What would you do for a Championship?

The_trophy_mediumThe popular commercial jingle asks: What would you do for a Klondike Bar? My buddy DT and I like to joke, "Would I kill a guy? ... Yeah, yeah I guess I would!" Would having to spend the rest of your life in prison really be worth a little square of processed ice cream? Um no. But what sorts of labors would be worth a championship for our Denver Nuggets? What would a championship mean to the fans?

A quick shout-out to my buddy Nick who is celebrating his 28th Birthday today, Quack Quack Mr. Ducksworth! 

 

Over the years we've seen some crazy things in the world of sports. The Boston Red Sox famously won the World Series in 2004 ending decades of misery, the Chicago White Sox brought their fans joy in 2005 when they won it all, in 2008 the Boston Celtics got back on top with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and just a few months ago the New Orleans Saints turned their cursed franchise of the Aints around with a Super Bowl win over the favored Indianapolis Colts. And on the local scene Coloradans were treated to a few championships as well.

Trophy_mediumIn 1997 the Denver Broncos shocked the world by beating the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXII and then rolled through the 1998 season, avoided the challenge of playing the Minnesota Vikings (even though the players wanted to face the Vikings), and destroyed the Atlanta Falcons in Super Bowl XXXIII. The Colorado Avalanche gave Colorado some hardware with Stanley Cup wins in 1996 and 2001. That's four championships in a six-year span over the past 14 years.

So, two of the four major teams in Colorado have been on top of their league twice in recent history. But the other two teams, the Rockies and our Nuggets have not been able to get it done. The Rockies, at least, have a World Series trip under their belt in 2007 and they've only been around since 1993. But what about our Nuggets' drought?

Looking at their current city, here is the list of teams that have not only not won an NBA championship, but haven't even appeared in the NBA Finals:

1.) Atlanta Hawks 1968 - 42 years and counting ...
2.) Denver Nuggets 1976 - 34 years and counting ...
3.) Los Angeles Clippers 1984 - 26 years and counting ...
4.) Sacramento Kings - 1985 - 25 years and counting ...
5.) Minnesota Timberwolves 1989 - 21 years and counting ...
6.) Toronto Raptors 1995 - 15 years and counting ...
7.) Memphis Grizzlies 2001 - 9 years and counting ...
8.) New Orleans Hornets 2002 - 8 years and counting ...
9.) Charlotte Bobcats 2003 - 7 years and counting ...
10.) Oklahoma City Thunder 2008 - 2 years and counting ...

The Nuggets have been gunning for a championship since before I was born. For a lot of readers that might not be the case and I hope that at some point in the future I'm not telling my kids, "some day ... some day they'll win one." And the scarier part ... what if my lifetime passes and they still don't have a ring? Are there going to be a lot of old and bitter Nuggets fans that expect to maybe get close, but always expect the worst at crucial times? Are there already a lot of old and bitter fans? Will we always be looking towards next year?

Elway_mediumDoes a fan-base become a great one with more misery? I only clearly remember the Broncos embarrassing Super Bowl XXIV loss on January 28, 1990 to the San Francisco 49'ers. I was alive for the losses to the Giants and Redskins, but too little to really remember them and I wasn't around for the Cowboys loss in 1978. But the suffering and the fans not having much hope for a Super Bowl win made the back-to-back Super Bowl wins all the more sweet. Now every time John Elway is put on the jumbotron at the Pepsi Center or seen anywhere in Colorado he's treated like a king. But a funny thing happened to me after the Broncos won those two Super Bowls and John Elway retired ... a part of my fandom retired right along with him. For some reason I have stopped caring as much as I did about the Broncos. I think perhaps that the Super Bowl wins allowed me to become complacent, like I felt my years of fanhood paid off and I could focus my attention elsewhere. I also was attached to those 1990s Broncos teams because my parents had and still have season tickets. Sundays were geared around games and Broncos football was a family activity. 

When Elway retired and the players started leaving I just didn't feel as connected to the team. There have been a few constants with the Nuggets over the years and they are: Nene, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Andersen and Kenyon Martin. Other players have come and gone, but the core of the team or the roots are still in place and that keeps me interested. I do fear that if the Nuggets win it all and some faces begin to leave that I might again become complacent. So maybe part of me never wants the Nuggets to win so that I can keep looking forward to the first time. There are a lot of things in life that are better before they happen, and there are also things that are great to experience.

What will I do for a Championship? I don't know, but like having to spend the rest of my life in jail for a Klondike Bar, I'm afraid of the consequences of my team getting that ring. 

 

Big_lawson_medium

 

 

ntimmons73@yahoo.com
Twitter: Nate_Timmons

Photos courtesy of AP Photos and Getty Images

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