I grew up in Denver, Colorado. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a city that is the home to four major sports teams, four teams that have all gotten to the semi-finals in the past ten plus years. Two teams that have each won two national championships while I lived there. Denver is a great sports city, and I have no doubts that our teams will continue to get better.

I still remember when the announcement was made that the Quebec Nordiques were moving to Colorado. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my Dad more excited, until that point I had not actively followed hockey. When they finally came the entire town was abuzz, we went on to have a record-breaking sell-out attendance streak. And when we finally acquired Patrick Roy, I specifically remembering my father telling everyone that we’d win the cup for sure. I remember their looks of doubt, how could a team that just relocated win the cup they’d ask him. He said that they had an all-star roster but Roy was the final piece to the puzzle. If you didn’t know, they did win the Stanley Cup that year.

The Avs began the love affair I now have with hockey. My Dad (pictured above) taught me to love the game of hockey; it’s because of him I respect the goalie, love the Avs, and feel comfortable talking to any fan about the sport. Some of my favorite memories of us were going to (or simply watching) games together. I would get upset about certain plays and my father would just shake his head and tell me why I was incorrect. He taught me at a young age I better be prepared to put my money where my mouth is, and use my brains to back that mouth up.

Growing up my Dad never fought me when it came to visiting my friends at the rink, I think he secretly loved it. I spent the majority of my time watching the Littleton Hawks Midget Major AAA and three of my high school friends on the team. The irony? When I was two I used to throw tantrums at that same rink forcing both my brothers to stop playing hockey. Apparently their lengthy practices (they were two different age groups) and being stuck at a rink for four hours was not what I wanted to do. 15 years later I couldn’t get enough of that place, was there for every home game, and even traveled to watch them play as well. Just goes to show you that even the biggest adversary for the game can turn into the biggest fan 🙂

It’s been 15 years since I first watched and I still love hockey, still love the Avalanche. I can still remember the first time a Detroit fan threw an Octopus on the ice. I know exactly where I was when the Avalanche won their first cup, and I snuck a handheld television with me on a youth group retreat to watch the second one. I remember crying when Sakic handed the cup to Bourque, feeling worried when Patrick Roy retired, and outraged when Steve Moore’s face smashed into the ice. I remember the texts I got from friends in MN when Forsberg and Foote left because of the salary cap and exactly how I felt when Forsberg and Sakic left the organization and the NHL for good. There will never be a team I love more than the Avs, but I have grown to love a few more teams and a few more players. The Avs will always be my team, and I can’t see another team taking that spot any time soon.

Even though I live in the state of hockey now (Minnesota) I still find myself excited to meet fellow hockey fans, let alone Avalanche fans in a sea of Wild ‘fans’. So, if you’re ever in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area be sure to say what’s up and we’ll meet for a drink to discuss hockey.

You can follow me on twitter @cabeckham! Or if you have a question you want to ask, do so here 🙂

  1. April 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    YEAH COURTNEY! Get it girl!

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