Tag Archives: Coors Field

Start Wearing Purple For Me Now!

He's wearing purple. Why aren't you?

He's wearing purple. Why aren't you?

OK, it has been about five weeks since my last column. For that, I apologize. The past month or so has been a wild ride. I’ve moved homes, tirelessly searched for employment, and developed a full-fledged addiction to Rockies baseball.

I re-pledged my fanship to the Rockies earlier this summer. I made good on this vow by traveling to Queens to watch the Rockies play the New York Mets at the end of July. My trip to Flushing had few ups and many downs. The weather was terrible, the Rockies lost both games I attended, and Citi Field is more of an amusement park than a ballpark.

I admit that Citi Field is an architectural marvel. The stadium’s façade resembles old Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, a historical MLB ballpark, and there is not a bad seat in the house. Even so, sitting in the stands comes at a steep price–both literally and figuratively. Unfortunately, Citi Field’s classic façade does not protect the sanctity of the game played within its walls.

Citi Field is built to resemble the Brooklyn Dodgers stadium Ebbets Field. The facades match, but Citi has no soul.

Citi Field is built to resemble the Brooklyn Dodgers stadium Ebbets Field. The facades match, but Citi has no soul.

Citi Field is the opposite of Coors Field. This is not surprising when one considers the location of each stadium. Contemporary Flushing is less charming than North Blake Street circa 1984, and Mets fans do not even register on the “classy fan” index. Furthermore, I paid $48 dollars per game to sit in the uppermost level above right field. I felt as though I was watching a ball game in Tokyo. The seats at Citi are piled on top of one another, creating a sense of discomfort and nauseating vertigo in the upper decks. Additionally, stadium patrons are bombarded by advertisements wherever they look and listen; as if vertigo was not enough to contend with when seated in the uppermost reaches of Citi Field.

Seriously, every inch of the new stadium was sold as ad space. Even the structural beams supporting the right field box, known as The Pepsi Porch, were not off limits to corporate sponsors. The constant flash of neon product names at Citi could trigger a seizure. Worse yet, the Mets shamelessly play loud advertisements on the stadium’s HD jumbotron in between outs. This has to be the most annoying feature of Citi Field. I learned at Citi Field that the audio experience of a baseball game is an aspect of pro sports that too often goes overlooked. Instead of breaking down the previous play with my buddy Berry, I was forced to watch and listen to ads for “upcoming non-gameday events.” Let’s hear it for “non-gameday events!” Yes! (Note to Bud Selig: I purchase tickets and travel to a ballpark to avoid annoying television advertisements. The MLB should ban talking TV ads on all stadium jumbotrons. It induces sensory overload. Franchises that force-feed verbose video advertisements to ticketholders encroach on the purity and bliss of live baseball.)

Look, this is the guy who was sitting in front of me at both Mets-Rockies games! "Excuse me, sir, but even though it is 9:17 PM the sheen from your fake tan is impeding upon my ability to watch Fernando Tatis bat. Also, I think some of your hair gel just oozed onto my feet." Remember to stay classy, Dirty Jerz and Strong Island!

Look, it's the guy who sat in front of me at both Mets-Rockies games! Fate? I think not. "Excuse me, sir, but even though it is 9:17 PM the sheen from your fake tan is impeding upon my ability to watch Fernando Tatis bat. Also, I think some of your hair gel just oozed onto my feet." Remember to stay classy, Dirty Jerz and Strong Island!

I did not merely watch eighteen innings of baseball at Citi Field. I endured over seven hours of brutal humidity, abusive product placement, fake tans and blown out hairdos…on men, and, worst of all, pitiful play by the visiting Rockies. It was humiliating. It was tiring. It was New York City.

On the bright side, I discovered Bohemia Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria. This place quickly became one of my new favorite spots in all of New York. Bohemia Hall is New York City’s oldest beer garden. The authentic central European taphouse is located adjacent to the 7-subway line, which one takes from Manhattan to Citi Field. I stopped at Bohemia Hall for some pre-game perogis and pitchers. My Czech waiter, Viktor, introduced me to Brauchek (pronounced “bro-check,” which is awesome), a dark yet extremely drinkable Czech beer, and he treated me to the best red cabbage I’ve ever tasted. When you travel to New York City, you must check this place out.

