Winning Isn't Everything: Denver's Fair Weather Fans Take Note

Ricki DugdaleContributor IFebruary 25, 2010

DENVER - APRIL 15:  Fans welcome the Colorado Avalanche to the ice as they host the Minnesota Wild during game four of the 2008 NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals on April 15, 2008 at the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Most athletes have no doubt heard these three words spoken after a loss or even muttered them personally, complete with a heavy sigh, then soldiered on the next week. However, Denver fans seem to have a hard time grasping the concept.

Even after two Super Bowls, two Stanley Cups, a National League crown and countless trips to the playoffs over the last 22 years, one very unsatisfying pattern has emerged when it comes to a majority of the Denver fan base – fair weather-itis.

The 2009 Broncos season is the perfect example of how quick Denver fans are to drop a team. With a new coach in place, a new quarterback and a stacked offense it was exciting to see so many fans excited for the season ahead and when the team posted an early record of 6-0, fans were emerging from the woodwork everywhere.

Week eight would be sure to change that.

Yes, the Broncos went on to go 8-8 on the season, losing eight of the last ten games. Yes, the Broncos blew their shot at a wild card spot but guess what? It could have been worse. Looking back at the season, the games Denver won were big and exciting and even the games they lost were, at the very least, entertaining. The losses to Baltimore and Kansas City at the end of year were worthy of a good laugh.

The number of fans that lost sight of the fact that professional sports are supposed to be fun to watch was apparent. It's OK to laugh at, and therefore enjoy, being a fan of Denver teams.

Now understandably watching a winning team is more fun than watching a team that loses, but think about how much more adrenaline-pumping and heart-pounding a win would be if you were there through the rough times.

Take the Colorado Eagles for example. True, they are not a big-name team but the fans in Northern Colorado are there through thick and thin. The Eagles were looking for a back-to-back championship but the 2007-08 President’s Cup series ended in heartache after the Arizona Sundogs swept the Eagles.

However, the biggest surprise was not what happened on the ice but what happened in the seats.

Every seat was occupied as the final buzzer sounded in Game Four and every fan not only celebrated the Eagles’ season but also gave a standing ovation to the Sundogs for their well-deserved victory.

Fans everywhere can take a note from Eagles’ fans. Putting a “W” in the win column is always nice, but it doesn’t have to happen to enjoy a season and enjoy being a Colorado fan.