The Centennial Soapbox

Hello again, FanNation! It has again been a long while since I've stood on my Soapbox, but I haven't completely forgotten about you. I am currently in the midst of my student teaching semester, finishing my degree in agricultural education from Colorado State University. I am nestled in a tiny town in the Rocky Mountains, 62 miles from the nearest...anything. I'm enjoying it, and I have realized that I am very blessed to have landed here for my experience. I'm lovin' life, and I certainly hope you are too.

My prospects for happiness are looking up with the recent news that my favorite player ever, Peter the Great, is on his way back with the Colorado Avalanche. My puckhead friends that have gotten to know me over the years on this site know two things about me - I love the Colorado Avalanche, and Peter Forsberg is the greatest athlete to have ever graced the ice. Hyperbole, to be sure, but I do love Foppa.

Understandably, many NHL fans that aren't emotionally connected to the Avalanche have grown tired with Forsberg's comeback attempts over the past few years. I get that. Really, I do. There are some things that I don't understand, though. First, I don't get why some people think Foppa is treating Avs fans unfairly. As an athlete, only John Elway is held in higher regard in this region. Foppa is more popular than the likes of Sakic, Roy, Helton, or anybody that has ever played for the Nuggets. Saying that, we are well aware that this isn't 2003. If Foppa comes back and plays, awesome. If it doesn't work, we understand. But we'll never feel unfairly treated by the man. So please, don't worry about Avs fans.

Second, the notion that Forsberg would skate with the Avs to get in shape, then sign with another team is beyond ridiculous. That simply will not happen. Colorado is the only place where the fanbase will accept him with open arms. The reason is simple - we love the guy. We also know that he won't be playing every game, and he won't be what he once was. We know what we are getting into. It just won't work anywhere else.

What irks me beyond belief, though, are the constant comparisons to Brett Favre. Simply put, there is simply no comparison. Forsberg wants to play hockey. Favre wants to make money. Forsberg will only play if he can play at an acceptable level. Favre will only play if he can make money. Forsberg has repeatedly stated he will never play for the Red Wings. Favre couldn't wait to go to his team's chief rival. In that sense, they are nothing alike. Foppa has never tried to play the game for anything other than a love of the game. Forsberg has never needed teammates to fly to Sweden to convince him to play. Forsberg played for MoDo in Sweden last year for free to help the team out. There is just no comparison.

Finally, Forsberg has never - NEVER - come out of retirement, despite what many have said in recent days. Even in recent years, he has been up front about the fact that he wants to play in the NHL. Never once has he ever announced his retirement. I really can't understand where that notion came from. Staying away due to health concerns is not retiring. Retiring is retiring. It is a completely different situation that anything that Favre has put fans and teammates through in recent years. In fact, it is completely different than Scott Niedermayer or Mats Sundin of years past. This is a fickle body situation, not a fickle mind situation.

Again, I understand why fans in other markets grow tired of Forsberg attempting to come back every year. Unfortunately, the media circus comes with being one of the greatest players to ever play the game. Please, though, for everyone's sanity, stop the Favre comparisons. They are way off base. And please don't feel sorry for Avs fans. We know what we are getting into with Peter Forsberg. Worst case scenario is that it doesn't work and he's played his last game. At best, he'll play as long as he can and not be quite what he once was. If that happens, though, we'll get to watch our hero a few more times and be happy for it knowing that he is no longer the Hart Trophy winner that he once was.

January 28, 2011  06:55 PM ET

Welcome back Chief! Its been far too long.... I'm glad all is well with you.

I'm interested to hear your thoughts the state of the Broncos.

January 28, 2011  07:02 PM ET

Good to see ya, wt. Glad life is treating you well.

Forsberg has triple the integrity of Mats Sundin, and 7 times the integrity of Favre.

Detroit, as usual, is the big road block out West, but a hot goalie and the ghost of Forsberg stacks them up nicely against the rest of the West.

January 28, 2011  07:20 PM ET

Welcome back Chief! Its been far too long.... I'm glad all is well with you.I'm interested to hear your thoughts the state of the Broncos.

They're on the way, Jay. I promise. I'm living alone in a new place, so I have plenty of time on my hands I'll get to it one of these days. Someday I gotta get up to 100 blogs on this ole site.

January 30, 2011  02:53 PM ET

Hey Chief, LTNS! I am also a diehard Avs fan as you know. But I do disagree with some of what you said.

You said that Foppa is more beloved than Joe, Patty, and Helton. I disagree. Had he taken a pay cut to stay here, yeah, he might have been. But he left.

You said that Favre is about money while Foppa is about the game. I agree with the Foppa part but Favre reportedly turned down 20 mil to retire a Packer.

All that aside, I can't wait to see Peter the Great glide on that ice again for the Avs.

March 15, 2011  02:23 PM ET

Hello wt. Just saw this blog..........good to see and hear from you.

March 20, 2011  06:21 PM ET

Hi wt,

It's good to see you active here again.

Every town has its beloved heros. I know of how you feel about Forsberg since it mirrors how we in Motown respect Howe, Kaline, Bing, and Layne--and coaches like Sparky. (Yes, here hockey outranks all the others and Howe has his special place in the Motor City.)

I don't know how Howe compares to Forsberg in terms of retirement, since Howe never really retired until he was in his sixties. I hope for the sake of Av's fans that Foppa can make it that far.


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