He's got the business-suit blues: I read Alan Prendergast's "Pat's Big Fumble," in the January 3 issue. He hit the nail on the head.
Consider this sentence: "There is no place for fans to hang their hand-lettered signs and no escape from the flashing ads, the corporate logos, the endless reminders that Bowlen's dream stadium, like most modern sports palaces, exists to drain your wallet."
And this: The Denver Broncos are "a team without heart, playing in a stadium without a soul, for fans who couldn't care less."
Correct on all counts. The Denver Broncos are not a team, they are a business. They changed their colors from football orange to business-suit blue. They might as well go onto the field with briefcases and agents, and call time-outs for renegotiation.
In all cases, the fans, the very people for whom this entire effort is made, have been told that their participation is no longer wanted, that all that is required of them is to spend money on Broncos merchandise. Broncos fans are no longer fans, whether they want to be or not. They are resources to be mined. And Pat Bowlen is the head of the mining enterprise.
And so, another non-resident money-mining operation has embedded itself into the flesh of Colorado. Like so many other foreign operations that come to Denver to mine the economy and walk away with millions of Colorado dollars, the Denver Broncos are not good neighbors, they are carpetbaggers.
And every time I pay my share of the Pat Bowlen tax, I wonder if police and fire departments are sufficiently funded. Don't get me started on school funding. Taxing the people to support a private sports enterprise is not the right and proper use of government. It is purely immoral.
Pat Bowlen is a bad man. But like Midas, he got what he wanted, great wealth. Also like Midas, Pat Bowlen thinks of himself as the center of the universe. Other people exist merely as props in his strange and distant world. His real reward for treating lifelong Broncos fans, and the Broncos legacy, with such open contempt is to earn great enmity. (Note that the whole point of turning the Orange Crush into the Business Suit Blue Bozos was to increase merchandising sales, nothing more, nothing less. Goodbye history and fond memories. Hello, slick marketing.)
None of this was necessary. Disappointed ex-fans like myself look back on the good old days, while Pat Bowlen's tax collectors dig their hands into my pockets. My support is no longer asked for by a team eager to win and please the fans; it is demanded under threat of force. My money is confiscated by the government to support a professional sports team that, frankly, sucks. And my participation in the Broncos legacy is not required. It doesn't matter if I care about the Broncos. They damn sure don't care about the fans.
I will be most happy when the carpetbagging, tax-collecting, play-like-a-pack-of-stray-dogs Broncos leave Denver for good, and take that self-serving jackass Pat Bowlen with them.
The Broncos are another chapter in the march of folly.
Hot tamale: Reading the letters in the January 3 issue about Michael Roberts's December 20 "He Got Blame," I see this Issel incident has been blown way out of proportion. First of all, to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and to that Spanish state senator, let's get one thing straight now: I am a native-born Coloradan and Hispanic, Spanish to you. You do not now, nor will you ever, represent me -- so leave me out of your so-called crap. I take care of myself and don't need a bunch of people saying they have my best interests at heart. Bull!
Going to boycott the Nuggets? Why? They are a losing bunch like the Donkeys and Rockies. I don't spend a single cent on these losers. Mr. Issel, don't ever say you're sorry; to say so is a sign of weakness. I don't and I won't. Don't lower yourself. I have been called a lot of names growing up -- in one ear and out the other.
My best to you, Mr. Issel, and keep your chin up. You have nothing to apologize for.
Rebuilding for the future: As a person living with full-blown AIDS (and a CAP client) for fifteen-plus years, I read with great interest your article about the Colorado AIDS Project, "New Life," in the December 20 issue. Julie Jargon did an excellent job of covering the history of the AIDS epidemic. However, her specific coverage of CAP left me confused.
She appeared to trash CAP, while at the same time stating, more than once, that only continued financial support would help CAP solve its problems. I do feel that if even the perception of any type of discrimination exists within any AIDS organization, it is inexcusable. As everyone knows (or should know), AIDS has not discriminated.
Concerning the new director, Ms. Maloney, and CAP, my comments are simple. Ms. Jargon stated that Ms. Maloney assumed her new position last October; she also stated that Ms. Maloney has a lot of work ahead of her if CAP wants to serve all of the populations it says it does. I have a great idea: Let's give the three-month-old director some time to correct mistakes and misconceptions, and to rebuild confidence in an organization with a long and somewhat chaotic history. Want to help with this, Westword? I do.
Earl F. Thomas
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Dark days: I am the primary caregiver for a person living with AIDS in Denver. In 1996, we did an intake assessment with CAP and tried to get assistance. My friend was very ill but not destitute. We received limited services such as bus tokens. We became very disappointed with the lack of attention to our case and chose not to register for the ensuing years. Although unable to prove it, we were most certainly treated differently because my friend was heterosexual. It was a frightening time.
Once again my client has become very ill, and we recently attempted to register with PWAC. They required extensive information just to register, my friend became disenchanted yet again, and we chose not to seek services.
We would love to access community resources but can't fight the bureaucracies. We need information but believe that because my client makes "too much money" and is heterosexual, that there is no chance of getting help. For right now, our best ally is Jewish Family Services. Project Angel Heart has also been helpful during past illnesses. I had to quit my job to care for my friend, and my money has run out. There are big problems in our current service community that have nothing to do with whether or not AIDS is a media darling. The cracks are abysses. And some in this suffering population are dying in darkness.
Name withheld on request