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Amid an Onslaught of Rockies Puff Pieces, Actual News Breaks

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The Colorado Rockies have been idle for the better part of a week, awaiting the first game of the World Series on October 24 -- and rather than focusing on other matters until action returns to the diamond, local media outlets have churned out loads o' Rockies-oriented, cutesy-poo items capable of turning the stomach of even the staunchest fan. Representing the nadir of such material was "Designated Hugger," a gag-worthy profile of an 82-year-old booster that (predictably) the Denver Post slapped on its October 22 front page. Check it out only if you don't mind your teeth aching for several hours afterward.

But a funny thing happened on the way to Filler-ville. The Rockies' online World Series ticket sale, slated for October 22, collapsed like the Cleveland Indians toward the end of their final loss to the Boston Red Sox when the team's computer system made like The China Syndrome. Suddenly, outlets had actual news to cover, and their shift from pom-pom waving to standard-issue reportage was awkward at times. During Channel 9's 6 p.m. newscast on the 22nd, anchor Ward Lucas and correspondent TaRhonda Thomas vamped uncomfortably for several long minutes as they awaited a Rockies news conference that didn't happen for another two hours or so, interweaving from-sweet-to-sour packages about wannabe purchasers with footage of live protesters desperate for updates that were in mighty short supply.

Of course, Rockies spokesman Jay Alves had a difficult transition to make, too. He seemed caught off balance when locals who'd been saying nothing but nice things about the team had difficulty accepting unsubstantiated assertions that a malicious outside force, not an overwhelmed system, was responsible for the crash. Given the information vacuum, those who wanted tickets turned to alternative media sources to learn the latest or simply to vent, with Craig's List being a popular destination. One submission, which appears under the headline "BOO ROCKIES and Internet Ticket Sales!," represents the most extreme reactions that cropped up in the wake of the snafu. It features the image above and concludes with the exclamation, "I WILL NEVER ATTEND A ROCKIES GAME AGAIN ..... I HOPE YOU GET SWEPT, and from a decade long, FORMER fan, I hope to the baseball gods it means something!"

We won't know for a while yet whether this guy has the gods' ear. Until then, the ticketing situation, and the proximity of the games, means there's a good chance impending Rockies news reports will have something resembling news in them. -- Michael Roberts

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