I can already tell 2014 will be a fabulous year because by then, hopefully (prayers to Tebow), sports fans will have eliminated all awful sports gossip about Kobe's love life, the Kardashians shackin up with another professional burnout and maybe even all the "Orton or Tebow?" questions will finally be answered. Without all of this "news" engraved in our lives, sports fans can relax and watch a bad-blooded rivalry rekindle the flames.
Feel free to see past all of the recent blashpemous sports talk and venture back to good ol' 1996—a time when Iron Mike couldn't count all of his heavyweight crowns and the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" was at his freshest. Needless to say, sports fans everywhere were sippin on that good good.
In the 1996 NHL playoffs, a beautiful rivalry was born. The Red Wings were in town for Game 6 to hopefully clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup Final, but lost winger Kris Draper when he was violently checked into the boards face-first by hated NHL player Claude Lemieux.
Draper needed facial reconstruction surgery and had his jaw wired shut for about five weeks. Over the next seven NHL seasons, the two teams met in the postseason a total of five times, including the infamous "Brawl in Hockeytown"—a game that included nine fights (one between Stanley Cup champion goalies Patrick Roy and Mike Vernon) and 39 penalties racking up nearly 150 penalty minutes.
Since the glory years of the rivalry between Detroit and Colorado, Detroit has managed to make it to the Conference Semifinals three times and Stanley Cup Finals twice—winning one contest in 2008. Aside from a few early exits in the playoffs, the Avalanche have fallen to the bottom of the division. This season, however, they have added many young, talented faces and continue to revive championship caliber hockey in Denver. Look for the Avs to be a future force to be reckoned with in the Western Conference.