MOUNTAIN MAN: They’re Coming—to Rock Your Sox Off

I’m not exactly the biggest baseball fan in the world. I like the sport just fine, but I’ll take a pigskin or the round orange ball to the one they use on the diamond if given the choice.

So you can imagine the situation I find myself in now, as my hometown Rockies are just hours away from playing their first-ever World Series game, a mere three miles south of the place I call home nine months out of the year.

With my reserved excitement for baseball, you may be asking: will my loyalties lie with the local team, or my local team, the one that plays 2,000 miles away in a stadium named for a beer company?

The choice, as it stands, is not one at all. I am a Rockies fan, and as much flak as it might cause me in these unfriendly northeastern parts, my allegiance is—and will always be—to Colorado.

It’s true that, at the beginning of this season, I would have struggled to name five Rockies players. Let’s not call my fandom fair-weather, let’s call it winning-motivated.

Either way, the Rocky Mountain view has significant advantages over the baked-bean-filled smell of the Boston air.

Let’s be honest: who would you rather root for, a team that is becoming more and more like the rival that it claims to hate, a team that now perennially finds itself within arm’s length of the crown, a team whose fans are in a never-ending sobfest, crying about their misfortunes just three years removed from a title?

Or a team full of hard workers, a team that cares more about the current task than the bitter hand that has historically been dealt to it, a team whose fans know how to take a loss—or two, or a couple thousand?

It’s clear: being a Rockies fan, while once a designation that brought looks of confusion, misunderstanding, and straight-up laughter, is now a badge of honor. It is a designation that now belongs to an entire city, a designation that has united a collection of citizens that have longed—patiently, mind you—for the days of baseball success.

Is it any surprise that the rest of the country has joined together in rooting for Matt Holliday, Todd Helton, and Jeff Francis? If the so-called Idiots in Boston are so wonderful, then, where’s the love from the rest of America?

Putting the Rockies’ remarkable, extraordinary, and astonishing 21-for-22 win streak aside, the personalities in Denver are second to none. Who can’t root for Helton, the perennial “best player on a bad team,” a stand-up guy who’s finally getting the shot he deserves?

What about Holliday? Sure, he might actually be a robot disguised as a human being, but who didn’t love Johnny 5 of “Short Circuit” fame? And then there’s Francis, who looks like he’s 12. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad, but hey, 12 was a pretty good age.

The Red Sox faithful with their eyes on this page will surely retort that their team has more wins, a stronger lineup, and the requisite history for such strong allegiances.

But that’s the beauty of it all: Colorado’s not the best team, but there’s something that transcends batting averages and ERA in that clubhouse.

This is shaping up to be an “Angels in the Outfield”-esque run, and just like in the old Disney film, the Rockies—without the help of Christopher Lloyd—are destined to finish out this historic run.

Plus, what ever happened to spreading the wealth? The Patriots are unstoppable, the Celtics are in possession of the Holy Trinity on the hardwood, Boston College is the second-best team in the land, and now the Sox want a piece of the pie?

Back home in Denver, we like to share the wealth. We’ll give you football, and hell, you can have basketball too.

But the greatest run ever, in the oldest game ever, on the biggest stage ever? You’d have to be an idiot not to root for that.

—Staff writer Malcom A. Glenn can be reached at mglenn@fas.harvard.edu.

Tags