What's So Funny
Who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver and waited in vain, who watched over Denver and brooded and loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, and now Denver is lonesome for her heroes.
When Allen Ginsberg penned those words in his epic 1955 poem Howl, he was referring to Neal Cassady, legendary wildman of Denver and arguably the cornerstone of the Beat Generation. "Secret hero of these poems," Ginsberg wrote of Cassady. "Cocksman and Adonis of Denver." Having officially inherited the title of "Cocksman and Adonis of Denver" in an elaborate ceremony with then-mayor Federico Peña that involved a strange, Anabaptist-like cleansing in a Wash Park lake and the inexplicable skinning of a Canadian goose, What's So Funny feels qualified to repeat Ginsberg's wise words: Denver is still lonesome for her heroes. Denver today, though, yearns not for crop-topped heroes who drank and played and suffered in tragic empty lots and red-brick back alleyways. Denver longs for her sports stars.
Where have you gone, Johnny Elway? A city turns its lonely eyes to you. Last we knew, John-boy was posing on the cover of the newspaper with a campaigning King George the II; then he moved on to Cherry Creek to open a fat-ass repository in the form of a steakhouse. You will always be remembered for what you did on the field for us, John, but excuse us if we ignore all you've done since. It just breaks our hearts to see it.
As if taking a cue from Number 7, not to mention national dipshits like Ron "Resisting" Artest and Barry "I Can't See My Testicles" Bonds, supposed Denver stars have embraced dubious behavior at an appalling rate. Carmelo Anthony got caught trying to move 10,000 pounds of cocaine across the Mexican border; Jake Plummer shot a fan in the face seven times when he looked at him wrong... At least we think that's what happened, since we're too busy here to bother with details. When will the madness end? Desperate fans finally looked to the Colorado Rockies for respite: Surely the worst team in all of professional sports could be expected to field a few decent people.
Denny Neagle, that shining Rockies superstar who, despite all odds, has gone 19-23 with an ERA of 5.56 since we signed him for a meager $51.5 million four years ago, earlier this month got caught on West Colfax Avenue with hands-down the ugliest whore What's So Funny has ever seen. Homegirl looked like Skeletor. Apparently Skeletor gives good blow jobs, though -- although you'd think they'd be a bit toothy -- because Neagle shelled out $40 of his in-no-way-hard-earned money for some of that diseased Lakewood lovin', getting all ghetto-fabulous in his who-do-you-think-you're-kidding-you-lame-white-baseball-player-asshole Cadillac Escalade. Hope Skeletor really did a number on him, because that night wound up costing Neagle a lot more than forty bones. The Rockies invoked the "personal conduct and good citizenship" clause of the uniform player's contract to renege on the $19 million they would owe him for next year and canceled his contract.
By the power of Greyskull!
Enter the Broomfield City Council, which last week voted to remove Neagle's name from one of the city's youth baseball fields donated by the Rockies (Neagle himself had pitched in thousands of bucks). Soon Brighton dropped the pitcher's name from its new baseball-field project. Ditto Foothills Parks and Recreation in Jefferson County. Meanwhile, Dante Bichette's swinging cabaret stands unmolested on 17th Avenue, a graying -- and empty -- testament to that corn-fed, inbred former slugger. Where's the justice?
But with the talk about Neagle's name being removed from the fields, no one's talking about what they'll now be called. Isn't anyone thinking about the children? For Christ's sake, won't somebody please consider the goddamned children?! Not to worry: What's So Funny has these alternative names for Denny Neagle Field:
Washed-Up Pitcher Downs
Eight Inches Out
You Just Can't Pitch at this Altitude Stadium
Bang the Slut Slowly
Preston Wilson's All-Star Sideburn Emporium
$10 Million a Year and the Best You Can Do Is Colfax? Christ, Look in the Back of Westword Ballpark.
What do you love? Baseball, Rockies style!