Three easy ways to torture a Colorado Rockies fan:
1. Schedule the contest in which the team can clinch a wild-card berth at one in the afternoon.
2. Pile on so much work that he can't even think about following the game.
3. Leave a television with the broadcast on in a room just far enough away so that he can't quite hear what's happening.
Somehow, though, this experience turned out to be satisfying anyhow. Chained to my desk, I slowly became aware of cheering, and then more cheering, and then the sort of cheering that's practical indistinguishable from full-scale insanity. Obviously, beyond-good things were happening, and by the time I finally was able to sneak away to the set, Coors Field was covered with Rockies whose ecstasy so closely matched that of the fans in the stands that they were, for all practical purposes, one and the same.
As I stood in front of the TV, glorying in the exuberance dancing across it, a small figure in my brain whispered that the Rockies still had no chance in hell of sweeping the Dodgers in L.A. this weekend -- so I mentally kicked him in the 'nads and went back to enjoying the moment. Suddenly, anything seemed possible.