We’re done playing the April fools for this joke of a baseball team in LoDo.
Are you with me, Colorado?
You built Coors Field with your hard-earned dollars, brick by brick with every last penny of sales tax. Yes, Dick Monfort owns the Rockies. But with the garbage carelessly Monfort tosses on our home field, he treats the treasured ballpark at 20th and Blake with less respect than a squatter.
Boycott the Rockies? I’ve suggested that tactic in the past. And now realize it doesn’t work. Sports boycotts are often born of apathy. Colorado fans are passionate by nature. What’s needed here is an active fan revolt.
Are you with me, Mayor Michael Hancock? Denver is a great city with a baseball problem.
Monfort is the root cause, and if not financially equipped to uphold his end of the bargain to be the trustee of a baseball team that’s a civic treasure, then everybody has a responsibility to apply pressure on ownership of a franchise that increasingly seems accountable to nobody.
It’s time for fans who love our boys of summer to occupy Coors Field during every homestand, with the purpose of letting ownership know we’re not going to take it any longer.
By a quirk of the 2021 calendar, the Rockies open the season at home on April Fool’s Day. If that’s not a message to paying customers whose trust has been exploited by Montfort, what is? We have been guilty of loving bad baseball too much for far too long.
So what’s a fan who can’t quit the pure Colorado vibe at Coors Field supposed to do?
Make your objection to the baseball buffoonery of general manager Jeff Bridich unmistakable. An easy place to start would be by wearing a #FireBridich T-shirt, featuring a photo-shopped depiction of him in a clown nose and wig, available online for $19.99.
Wear Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu jerseys to the ballpark as an act of protest, on opening day and all summer long. A “Let’s go Rock-ies!” chant can be easily replaced by “Where is No-lan?”
Enjoy your food and drink in LoDo taverns, then refuse to pay for the overpriced beer sold inside Coors Field. Fans can attend games without emptying their wallets for Mr. Monfort’s benefit.
This is a team that could lose 100 games for the first time in franchise history. As the Rockies stumble down the Road to 100, every defeat should be acknowledged by a mock cheer. Maybe a polite golf clap to mock their effort.
Yes, I feel empathy for manager Bud Black, a cool dude who genuinely enjoys talkin’ baseball. And I’d never suggest booing the effort of Charlie Blackmon, a true pro. But my frustration and anger is born of the broken heart of every kid who will be devastated when the Rockies trade away shortstop Trevor Story.
After 12 months in which the emotional stress and human costs of the COVID-19 pandemic have forced us to consider what really matters, maybe it doesn’t count for much whether the Rockies make a playoff run or finish in last place. But I did miss the simple pleasure of hanging with family or friends at the ballpark in 2020. And I would also argue Coors Field is more than a cool place to watch the Rocky Mountains turn purple during a glorious sunset.
The willingness of Colorado citizens to foot 75% of the bill for a sports venue before the National League selected two cities for expansion franchises not only made it possible for Dick and Charlie Monfort to reap huge returns on their investment in the Rockies, the construction of a ballpark that opened its gates in 1995 transformed Denver from a dusty old cowtown to one of the hippest cities in America.
Opening day of the baseball season should dawn with hope, promise and the clink of beer glasses toasting better days ahead, even when restrictions still imposed by the pandemic will limit the crowd at Coors Field to less than half the normal capacity of 50,144.
But what those fans traveling to LoDo will undoubtedly notice is the toll COVID-19 and the unrest of last summer has taken on downtown. The city got sick and recovery has been painful. Denver still feels like a shell of the vibrant city we love.
The stadium we built at 20th and Blake pumped the heart of Denver full of life more than 25 years ago. It’s an insult to us all if Monfort doesn’t feel compelled to fill the ballpark we built with reasons to cheer, especially now, when we’re all learning to smile again.
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