Now back to greener, sunnier pastures…

I attended several Rockies games during the recent 10-game homestand. Coors field, what a happy place. The relaxing atmosphere and classic ballpark architecture make Coors Field one of the most pleasant professional sports stadiums in America. There is however one problem with Coors Field: the stadium employs a subpar DJ.

As I previously stated, the audio experience of an MLB game often goes overlooked. I love Coors Field, but I take issue with the fact that “We Like to Party” by Vengaboys plays after each Rockies home run. Is Denver really a Vengaboys town? I don’t think so. Furthermore, the song “We Like to Party” does not hit home (pun intended) on any personal or local level with Rockies fans. Yes, the Dutch techno beat does make ladies rise from their seats and dance after they’ve consumed three Mike’s Hard Lemonades. But the song ultimately bears no reference to the Rockies or the locality in which they play.

Several days ago I set out on a quest to find the perfect 2009 Rockies home run song. The new home run song at Coors Field needs to stand for something. It must connect the fans to their ball club every time a Rockies player completes the sweetest of strokes and goes yard. This is especially important due to the elevated (sorry, I couldn’t resist that pun either, I promise I’ll stop) number of balls that go over the wall here in Denver.

Here is a list of the best and worst songs I considered:

1. “Footloose” by Kenny Loggins

This classic 80s tune is absolutely infectious. It is impossible to keep from dancing to this song. In the same breadth, the song does not relate to Colorado, the Rockies, or baseball in any way. I suppose this fact makes it nothing more than a retro version of “We Like to Party”; the music video screams, “Our generation LOVES to party!” Additionally, the music video would have to play on the jumbotron while the song blared through the loudspeakers. The crazy 80s footwork, back flips, high-fives, and constant shots of a young, still cool Kevin Bacon would energize any Coors Field crowd even if the Rockies were losing.


2. “Colorado Rockies Team Fight Song” by Joseph Brow

I found this “gem” by youtubing “Rockies team song.” Big mistake. The existence of this song only further proves that the Rockies lack a musical identity. It’s ok, I’m working on this. Just keep reading.

3. “Rockies Anthem” by 3Oh!3

Denver appreciates the local effort, but the lyrics are far too unoriginal…and lame.


4. “Hit ‘Em Up” by 2Pac

While this song is upbeat, inherently badass, and its title doubles as a witty baseball pun that describes a home run, Pac’s lyrics are not suitable for the ballpark. I’m sure parents would love explaining to their young ones that Pac was saying “Glocks” and not “Rox” after Seth Smith hit that game-winning homer in the bottom of the ninth inning.


5. “Rocky Theme Song” from Rocky Balboa

Better. Warmer. Good. The title is appropriate and Rocky Balboa is the ultimate champion; just thinking about Rocky gets an avid sports fan’s adrenaline pumping. The beat is as funky as it is inspiring, and the song is an absolute classic, ensuring it will appeal to every generation in the ballpark. That being said, this song does not possess quite enough of an up-tempo beat to rile up the crowd following a home run. Perhaps the Rockies should instead play this song at Coors Field following each victory? The Yankees do this at Yankee Stadium with “New York, New York” by Frank Sinatra. Yes, it is time the Rockies start this tradition in Denver with the “Rocky Theme Song.” Do not write in arguing that the Rockies should start this tradition by using “Rocky Mountain High” by John Denver or anything by The Fray. There you go, you resisted that urge and you maintained your dignity.


6. “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix

I was set on this psychedelic, primal rumpus of a song for ten minutes until I remembered the next song existed. The appeal of “Purple Haze” in the context of a Rockies home run needs no explanation. Wild guitar solo that sounds great when played loudly, check. Mass appeal, check. Rockies relevancy, double check. The Rockies have some of the most…errr…interesting colors in all of sports. I say we make the best of it by taking pride in our purple. The Coors Field grandstands should be a purple haze following every Rockies homer.


7. “Start Wearing Purple” by Gogol Bordello

The Vengaboys aren't cutting it at Coors Field. We therefore need Eugene Hutz's band of racious gypsy-punk rockers, as well as his tremendous mustache, to increase rowdiness following Rockie home runs. And yes, Hutz does actually play the "fire bucket."

