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New Center for Disease Control recommendation is a likely death blow to Avalanche/NHL season




The Center for Disease Control just issued a “recommendation” that there should be no formal or informal assemblies of 50 or more human beings in the United States for the next EIGHT WEEKS.

I think the NHL season is toast, folks. As in, no playoffs and no Stanley Cup. I fervently hope I’m wrong on that, but there’s just no way a professional sports league is going to take the risk of going against the Center for Disease Control during a global pandemic.

What a turn of events. I mean, I’m 55 and have never had my head spun in more directions than the past 7-10 days or so. A week ago TONIGHT I was in San Jose covering an Avs-Sharks game. Tonight, that arena is closed down and there are no professional sporting events – or college, or high school or anything – in the entire United States.

What an absolute bummer. I feel in a state of semi-shock as I write this. I am trying to make sense of what the hell me and my family are going to do for the next eight weeks, and how I’m going to keep making a living as a sports writer with zero sports to cover. I run an Avalanche-only website, with no Avalanche hockey to write about. A team that was ready for, I believe, a real Stanley Cup run. I liked their chances.

I hate to have just used the past tense about their chances.

This thing is done. Eight weeks, minimum, of no crowds, as recommended by the CDC, just unofficially eliminated the rest of the NBA/NHL seasons, not to mention pushing everything else way back. We don’t even know where ANY of this is going. Eight weeks might seem like a picnic. Maybe this goes on for months. This is brutal. I make a good portion of my living writing for a big sports betting site, and that income is GONE for as long as this thing lasts, and I’m PISSED ABOUT IT.

Yet, I know this: As of this moment, I have my health. I have a wife who has her health and a son who has his health. I am damn LUCKY.

The money lost? That’s life, kid. As one of my favorite lines from one of my favorite movies (Wall Street) goes, “Money is only something you need if you don’t die tomorrow.”

Yep. Day by day. Living in the moment, not worrying about the future or mourning the past. We have to somehow all get through this. Yeah, that sounds nice and reasonable. But, wait, what? Eight weeks cooped up in my house? Eight? Folks, I’ve read all the Stephen King books and all of Plato and Aristotle and the Ilyad and the Odyssey. I’ve listened to all the latest Joe Rogan and Kiss podcasts.

Sports has always been the thing that’s taken my mind off anything going on. Now, it’s gone. Or, is it? Maybe my son and his friends can organize kickball or whiffleball games like me as a kid and I can convince the bosses at the sports betting site to consider wagers on these games and everything will be OK and….ok, no.

First off, my son and his friends are not going to be out playing whiffleball. They’ll be inside playing/using their 2020-electronic instruments of entertainment, just like always.

Honestly, I don’t know who to believe anymore on this whole thing, and that’s what has me more mad than anything. On the one hand, you have doomsayers saying 150 million people in this country will be infected. On the other hand, you have people like Doctor Drew (hey, laugh if you must, but he’s a pretty prominent doctor) saying this is all way overblown and that the media are doing everyone a massive disservice overstating the real risk of this thing.

This whole thing has brought out my cynical, don’t-trust-authority, bitter side to my personality. I want to point fingers at everyone for this thing becoming what it has – the politicians, the media, Twitter, Facebook, the Red Wings, everyone. (Kidding on that last one).

But then the more mature side of me kicks in and says, “What are ya gonna do Dater? What are any of us gonna do? We just have to deal with it and try to make the best of it.” 

OK, so about the site: Of course, it will go on. We WILL get Avalanche hockey at some point. I don’t think it will be until this fall, on a brand new season, but again: I HOPE I’M WRONG.

One of the, I think, smart things I did when I started the site was keep the prices pretty low. So, in case anything bad happened (maybe I die four months in, after site launch – hey it could have happened) then I think most of you would have been OK with your low yearly rate out of pocket, and not stormed my site administrator for refunds.

My site launched on June 13. So many of you are paid through that date. Even if we lose all of April and May to all things Avs, we’ll have things like the draft and free agency and all the other good stuff that comes with hockey back in gear and I know – or trust anyway – that you will want to keep reading about that stuff.

The cruel irony is: we were just about to really go to another level of coverage here, with the playoffs approaching.

I don’t think we have the playoffs at all anymore. The CDC should be heeded more than anyone right now, obviously. No chance – none – a commissioner such as Gary Bettman, a lawyer by trade, is going to go against the CDC.

I wish I never had to write this column. It was depressing to me, truly.

But let’s just try to get through this, eh?

Hey, and if anyone wants to put a few bucks in that “Avs Travel Tip Jar”, don’t let me stop you. (Look to the side here, the link is probably near there). You’ll help guarantee the lights stay on with this thing if you do. I will also increase the donation from 5 cents of every dollar donated to the Thornton Food Bank to 20 cents. And, I mean it, I would never eff around with the money on something like that.

I’m also open to any and all suggestions for what you want to read, as an Avs fan. Do you want me to tell lots of old Avs stories? Want “Best of”, “Worst of” lists?

Tell me, and I’ll do it. Shit, I got nothin’ else to do now.

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Evan Rawal, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

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