Friday, August 27, 2010

The Will to Win

In order for a team to be successful, they need the will to win. Whether its the will to win a game, a series, or even the championship, teams need to have that will. The other important thing that a team needs is chemistry. A team could have 20 player that all have the will to win but if they can't work together as a team, they won't win games.

Let's start off with the Colorado Rockies. I am just going to talk about one Rockies game where it definitely took a will to win. The game was August 25, 2010 against the Atlanta Braves in Denver. Esmil Rogers, the starting pitcher for the Rockies lasted 2 and 2/3 innings before having to be replaced. It was 7-0 when Rogers he was pulled. The third inning wasn't much better as the Rockies then went behind 10-1. After 5 innings, the Rockies slowly started to pick away at the Braves' lead, trailing 10-5. The Rockies weren't quite done in the 6th, scoring 3 runs, now it was 10-8. Bottom of the 8th, Rockies score 4 runs to make it 12-10. They needed 3 more outs to win. Top of the 9th, batter 1, pops out to Shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki. Batter 2, grounds out to third baseman, Melvin Mora. Batter 3, flies out to left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, game over. The Rockies scored 11 runs in the last 5 innings to win the game 12-10, sweeping the series against the Braves.

Next, the 2001 Colorado Avalanche. It was Ray Bourque's last season in the NHL, he had never won the Stanley Cup and the Avs were trying to win it for Ray. The Avs had their best season that year. Patrick Roy got his NHL record 448th win, Denver hosted the all-star game and the Avs won the President's Trophy (awarded to the team who has the most points at the end of the regular season). The next step was to win 16 more games and the cup would be theirs. In the fourth and final round of the playoffs, the Avs faced the defending champions, the New Jersey Devils. The Avs fell back 3-2 in game five, bringing the series to New Jersey for game 6 in front of the Devil's fans. if the Devil's win, the season would be over for the Avs. If the Avs win, then they head back to Denver for game 7. The Avs won game six 4-0. Game seven brought more joy to the city of Denver as they defeated the Devils 3-1, bringing the Stanley Cup back to Denver and winning the Stanley Cup for Bourque.

Finally, the New Orleans Saints ( Yes I love the Saints!). The Saints had never won the Super Bowl and they had never even made an appearence to the Super Bowl before. That was until last season when they had the best season in Saint's history. After Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, things were never quite the same. The 2005 season for the Saints was spent away from their home arena, the Superdome. They played home games either at the Alamodome in San Antonio Texas or in LSU's Tiger Stadium. In 2006, a year after Katrina, the Saint's were back in the Superdome in New Orleans. The Saint's owner announced before the season that the Superdome was sold out for the entire season with season tickets. The 2006 season came to an end when they lost to the Bears in the NFC Championship game. The 2007 and 2008 seasons were big losses for the Saints. They finished 7-9 and 8-8 respectively in each season. In 2009, the Saints started the season with 13 wins before losing the last 3 games of the season. For the first time in Saint's history, they made it to the Super Bowl to face the Indianapolis Colts. They won Super Bowl 44 by a score of 31-17 in Indianapolis.

There are many other teams that I could have written about but these teams are close to my heart. They work hard year after year and even though it doesn't always turn out how they wanted it to, they still work as a team and they have that will to win. The Avs won the Cup for Ray Bourque, the Saints won their first ever Super Bowl, 4 years after Hurricane Katrina and for the Rockies, hopefully that game was a sign for some good to come.

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