The Vengaboys aren't cutting it at Coors Field. We therefore need Eugene Hutz's band of racious gypsy-punk rockers, as well as his tremendous mustache, to increase rowdiness following Rockies home runs. And yes, Hutz does actually play the "fire bucket."

Gogol Bordello is a strange band. Their sound is far from mainstream but remains catchy. Not to mention, the group is actually a roving band of eastern European gypsies, making them a strange band indeed. Like the Rockies, Gogol Bordello is rough around the edges. The gypsy-punk band blends accordions and violins with electric guitars, tambourines, and even a fire bucket. They are willing to try any sound combination and always go as hard as possible in an effort to deliver the best performance possible; just ask anyone who recently saw them at the Mile High Music Festival.

The Rockies, as of late, have also dug deep and done whatever it takes to deliver an epic performance. The seven-run inning, numerous clutch hits in the bottom of the ninth, tenth, and fourteenth inning, and the addition Giamba Juice demonstrate the current passion and creativity of the Rockies organization. The Rockies are alive and rocking in the same way that Gogol Bordello does night in and night out no matter whether they are playing a gig at the Fillmore in Denver or upon a dim-lit stage in a Bratislavian beer hall.

Gogol Bordello and the Rockies are linked by their respective creativity and each are fueled by gutless passion. Frontman Eugene Hutz, an experimental DJ who plays the fire bucket, does not give up until every audience member is on his or her feet, sweating, and having as much fun as he is…or until his fourth liter of wine runs dry. Tulo, Helton, and Seth Smith are cut from the same cloth as Hutz. They just express themselves in a more coordinated and sober way. Go-gol, Rockies!


Ellis Burks, Larry Walker, and Dante Bichette are gone. So is their at-bat music. If you recall, Burks, Walker, and Bichette’s plate songs were greater than their collective hitting ability. Burks entered the box to “The Message” by Grandmaster Flash, Walker to the sinister laugh of Ozzy Osbourne in “Crazy Train,” and Bichette dug in with the eye-opening intro to “Sledgehammer” playing in the background. Helton and Tulo’s questionable music choices, such as “These Are My People” by Rodney Atkins, pale in comparison to the cuts chosen by these Rockies greats. The whiny country tunes and played out pop tracks lack the thunder and head-noddability of the Blake Street Bomber classics. Alas, players choose their own at-bat songs. However, the fans need and deserve a better team song for the 2009 Rockies, especially now that we find ourselves in the midst of a riveting pennant race.

Let’s band together. Let’s get to the ballpark. And let’s start wearing purple, wearing purple NOW!

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The Marshall Plan

How crazy is B-Marsh? Should we even care?

How crazy is B-Marsh? Should we even care?

Hypocrisy stands at the root of my issues with embattled Broncos wide receiver Brandon Marshall. His freakish strength and unparalleled ability to create plays after the catch do not mitigate his criminal record. It is the NFL’s duty to discipline Marshall when he steps out of line. As long as Marshall beats a criminal charge and escapes the League Office, it is legitimate that he dresses on Sundays. Protest the franchise, burn a jersey, or even picket on the stadium’s steps, but rest assured that nothing will keep Marshall out of the starting lineup if he is healthy and unsuspended.

It is nevertheless damning that Marshall continues to surface as a suspect in domestic abuse cases across the country. It is far too easy for Marshall to settle these disputes inside or outside of a courtroom for us to not remain at least cautiously critical of his character; I know Harvey Steinberg nodded his head and smiled when he read this last sentence. ‘Innocent until proven guilty’ may allow Marshall to remain on the field and earn his living, but our common sense should forbid him from advising children.

This is not to say that a person who has erred greatly does not deserve a second chance. Remorse at the hands of deep reflection occasionally qualifies a public offender to tell others cautionary tales about what not to do. Our city however can no longer trust Brandon Marshall. His “genuine” remorse expired two arrests ago.

Marshall has always managed to avoid jail time. He has also managed to worm his way back into the positive spotlight time and time again. His publicist and the Denver Post have made all of this possible. But enough is enough. If the judicial system exonerates Marshall and Roger Goodell clears him to play, so be it. He is nothing more than an All-Pro wide receiver on an offensively depleted roster. As a fan, I hope he continues to score touchdowns in orange and blue. I also hope for his sake that he earns a fair salary, considering he risks his life every time he steps onto the turf. Yet, I hope most of all that Denver ceases to offer him the opportunity to say he is sorry.

