massive top-down changes happen." The Chicago wolves drew record-high attendance when the 'Hawks drew a record low. I'd wager those folks came from across town. True hockey fans, biding their time, refusing to support a regime that abused it's subjects. Doesn't sound "milquetoast" to me.

Then there was this:"But at least we won't be the parade-planning second-round specialists of Vancouver" This is a team with a lot of young talent and $28 million to spend on 12 players. And fearing that Kovalchuk will play on a line with Sedins next year, sign him to a 12 year yoke of a contract. It's not a bad idea, really. It would insure a second round exit for years to come, though, unless crafty drafting led to a *great* D-man (got one in the system?) and Anderson is really on his way up (and gonna stay there). -jefcanuk DNP- Healthy Scratch

Bob Macajew said...

We all know the stuff about the Hawks was meant to taunt a badger with a stick, which is generally looked upon as a bad idea, even though it guarantees a response.

Jefcanuk has already jumped to the defense of my slandered team, so I'll withhold further rebuttals, except to say that I agree with him on all the mentioned points, not the least of which is that he's right about everyone coming from across town to support the Wolves. They play all the way out by O'Hare & no one in their right mind wants to handle the traffic it takes to get out there.

I misspoke about the Campbell thing; I was laboring under the impression that contracts weren't guaranteed, which was a stupid oversight on my part. In short, by trade, I meant to say cut.

For the record, I've not given up on that idea; if they just bought out his contract (he's not yet 35, so this is possible) he'd get the chance to play somewhere else, at a cost of only 2.3 million per year over 12 years as per buyout rules. (Yes, I was enough of a dumbass to do the math myself before realizing that capgeek.com had a buyout calculator function.)

This is essentially tantamount to a trade, and it is worth it to me to handicap my team 2.3 mil a year to not have him on the ice. I think he's a pretty good, clean guy & of course I love that Savard-esque spin move when he bothers to trot that out, but other than occasional flashes of (regular season only) brilliance at the point on a power play, he's a defensive liability (gotta love a player that shows open contempt for his job title) and is not scoring like he used to. So yeah, I'd drop 2.3 mil to have my team play against him instead of with him.

Bob Macajew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Macajew said...

A larger point is that I think you're being unfairly harsh on your team, as using that as some some sort of "cloak of honor" to hide behind: "Yeah, I can brag about supporting my team, because these other popular and/or winning teams' fans are shitbirds and goat-rapers, and I've got enough character to be rooting hard for my guys even though they're crap now. Even though I came onboard when they were great, I'm keeping it real now with this bunch of losers". Thing is, these aren't a bunch of losers. Anderson is a hell of a goalie (though obviously won't be playing 71 games) & Budaj is a goalie I'd be proud to have as a backup; Mueller is gonna play far better than you've given him credit for; Stasny's obviously better than a 3rd liner, (though I like the inversion of the "world's tallest midget" gag) and I've got a flask of Irish whiskey that says that your version of Pat Kane (love that his name is a scathing editorial about the "founder" of "objectivism": Douche-Ayn) goes for at least 25 Goals this year. At least. Grandpa Foote still has some hockey in him; Stoa and Svatos have good speed and puckhandling, and despite your criticism of Koci, as long as Boogaard's not around to make him look like a toddler getting shit-beat by a gladiator, this is a guy who could have the net presence that Byfuglien gave Chicago; at the very least he's got the size for it. Despite your undervaluing of size, hockey is not a woman lying about sex: size DOES matter. Speaking of size, Durno could be a great grinder-line guy if he gets his ass into a weight room this summer and puts on the muscle that a guy his frame should have.

I guess what really occurs to me, agree or disagree with my assessments, is that this is the second cousin twice-removed of the "loathsome" "long suffering Chicago sportsfan meme" that some have taken umbrage with.

-Macajew (40 SOG, 38 Saves)

PS: I know I said I'd refrain but: you lie! Blackhawks have the best logo in hockey, by far. What are you gonna go with, the old Hartford logo with the whale? That thing looks like a kid's stuffed-animal version of Moby Dick. The old school Kings logo? Kinda cool, where it not for the fact that it looks too much like the godforsaken Lakers' logo for obvious reasons. The Rangers? I'm sorry, these fits of laughter prevent me from continuing...