As fall's chill creeps into the air and the leaves linger wistfully on their branches, Colorado's thoughts inevitably turn to football. We are a football state, and nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the behavior of What's So Funny roommate/correspondent Monty. A brief update for those of you wondering how the old bastard is doing: Fine. Motherfucker completed his Ph.D. in chemical physics, successfully presenting a dissertation concerning spectroscopy to a team of professors and students, before taking exactly one week off and starting law school. This means he will officially be done with his education at 31. I take real joy in pointing out that he is now that guy at school — the old, creepy dude all the other students make fun of over some newfangled drink that only young people drink and that people my and Monty's age will never understand. I tell him he should further this creepy image by perhaps setting up a massage chair at the student center, offering free public flesh-kneadings to anyone who desires them. Monty suffers my ridicule silently till I finish, then tells me to go fuck myself and continues reading up on tort reform. At least that's what he was doing. But as of August 31, no longer. Monty celebrated the season by outfitting himself in Buffalo gold and watching his school smoke Colorado State University. He then proceeded to watch every college football game he could for three days straight and set up fantasy leagues by the dozens. And when the Broncos opened their season Monday night, Monty masturbated to a playing card of John Elway.
Okay, not sure about that last one, but it was a really long shower.
I will no doubt watch some football as well, but it should come as no surprise that I am not ready to embrace the gridiron quite yet. In my heart, in my soul and at Coors Field, it's still Rockies season.
Perhaps I just don't know when to quit, because I, like Monty, grew up watching Sir John Elway. When, as a lad, your QB specializes in come-from-behind victories, you mature into an irrational man who never knows when to throw in the towel. If I were a boxing trainer, my fighters would regularly die brutal, pathetic deaths because I would simply allow them to get pummeled, confident there would be some last-second miracle. And then the Nevada Gaming Commission would ban me. Again. And then I'd be all, "Who cares, I'll find another one, it's not like these Neanderthals are hard to come by." And then that would really piss them off and I'd have to train in Mexico again. With roosters.
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The Rockies' miraculous push to the World Series last season only furthered this imbecilic belief that anything is possible — and so here I sit, fully aware that your Colorado Rockies don't deserve to make the playoffs, probably won't fare very well if they do make the playoffs, and that Clint Hurdle's jaw will be unable to sustain the aggressive gum-chewing that would come with the playoffs. Yet I'm unable to prevent myself from obsessing over every game.
True, there have been some real lows this season. At this point, it's safe to say that Tulo suffered an acute sophomore slump. I still love him, but abysmal first-half-of-the-season hitting coupled with an injury from a shattered-in-frustration bat shard ain't exactly what you like to see in the future of the franchise. Unfortunately, this was also the year that I fell out of love with Jeff Francis. I used to fancy him a potential Greg Maddux, a thinking pitcher who outfoxes opponents, but Francis lost all sense of guile this year, leaving only a weak, 83 mph fastball to ponder — and his Canadian citizenship. And those people are meek.
But there have been highs, too. Youth development continues to shine with Chris Iannetta growing into one of the best catching prospects in the game. Ian Stewart has glowed as well, all but pushing Todd Helton out of the lineup and looking a lot like a power bat with a smooth glove for years to come. Ryan Spilborghs — despite a stint on the DL — remains a light. Atkins, Hawpe and Holliday continue to impress — and with the almost inevitable loss of Atkins or Holliday in the off-season (sorry, Garrett, but please not Holliday, please not Holliday), now's the time to get to the ballpark and hope against hope that we have one more improbable run. The Rockies are six games behind the first-place Dodgers, and four and a half behind Arizona, with six of their last nine games against the Diamondbacks.
Is it pointless to keep talking about the Rockies? Perhaps. But people said Elway would never win a Super Bowl, and look at him now: two championship rings and still revered by me despite the fact that he's a Republican asshole. That is the power of sports. So I'll be watching baseball yet, Holmes, with my fingers crossed and my rally cap poised. Because anything beats sitting on the couch with Monty.