Shannahan could not get Marshall to act like a gentleman off the field. Will McD even try?

Shannahan could not get Marshall to act like a gentleman off the field. Will McD even try?

This is the only way that Marshall will ‘get it’ from here on out. The prepared statements Marshall reads to reporters and releases through his attorneys can no longer suffice. The Denver Post needs to remove itself from this public relations fiasco by saying “no” to Marshall’s publicist. Articles about Marshall’s involvement with Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives should never again appear in an issue of the Post. The kids at ODYGA deserve better from Marshall and their city’s paper. Both have used these at risk kids as PR pawns. Celebrity athletes only get one shot at being a mentor. Marshall failed. The media therefore must stop trying to turn Brandon Marshall into a positive societal story.

Casting Marshall as a mentor is partially what got us to this point of no return. The media and the Broncos tried to convince the public that Marshall is something he is not: a humanitarian. He is nothing more than a confused athlete with anger management issues. Though he has never been proven guilty, he has lost his credibility within our city. He publicly apologized and promised he could change. More importantly, Marshall used ODYGA as a road to redemption. Yet, he continues to let all of us down. Why would we want to be aware of anything this man thinks beyond his postgame reactions on Sundays?

Laud Marshall’s on-field courage and feel free to label him an athletic specimen, but it is best to refrain from speculating about his off-field persona. Stick to football-related questions when it comes to Number 15 because that is all he understands. Plus, we have already devoted far too much spotlight to his questionable character, poor judgment, and pithy public apologies.

Hi, my name is Brandon Marshall, which in ancient Greek means "one who takes part in 7 domestic disputes in 3 states in a 4-year span." Pretty sweet name, right? I totally rack up numbers on and off the field.

Hi, my name is Brandon Marshall, which in ancient Greek means: "One who engages in 7 domestic disputes in 3 states in a 4-year span." Pretty sweet name, right? I totally rack up numbers on and off the field.

We can focus on the box score and forget about the humanitarian formerly known as Brandon Marshall, but how does a fan put morals aside and pull for an athlete like Marshall? What, if anything, does a professional athlete owe his or her fans and community?

These are pertinent questions as JR Smith enters the penitentiary, Michael Vick is released from federal custody, and Marshall heads to training camp in a week and a courtroom later this fall.

Charles Barkley once said, “Just because I can dunk a basketball doesn’t mean I should raise your kids.” Chuck was absolutely correct. It is not a professional athlete’s responsibility to raise a community’s children. Parents must teach their children to distinguish right from wrong. Furthermore, an NBA power forward’s job is to perform in the paint, not educate local youths or volunteer on all his off-days. Though athletes can significantly improve a community by organizing charity events and spearheading positive local causes, it is ultimately an athlete’s personal decision whether he or she embraces community activism.

The general public often forgets this crucial fact because fans and media are so quickly lost amidst the fortune and fame of professional sports. It is nonetheless important to bear in mind that these gifted men and women are still individual citizens. They (usually) pay their taxes just like the rest of us, which entitles them to choose their own path and spend their money as they see fit. It is therefore naïve and idealistic to assume all player contracts are social contracts, as well. As long as an athlete fulfills his or her league and/or team’s community service requirements and obeys the law, the public cannot condemn an athlete for not exerting extra humanitarian effort.

By extension of Chuck’s logic, it becomes the public’s duty to highly scrutinize those professional athletes who have publicly sought and accepted roles as mentors within our community. We should commend athletes who uphold their public promises and remain consistent by criticizing those who fail to meet the lofty, well-publicized expectations they set for themselves. The integrity of our city hinges upon our collective ability to wade through celebrity rhetoric, discerning right from wrong, the genuine from the fraudulent, and the faces we can trust from those that will only let us down.

Furthermore, human experience demonstrates that few things are more frustrating and potentially harmful than teachers who neglect to practice what they preach.

