Member story: Norbert from AustriaIn its 10th season, Eurolanche introduces its members thru the regular weekly series "Member stories".
As of the beginning of 2015/16 season, Eurolanche has 640 members from 39 countries worldwide. There is a special and unique story behind each Fan Club's member. Eurolanche will introduce a limited number of its memebrs in the regular season with a new story coming every week. If you would like to be a part of this series and share your story with the fans, contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org. There are still few free places in the limited series.
Austria is not really a hot-bed when it comes to ice hockey. During winter, most of the Austrians are dedicated to skiing and everything, which can be done on skis. Nevertheless, for Norbert Gruber, 33, it was all about hockey starting by the age of 10. After following the NHL for three years on a neutral basis, he decided it was time to pick a favourite team. It was during that year that the city of Denver was supposed to get a new NHL franchise. “I decided to pick the moving team, as the stars from the former Nordiques were some of my favourite players,” explained Norbert.
Being an Avs fan in isolation for nearly 12 years, the creation of the Eurolanche Fan Club finally made it possible for Norbert to talk to people, who share his passion. Most of the discussions took place on the internet and they usually met only once or twice a year. But nevertheless, it became clear for them that they all wanted to go to Denver together to see the Avs play live in front of them.
Norbert with Joe Sakic at his second trip to Denver - Eurolanche Invasion III.
In 2009, though, Norbert finally managed to travel to Denver for the first time with two other Eurolanche members as part of the Eurolanche Invasion II. “Despite the fact that I already owned three Avalanche jerseys, it was clear for me that I would clear out the official merchandise shop, not just by buying shirts and sweaters, but also by byuing the new set of jerseys. After buying the new away jersey, I had an idea to keep the back of the jersey blank and maybe use it to collect signatures on the big white spot. When I made this decision, I never expected that my jersey is going to look the way it is looking right now,” said Norbert.
Being so impressed by the experience of seeing the Avs play in person, it was clear for Norbert that he had to come back to Denver after his first trip to see them again and to get some more signatures. “Well, what can I say? I came back, but not just once, but five more times. After finishing my fifth Invasion, I ran out of space on the back of the jersey, where the number and the name of the player usually are. So starting with my sixth Invasion in 2016, I was forced to also start using the sleeves for signatures,” said Norbert, who works in the Financial Services Industry as an advisor/consultant and write articles in German language for Eurolanche.com.
“Of course, the plan is to keep it going and probably, during my next Invasion, I might have to use the front side of my jersey. And to be more careful than ever, as the value of the jersey increases with each and every new signature,” concluded Norbert. Not that he is wearing and carrying his jersey carelessly so that it might tear. The problem is that, because of all the signatures, he is not able to wash the jersey in a wash machine. Therefore, he has to take care of stains from food and beer, which is the hardest part when wearing the jersey.
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17/10/2016 - 08:00