The thought of not being in the same building with the Avalanche during a playoff game sickens me. To my knowledge and accounting still, it’s only happened twice: Once, in Game 6 of the 1998 first round against Edmonton, in Edmonton. My grandmother, a wonderful woman, died before that game and I made the wise choice of going all the way from Denver to Ashfield, Mass., to attend her funeral.
The other came, I believe, in Game 4 of the 2008 Western quarterfinals, in Minnesota. I was just really sick, with an intestinal disorder. I remember going to a clinic in some place on the outskirts of St. Paul, getting some medication after a pretty uncomfortable examination.
I don’t want to be sitting on my couch in Denver when the Avs play in Edmonton early next month. I want to be where the action is – even if the “action” this year means sitting at the top of the arena watching the game, with no chance to get in the locker room for any postgame interviews.
But, the more I lamented over this sad new reality because of the coronavirus, the more I realized: “Hey, it’s not all that different from what we get now.”
All press watches every game from the press boxes, high up in the arena. So that part won’t change. OK, so I won’t be allowed into the locker room for five minutes after the game to stand next to a player to ask questions such as “So, what was the key out there?”
So, now I have to ask that same question from a Zoom session. Not a huge deal. Of course, I want to be in the locker room to answer such a mundane question, because it would show all that access I have, as a credentialed reporter. And, later with my equally pretentious media pals, we can feel superior about this while clinking a Molson Golden at a postgame watering hole.
But the fact is, we can do without that for one playoff during a global pandemic. If I’m not in Edmonton for Avalanche playoff games, the earth will still turn, no question aboot it.
But I want to go. I figure being in the same arena as the Avalanche during Stanley Covid Finals, 2020, would still be a story I can forever tell at cocktail parties. But seriously, it would be a unique experience, no?
The bottom line about sports media business: it’s always better to be there as the reporter, instead of sitting on the couch or a barstool. What, you don’t think I’m going to go all the way there and not dig out a lot better story than the reporter from Denver sitting at home watching on a flat screen? Hell yes, I’m gonna paint the scene from there in all aspects, if I have the chance.
I feel very deeply about the Avalanche. This is the team I’ve covered since 1995, before they even were called the Avalanche. I’m supposed to be unbiased, but fuck that. I want them to win the Stanley Cup, and there’s no shame in saying that. This will sound too grandiose I’m sure, but I feel something of a responsibility to you. I want to sum up what the real stories are with this team better than anybody possibly can. I want my readers to think, “That’s the best, most unique coverage of the Colorado Avalanche I can possibly ask for.” My fastball might not be 98 anymore, but I can still bring it when I want to. And, I want to bring it, more than ever.
Of course, I would come to Canada only in full health. I am fully prepared for the mandatory two-week quarantine at my airbnb upon arrival. I will ready to do whatever it is needed to keep me and my environs as safe as can be.
So, if you want to help send me to Edmonton for possibly as long as TWO MONTHS, well, no, I won’t turn it down. There is that Avalanche tip jar, just to the right of where you’re scrolling now. If you don’t want to scroll over, you can click on it right here.
I’m not a guy who asks for handouts. If I’ve got two working feet, two working arms and a brain that still can add two plus 2 and have it come out to four, then I can fend for myself. I think it was Camus who said, “Once I complained about having no shoes, ’til I met a man with no feet.”
But, yeah, if you want to contribute to the Tip Jar (LINK HERE), I won’t stop you. I’m a smart shopper when it comes to getting the best travel deals, so no money will be wasted on over-pretentious digs. Give me a bed, running water and a working TV and I’m fine.
Let’s see what happens. If I can’t get to Edmonton because of COVID-19 restrictions, then I’ll refund any money donated to the Tip Jar. No questions asked, no bullshit.
But I plan to bring you lots of unique content if I am there in Edmonton. Who knows, you might even get famous with some of the stuff I have planned.
The puck is in your end, CHN readers.