JR just realized that 3 times 10 equals 30. Congrats, JR! Now you can quantify the number of days you have to sit in jail. If you didn't have such a great attorney, you would have spent 3 times as many days in jail. Work on that equation and get back to me.

JR just realized that 3 times 10 equals 30. Congrats, JR! Now you can quantify the number of days you have to spend in jail. If you didn't have such a great attorney, you would have been sentenced to 3 times as many days. Solve that equation and get back to me.

Brandon Marshall and JR Smith are like family members who you secretly dislike, but you are obligated to treat with civility. The NFL and NBA League Offices are your grandparents, and the Broncos and Nuggets’ management are only your mother and father. As long as your grandparents keep a relative in the family, no one else can kick him or her out. You do not have to love these players or respect their personal choices, but you might as well try and make the best of their performances in Denver.

That said, feel free to say whatever you like when your bothersome “relatives” are not around…or when you are not watching the game of the week.

The citizens of Denver are entitled to hold the city’s professional athletes to a certain standard of decency. A season ticket holder obviously reserves the right to complain about any member of the organization he or she has invested his or her money in; this goes for rude ushers and subpar chefs, as well as criminal shooting guards and abusive wideouts. However, Colorado’s non-season ticket holders and non-sports fans also deserve to be heard.

The citizens of Adams, Arapahoe, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, and Jefferson County have paid $11.45 annually since 1991 to subsidize the construction of Coors Field; this tax expires in 2011 or when the stadium is paid off. The city of Denver gave the Broncos a $15 million stadium site for $1, and we tax ourselves a penny on every $10 spent in metro-Denver to pay for the field Brandon Marshall makes his money on. Pat Bowlen and Co. only paid for 25% of the new $400 million Mile High Stadium, while taxpayers agreed to contribute over $250 million to the project.*

Also, do you recall what happened to the sale of the Avalanche and Nuggets during the months before the Pepsi Center opened in 1999? Mayor Wellington Webb successfully blocked Donald Sturm’s purchase of the Avalanche, Nuggets, and Pepsi Center. Sturm refused to include a clause in the sale that prohibited moving the Avalanche and Nuggets out of Denver for the next twenty-five years. Webb argued that the city of Denver  had every right to be weary of selling these franchises to Sturm, considering the millions of dollars taxpayers had contributed to the teams in tax breaks, infrastructure costs, and other subsidies. Of Mayor Webb’s actions, author Dennis R. Judd wrote, “The city’s ability to veto the Sturm deal gave it leverage over future sales; it also indicates that other cities can establish conditions on selling publicly subsidized facilities that can enhance their odds of gaining a return on these investments.”

    Look, it's Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg! Oh my bad, that's just Michael Clayton. I get them confused because they both make a living performing miracles for less than admirable people.

Look, it's Denver attorney Harvey Steinberg! Oh my bad, that's just Michael Clayton. I get them confused because they both make a living performing miracles for less than admirable people.

The Broncos, Nuggets, Avalanche, and Rockies are privately owned, but they are still public entities. The jerseys our city’s pros don represent more than the organizations they play for. Those logos are funded by your tax dollars, giving you the right to critique each and every player in Denver.

All that I ask is that we criticize carefully. Consider all of the facts and occasionally put yourself in an athlete or owner’s shoes when forming your own opinions. The Broncos should not trade Brandon Marshall because the NFL League Office has not significantly punished him. He has a discouraging off-field track record, but the Broncos still need to satisfy their fan base by winning games and making the playoffs. Furthermore, the Denver media can limit Marshall’s celebrity by refusing to publish stories about his personality. In the mean time, the public can do and say whatever it wishes.

Just do yourself a favor and heed your mother’s advice: think before you speak.

Here's the real Harvey Steinberg exitting a Denver courtroom with "fan favorite" Todd Sauerbrun. Such a gentleman, emphasis on the "gentle." Just ask the cab driver Todd assaulted.

Here's the real Harvey Steinberg exitting a Denver courtroom with "fan favorite" Todd Sauerbrun. Such a gentleman, emphasis on the "gentle." Just ask the cab driver Todd assaulted.

* Figures taken from Dennis R. Rudd’s 2003 book The Infrastructure of Play: Building the Tourist City

Videos:

Watch Brandon Marshall defend himself

Watch an interview with Marshall’s ex-girlfriend

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