By Adrian Dater
Born and raised in West Des Moines, Iowa, J.T. Nutt has worn a lot of hats in his life. Now in the process of taking over the family business of rental construction equipment, he has also worked in the television business and operated a camera in a hockey arena.
A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Nutt used to play roller hockey, but a few years ago decided to give real hockey a try – and now he’s a regular at his weekly beer league. How did a guy from Iowa come to love the Avs? It’s a bit complicated.
“My love for hockey goes back to 1993. Back in the days where you would trade video games with buddies. I had recently started liking hockey a little bit because they had a team named the sharks. I was obsessed with sharks so that drew my attention. Gave up Road Rash II for NHLPA 93. That year the NHL had a game with the team, and the NHLPA had a game with the players but no team names. Same colors and cities and both made by EA. I played the game and loved to score with Kirk Muller and Patrick Roy was awesome. The Stanley Cup finals were on as we were picking my sister up from a horse camp called Culver in Indiana. I think we were in Valpo and I watched this Roy guy stone Gretzky time and time again. It was a tiny TV in a hotel room but I was hooked. I would hound the local sports clothing store but they wouldn’t get the jersey until “he learned to spell his name right”. This is the days where you couldn’t just eBay or Amazon things. Montreal jerseys in Des Moines, Iowa? Nope. But…then he got traded to the Avs. I never missed a playoff game unless it was on a tv station we didn’t get. We still did not get ESPN2 or Versus network until after 2000 because TCI Cable was horrendous and the only ball game in town. Then Patrick retired and there were the lockouts and I stopped caring.
Video games actually are the vehicle that got me into some of my favorite bands (listed below in the 5 songs), hockey, pro wrestling, and a few other things that are hobbies to this day. Now if I only had time to play them any more…
I make the drive to Denver at least once a year. Used to fly out because I had friends who lived in Castle Rock and Centennial. They moved away so now I drive. Stop in Kearney on the way out. I’m a fan of trains and there is a brewery by the tracks that gets Altitude TV as well. Not a bad drive out, but losing an hour coming back is hard. Went to Game 7 vs the Wild and also game 82. That was the most fun I’ve ever had at a sporting event. Yes that was more fun than a World Series game at Wrigley and the Ali Farkohmanesh game against KU. The atmosphere was electric. I love coming to Denver and would make it a lot more often if it wasn’t that far of a drive and I don’t want to miss hockey games and let the team down.
In around 2009 a kid on my roller hockey team was listening to a radio broadcast on his phone. He said it was free. It was when Dutchy was coming into his own and before Landy came into the picture. I was back. The Avs were back, then they weren’t, then they were, they weren’t, now they are again.”
Welcome to the Colorado Hockey Now Family, J.T. Thanks for the support.
TAKE FIVE (QUESTIONS)
1. If you were given the choice of one year off your expected/actual life span in exchange for a guarantee of the Avs winning a Stanley Cup in one of the next two years – which you’d be alive for no matter what – would you do it?
10 years ago, I would have said absolutely. But they have already done it once when I was in high school so the answer would be no. I do expect them to be winning one in the next few years but I’d rather have the year of eligibility before my soul enters free agency.
2. Have you ever changed your own flat tire?
Yes, in college. Not sure I could do it today.
3. If you could be a character in a video game, which game would it be?
Maaan…this one is tough. I could say a player from the NHL games but that’s not really a video game character. I’d have to say Master Chief from Halo.
4. I have a recurring dream where I thought I had properly dropped a college class, but somehow am in the classroom on final exam day having to take the test because, yes, I’m still enrolled in the class and everybody has been asking “where ya been?”. What is your recurring dream, if you have one?
That I have a term paper due and I haven’t started it yet. Have to have read a few books and articles to add to the thesis. Must have a synopsis of each. Due on Tuesday and it’s Sunday night. I haven’t gone into class in weeks. Oh and I can’t remember my locker combination or location. Somehow my high school and college nightmares have morphed.
5. Every time I go through a certain tollbooth in New Hampshire, whenever I go back, I always pay the $1 fee for the car behind me and speed off so they can’t thank me in person because I’d feel embarrassed or maybe they’d look at me weird or something. But it always makes me feel good in the end. Have you ever done this?
Not a ton of opportunities for that in Iowa. The only toll I’ve had to take has been in Illinois on I-88 and then the Kansas Turnpike when I used to head to Wichita to cover UNI basketball games. I eventually bought an I-Pass that lets me drive right through. I never have done it but should have paid it forward in the past. I have tipped a bartender when she got shorted. “Sully’s”, right by my house, a young guy with a wad full of cash ordered 8 shots, then ordered 4 beers, then 5 more shots and tipped…$1. I genuinely believe in generous tips. They don’t make much and they are bringing me food and/or beer that’s making my life better. Tip your waitstaff people!