Dear Colorado Avalanche.
My name is Phil and I am an Avaholic. The condition started in 95, when I watched a video recording from Channel 5, in the middle of the night, here in the UK. We had poor reception, so the picture was fuzzy and could only be discerned from across the room. Up close, it looked like a swarm of black and white bees in a snowstorm.
Having said that, it was clear enough to see a sport that was fast, exciting and brutal and literally raised my heartrate. I couldn't actually see the puck, but by watching the players, I could guess where it was. Sure, I had been into hockey since the release of EA Hockey on the Sega Megadrive (Genesis, for my transatlantic cousins), but this was the first time I had seen it "live."
Since then, I was addicted. At one point, I was having family problems and seriously considered changing my last name to Forsberg as a way to remove my family surname. I have watched local teams and will, one day, make my pilgrimage to the hallowed ground that is the Pepsi Centre.
Now, please bear that in mind, that I love you all. Anyone who dons the burgandy and blue will always be like family to me.
Unfortunately, I do the following because I love you. It is tough love.
Oh, sorry, there is someone here who wants a word. Why, it's Bruce Boudreau. I am honoured to have you here sir, what would you like to say?
"What the f**k is wrong with this team? You guys got no f**king heart, no f**king balls.
Anderson - where the f**k is that f**king stud goalie from last year? New pads? F**k that. Get your f**king head outta your ass and play like you want to be a starting f**king goalie and not some backup for the Tallahassee Warthogs!"
Hunwick - what the f**k? We bought out Tom Preissing, but we continue f**king playing you?
Foote - how the f**k are you still playing? I mean (thud) shit, does that ever hurt, oh my f**king nose....I mean, you play really well man, want to sign an extension?
Liles - great play man, keep it up.
Koci - you look like a f**king concentration camp guard. How the f**k are you so sweet and gentle? Look, there's no need for physical violence, oh, that kind of tickles...he he he.
Porter - I'll give you a hint - your f**king career choice is in your name
Yip - your surname sounds like a dog with diarrhoea. You f**king play like it too.
Duchene - you like f**king vodka? What are you, some kind of f**king commie?
Shattenkirk - are you some kind of f**king monk with that haircut?
Chris Stewart - it's about f**king time you put some f**king God Damn in your f**king name again.
Forsberg - They call you what? I'm f**king sorry about that man, my nephew had his taken off, he's Jewish, you know? F**king hurts like a motherf**ker.
Come on guys, we need to f**king sort this f**king thing oot. Let's f**king play like I know you can. We're only five goals down and it's f**king time to f**king end this f**king losing streak. Come on, please? For f**king me? It's f**king February tomorrow, so let's f**king play like we want to fucking make the playoffs? Deal?"
Er, okay, thank you very much Mr Boudreau, I think I can hear Alex Ovechkin asking for you. (Slams door).
What I wanted to say is Let's Go Avs! Here's to a better month.