The Jersey Curse

BY: Stacey Gerhart

Its the standard progression of any hockey fanatic: you become a fan of a particular team, find yourself consistently rooting for one player over the others, and then to show your support for your favorite player – you get their jersey to wear proudly to each and every home game that you attend.
I have been an Avalanche fan ever since the team settled in Denver but my infatuation with hockey started around 2001 when the Avs won their second Stanley Cup! It was during that amazing season that the Avalanche acquired what would soon become my favorite player – Rob Blake.
Blake was/is an exceptional defensemen and the thing that I loved the most during his time with the Avs was his uncanny ability to slyly skate backward into an opponent, in the middle of the rink, and put them flat on the ice with a simple shove that never seemed to faze him. It seems a bit odd to say when talking about hockey – but there was something graceful about the way he checked people mid-ice.
Needless to say, Blake was my favorite player and I made it known to all of my friends and family, so it wasn’t entirely shocking when a box arrived during the summer of 2006 that contained an authentic Avalanche jersey with the number 4 displayed on the back. I was ecstatic and immediately called my step-dad to thank him for the perfect gift. I couldn’t wait to go to the Pepsi Center during the next season to proudly show my support for Blake.
But as it would turn out, I never got the chance to wear my jersey during a game that Blake played for the Avs. The Avs management decided against renewing Blake’s contract that summer and Blake returned to the Los Angeles Kings for the 2006-2007 season.
To be honest…the thought did cross my mind – was this because I just got his jersey? Did I jinx it somehow?
Even though Blake was my favorite player – the Avs are my team – so my husband and I continue our treks down to the Pepsi Center each season to watch the Avs battle.
I always wear my Blake jersey, but up until this year, my husband never had any Avalanche gear of his own. For the past year or so he’s been cheering for Wolski – so when Christmas rolled around it seemed obvious what I would get him. The smile on my husband’s face when he pulled out a maroon and blue jersey with the number 8 stitched on the back was priceless.
But as you all know…the trade deadline came and went and along with it….Wolski.
When I gave my husband the news, we both looked at each other and said with a smile….
”We are not allowed to get any more jerseys!”


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