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Rocktoberfest: Colorado baseball mania sweeps campus

Chris McGrady | Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Does anyone else feel like they’re taking crazy pills? I woke up this morning to find Notre Dame 1-5, the University of South Florida football team ranked in the top 10 and a high of 91 degrees in South Bend in October. But the most monumentally bizarre thing in this topsy-turvy world isn’t the backwards football polls, or the unreal effects of global warm, but the fact that the Colorado Rockies seem to have a serious case of identity crisis.

Apparently the Rockies have collectively fallen and knocked their noggins, thus forgetting they are in fact the Rockies and not the Boston Red Sox or the St. Louis Cardinals. Matt Holiday thinks he’s Albert Pujols, rookie Franklin Morales thinks he’s Nolan Ryan. Todd Helton version 2007 thinks he’s Todd Helton version 2000. Together, the Rockies have made one of the most improbable runs in history.

You see, the Rockies haven’t made the playoffs in over a decade, and only once before in the club’s fourteen year history. They have been the laughing stock of the MLB world, and just two years ago they lost 95 games. But everything has changed. The once-empty stands are sold out and the baseball-apathetic city of Denver is buzzing. Coors beer flows like water. And the Rockies keep winning.

After a three-game sweep of the Phillies (leaving Philly fans everywhere free to boo the Eagles), the Rockies are winners of 17 of 18 and are the hottest team in baseball and fans are filling the stadium for the first time since the club’s inaugural season in 1993.

I’m not afraid to admit it, I am a completely bandwagon fan of the Rockies. I’m a life-long resident of Colorado, but, you have to understand, the Rockies have been bad. I mean, epically bad. They lost games like trees lose leaves – in bunches. Colorado is Broncos country, or Avalanche country, or Buffs country. It is not, and never has been, Rockies country. A large majority of Colorado sports fans are more apathetic about baseball than Americans are about the World Cup. That is, until this year.

The Broncos are struggling and hockey season hasn’t started, and the Rockies are playing better ball than they ever have. I started to take notice back in June when the Rockies swept the Yankees. Then I started to watch the Rockies whenever I could – and I liked what I saw. They play as a team, they hit patiently, and they play great defense. The team is impossibly young, and the biggest name on the team is semi-washed up All-Star first-baseman Todd Helton (who, by the way, is batting .320). The Rockies have the 25th lowest payroll of any team in the majors. Despite overwhelming odds against them, this team has managed to make one of the most exciting runs in baseball history.

They are the anti-Yankees. They are the underdogs in a battle to the top. They’re fun and exciting. For goodness sake – they’re the Rockies! So suit up in your purple and black and sit back and tap the Rockies, because as Coloradoans everywhere are saying, it’s Rocktober, baby!