More than a decade ago, Michael Roberts wrote a piece on the intricacies of the Colorado Rockies' in-game entertainment, including how the music was selected at Coors Field. While it sometimes seems like there's no rhyme or reason to what's being played — seriously, Huey freaking Lewis?! — turns out they have the whole thing down to a science. Or did in 1995, at least, when the individual at-bat music was picked by each player and the playlist was otherwise dictated by an extensive compendium of "situational songs" — pre-selected tunes to be played in the event of a rain delay, win or loss, etc.
With the Rockies heading into the World Series, it seemed the perfect time to revisit the topic of in-game entertainment. So last week, I phoned the team's front office and requested to speak with the current manager of IGE. I never got a call back, but then, I didn't really expect to: The franchise is overwhelmed trying to distribute tickets that are more in demand than nosebleeds to see Hannah Montana. And it probably didn't help that I was calling from a fishwrap that's all but offered a bounty on Dinger's head.
Since only a chosen few will actually make it inside the stadium and I couldn't get anyone on the horn to tell me what will be played there, I decided to put together a list of situational songs for those of us watching the games at home. (As a bonus on the Backbeat Online blog, we've posted links to fan-penned tribute songs and, after some googling, managed to track down a fairly comprehensive list of entrance music for your favorite Rockies players — thanks to JB over at ghettojon3.blogspot.com and hitbyapitch.com). And after running my set list past the die-hard, beardo, superfan contingent at the Westword office, I'm pretty certain it's Rock solid:
Situation: Inevitable, emotion-filled, pre-game Rockies playoff montage
Song: "For Once in My Life," by Stevie Wonder
Notes: With lines like "For once I can touch what my heart used to dream of," "For once in my life I won't let sorrow hurt me, not like it hurt me before" and "For once I can say, this is mine, you can't take it," this Stevie Wonder gem seems custom-crafted for reliving the Rockies' miraculous post-season run.
Situation: Inevitable East Coast bias from at least one commentator
Song: "Please Come to Boston," by Dave Loggins
Notes: Boston?! Didn't you hear the lady, fellas? She said no. Take a cue. There ain't no gold up there, and there damn sure ain't nobody like us. (And as long as no one points it out, we'll pretend not to notice that in the next verse, she also — ahem — opts out of coming to Denver.)
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Situation: Rockies take the series lead
Song: "The Mountains Win Again," by Blues Traveler
Notes: Drive a stake through the heart of obnoxious Sox fans with this tender, forlorn ballad about picking up the pieces at the end of an obviously ill-fated relationship — with a rock-solid reminder that the mountains will prevail. This season, at least.
Situation: Rockies win the series — on the road
Song: "#1," by Nelly
Notes: Two is not a winner, and three...well, you get the picture.
Situation: Rockies win the series — at home
Song: "Get Out of Denver," by Dave Edmunds
Notes: That's right, Massholes. And don't let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.
Situation: The Rockies lose the series entirely (bite your tongue)
Song: "Didn't We Almost Have It All," by Whitney Houston
Notes: On second thought, never mind. This song would just add insult to injury. If the Rockies (gulp) lose, simply turn off the TV, bite down on that cyanide tablet and start crying to some classic Hank.