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January 30, 2008 5:00 AM

Drew Litton: Avalanche...Walking Wounded

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Heads up fellow football fanatics. This Super Bowl Sunday you're cordially invited to check out the blog as I'll be drawing cartoons during the game and posting them throughout the afternoon and evening. I've never done something like this before and though it isn't quite as daring as, say, Evel Knievel's Snake River Canyon jump, it is does create the possibility that a cartoonist will spontaneously combust right in front of his very sketchbook. So get out your laptops and join me as I attempt chronicle the NFLs spectacle of all spectacles on a high wire thousands of feet above the Mile High city. Well, not really. But it might just feel that way. I'll start the cartoons Sunday about 2 p.m., and continue right on through until the Fat Lady sings or Belichick forks over the binoculars, whichever comes first. Then I'll draw my daily for Monday which I'll post about 11 p.m. Sunday night. Hope you all will come along for the ride.



Discussion

  • January 30, 2008

    6:41 AM

    Gordo writes:

    Isn't this toon the truth about the Aves.

  • January 30, 2008

    10:00 AM

    Ken writes:

    No doubt, Gordo. Couldn't agree more. The Avs' luck with injuries could not be worse this year. It's amazing that they're staying in the playoff race.

  • January 30, 2008

    1:06 PM

    Tom writes:

    I hate to say it, but the Avs are finally dealing with a lot of the same things that just about every other NHL franchise has been dealing with for next to forever. They're dealing with injuries, having to bring youth into the team's roster, players getting old, poor coaching....etc.

    When the Nordiques were transferred to Colorado, the city of Denver was gifted a franchise that had skilled youth and a team on the rise. Then, unbelievably, Patrick Roy demanded a trade.

    The next 10 years were predictable. If any expansion team started out with the same kind of talent, they would also have had immediate success.

    As it is currently, the Avs franchise and its fanbase are just now getting a much needed dose of NHL reality. Teams do not stay on top forever. Eventually players get old (Sakic, Roy)or become chronically injured(Forsberg). General Managers make decisions that come back to haunt the franchise (trading Drury, trading Tanguay), and it starts a downward spiral that might take a number of years to recover from. Teams have to suck for a while to get good.
    Look at the Washington Capitals for example. They had a good team for a long time through the 80's & 90's. They made the playoffs almost every year, had a decent enough fanbase, but just didn't have extended playoff success. Still, they were a solid franchise. Then they made some very bad decisions (trading for Jagr and giving him a franchise-crippling contract being the main one) and lost a ton of money and had to conduct a firesale. Because of that firesale, the team sucked on the ice for a number of seasons. There was a silver lining, however. The silver lining is Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Mike Green, and eventually others from their strong farm system built through the draft over the last 5 years and some.
    The Avs are going to have to face adversity, and yeah...probably suck for a while to get better for the long term. Sakic doesn't have much longer, a year or two at best. Brunette will be gone soon enough. Hejduk is a shell fo the player he was when he played with Forsberg, & Theodore is being showcased.
    There's young talent on the Avs roster, but it's going to take a while, probably 3-5 years for the roster to mature enough, to get back to being a team that falls under the category of "elite". There are simply too many other teams who have gotten better through smart drafting and wise free agent signings. All of this adversity was bound to happen at some point, and it's happening now.

    At this time, it's all now a matter of how the franchise and fanbase deals with it.

    Strangely enouugh, I've seen a great deal of talk going on in forums where people are barking to have the Avs resign Forsberg. My answer to that would be that there is no way for a franchise to move forward if it keeps living in the past.

    Cheers.

  • January 30, 2008

    2:37 PM

    Sportz Fan writes:

    Tom-

    I don't always agree with all of your posts but I think you summed it up pretty well in those couple of paragraph's.

    We were certainly spoiled winning 10 division championships in a row and now have to deal with the adversity that comes along in the life of every franchise.

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