Thursday, October 11, 2007

NLCS, Baby!

Rhinebeck Countdown: game clock at 6 days, play clock at 9 days

Any D'backs fans out there?

Bought a ticket yet?

As a solid sports fan and a total homer, I am very, very excited about today. Today may be my best sports day since January 25, 1998. And that was mostly great because of the end result.

This day? This day is great right from the get-go.

When MLB was first looking to expand, Colorado was courting them with promises of a fabulous field and good weather.§

When Colorado got the franchise, Colorado Rockies gear was the best-selling commodity in Major League Baseball by a LONG shot... more than a year before the team physically existed.

Mom was so excited for me 'cause the Rox sported my three favourite colours.#

The Rockies had the best attendance in the MLB for, oh, two or three years. Maybe a little more.

Then we all learned that, while Denver may have lots of sunny days, it doesn't have a lot to bite on the ball.%

Altitude kills the curve ball.††

The Rockies have sucked. Oh, yes, they have sucked. Sucked like a hooker with a habit.

They have disappointed decreasingly loyal fans year after year. Occasional brilliant runs or weirdly good early seasons have only served to punctuate the fact that they can't seem to put together a drive to the post-season.

Couldn't seem to put together a drive to the post-season, I should say.

Past tense.

For today, O my friends and O my foes, today the Rockies will play for the pennant for the first time in their fifteen year history.

I honestly believe they can beat the D'Backs.^

I'm so giddy right now you wouldn't even recognise me. Hey, Brother -- I was *singing* when I woke up this morning. And not Death Cab or the Sisters or any of the mope that normally plays in the radio in my head.

I was singing Walking on Sunshine.$

I know people who aren't sports fans don't get it. I hardly get it myself. I can't defend the insane love of a sports addict for a sport.

And I don't have to.

It's like religious faith@ -- it's something you feel or you don't, and you don't need any proof or anyone else's endorsement to make it work for you.‡‡

Even though they play baseball, my least favourite of the major sports,§§ I love the Rockies. I love their class and their drive and their location¶¶ and their colours and their field and the fact that just about anybody who doesn't still have a team in the race is rooting for them.

I love this time of year. And for once, it's not about the football.


FOOTNOTE (crossed): Of *course* you haven't. Nobody has. They'll be giving them away with a toaster if you open an account at your local bank soon.

FOOTNOTE (double-crossed): I think they delivered. Coors Field is beautiful, comfortable, clean and somehow cheerful. And it's in Denver, for fuck's sake. You don't get prettier night games than at Coors Field.

§FOOTNOTE (swerved): Seriously. One of the great concerns was that it would snow -- often -- during baseball season. Every sports fan in the region knew how many days of sunshine Denver gets every year and that it's a high desert (minimal precip) because it was trumpeted desperately from every media tower in town on a daily basis.

FOOTNOTE (paragraphed): Particularly in California, where a certain gang adopted the purple, silver and black as its own.

#FOOTNOTE (pounded): Little story: Mom got me a Looney Tunes CR tshirt with all your favourite characters wearing Rockies gear, the Tasmanian Devil front and centre. When we were down on the Ice, a big, strapping Maori in the New Zealand Army badgered me until his re-deployment to give him the shirt. On the day he shipped out, I did. Turns out I couldn't get another one, but I feel I did my part for world harmony and spreading the gospel of the Rockies down under.

%FOOTNOTE (percented): Heh. Biting balls.

††FOOTNOTE (ddouble-ccrossed): In 1998, Dan Patrick had Bill Nye, the Science Guy, on his ESPN radio show to explain why balls don't curve and sink in Colorado.

^FOOTNOTE (careted): For posterity, Rox in four.

$FOOTNOTE (moneyed): A song I hate on principle.

@FOOTNOTE (batted... er, *atted*): Wait... did I just pretty much say, "Sport is my god"? Wow. This just got deeper and more philosophical than I thought possible.

What's the opposite of licking the pig?

‡‡FOOTNOTE (doubble-crossssed): In this case, however, you apparently also need an assload of luck and a minimum of $65 to see your team in the World Series.

For those not privy to Coors Field standards, the Rockpile is a section of bleachers behind the centrefield backdrop. When Coors Field first opened in 1995 (the first two seasons were played at the old Mile High Stadium), Rockpile seats were $1 each, and were only sold at the field the day of the game. Somewhere along the line, prices went up to $4 a seat.

World Series tickets, which will go on sale October 22 (we're nothing if not optimistic here in Rockies-land), will be $65 in the Rockpile.

Sixty. Five. Dollars.

For four-dollar seats.

Don't think I'm not trying to get some myself... just gettin' my two cents' (or at todays new World Series prices, my 32.5 cents') worth in.

§§FOOTNOTE (throw me a curve, Jeff!): No, soccer isn't on the list. Soccer isn't a sport, but taxonomically a member of the throw pillow family.

¶¶FOOTNOTE (big bats): For a home geek like me, it doesn't hurt at all that Jeff Francis lives in my neighbourhood and has been known to tip a brew at Favourite Bar.

You can go back to your knitting now.

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