Oct 2, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Fans watch in the seventh inning of the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
With each passing day, the Colorado Rockies inch closer to starting the 2017 campaign. It’s a season that many expect to see improvement and possibly even a run at the postseason. FanGraphs doesn’t exactly see it that way, but it’s still winter and hope springs eternal for what could be at 20th and Blake this season.
There will be plenty of people streaming through the gates at Coors Field this season, watching the Rockies on TV and taking part in the banter as part of Rockies Twitter. There will be good times … and not-so-good times this season. One thing is for sure … there will always be plenty to talk about when the Rockies take the field.
And that’s where the fans really come in. More than just watching the game in person or in their homes, Colorado Rockies fans add flavor to the season from the outside looking in. Many of them will think they’re a better manager than Bud Black and question why in the world Gerardo Parra is playing so much. Of course, we may be wondering that same question … but that’s for a whole other article.
So what kind of fans will you see this season? We’ve broken them down into five groups, starting with the worst all the way to what many consider to be the worst. Of course, we have the best scattered in there as well.
Take a look and see which category might best describe you … or someone you know.
Apr 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; General view of fans heading to Coors Field before the game between the San Diego Padres against the Colorado Rockies. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Yep, they’re out there. There’s a group that simply can’t stand the Colorado Rockies or anything that has to do with the team … yet they still have a decal on their back windshield or a picture of a Coors Field sunset on their Facebook page. Go figure.
They’re the group that reads the boxscore and tells you how bad the team is and asks, “Why do I even bother?” They’re the group who reminds you of “the good old days” when Rocktober brought Denver together … and then quickly tells you that that will never happen again. They’re the group that when Jhoulys Chacin or Kyle Kendrick when a game with their new teams in 2017, they’ll tell you the Rockies should’ve never gotten rid of them. Yeah, they’re that delusional.
This group is also the ones that will wear a Nolan Arenado jersey by wondering out loud, “If he’d really hit as many homers with the New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox … because you know he’s going to play there some day, right?” The team is too old or too young (depending on the day).
They’re also the ones who wear a Rockies jersey … but then switch into their Cubs, Dodgers or Giants gear when another of “their favorite teams” come to town. They’ll sing along to Charlie Blackmon’s walkup music (toniiiiiiiiight) and then cheer when he flies out.
Sep 5, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; A Colorado Rockies fan awaits a pitch during the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. The Rockies defeated the Giants 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
There’s a difference between the haters and the pessimists. The haters believe nothing good will ever happen. The pessimists believe good things will happen … and then all of our hopes and dreams will be crushed.
They are the ones who say in a sad voice with the Rockies leading 5-4 in the ninth, “Here comes another bullpen blow-up.” They’re the ones who leave after the sun goes down and the seventh-inning stretch has been sung because “they can’t stand to see another late-inning loss.” They’re the ones who, in the middle of a seven-game winning streak, remind you that the Rockies really haven’t been playing any good teams during that stretch.
They are the ones who are quick to remind you how last year’s team got hot after the All-Star break and then faded because of injuries and blown saves. An opponent’s base hit to open the fourth inning will bring another round of “here we go again” sayings from them.
In early August, they start dusting off their Denver Broncos jerseys because they’re just sure that Colorado’s late-season swoon is coming.
While these fans aren’t as bad as the haters, they’re certainly not the ones you want to be sitting next to during a close game (or maybe any game) at Coors Field.
Oct 2, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon (19) greets fans following the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
These are the people who are the exact opposite of the fan we just described on the previous page.
They’re the ones who believe a six-game losing streak will be snapped at any moment and followed up with a seven-game winning streak.
They’re the ones who look at last season’s records against the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs and think, “Hey, that team wasn’t so bad!”
They’re the ones who believe sliders from Adam Ottavino and Jon Gray will be even nastier this year than they were last year.
They’re also the ones who believe the Rockies will be just fine if they don’t sign anyone else this offseason. “Ian Desmond will be a great first baseman. He’ll be better than Mark Reynolds last season. Mark my words!” That’s one of their battle cries as they tell you how smart the Desmond signing was for the team, now and in the future.
There’s nothing wrong with this kind of fan at all. They look at a one-run loss in extra innings as a chance for a young team to learn more about themselves. They see the beer glass at Coors Field certainly half-full rather than half-empty.
They’ve already looked at the schedule and counted up 95 wins this season for the Rockies. In their eyes, life is good … and it’s only going to get better as we get closer to October.
Oct 2, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies fans cheer for players in the dugout following the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The Bandwagon Fans
Let’s face it. If you’re reading this article right now, you probably want the Rockies to do well this season. You want them to be fighting for a postseason spot. You want them to make the first few Bronco games of the season not the only thing the Denver-area media is talking about. We get that … and we’re right there with you. However, if that happens, you’re going to have to be ready for the bandwagon fans.
Yep, these fine folks will sit right there by you in September and tell you all about how they were sitting at Coors Field in April when no one else was around. They probably won’t tell you they were wearing a Dodgers jersey, but that’s beside the point, right?
They’ll tell you all about how they believed in Jon Gray from Day One, how they knew Tyler Anderson was going to burst onto the scene last year and how they’ve been pulling for Chuck Nazty even before he had a beard.
Yes, they’ll be there if the Rockies are winning. They may be annoying … but wouldn’t we rather have them there than not? After all, their presence means a good season in LoDo. I think we could all take being a little annoyed in exchange for that.
Avoidance Level: Low, but growing as the season progresses
Sep 6, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Rockies fans with right fielder Carlos Gonzalez (5) and third baseman Nolan Arenado (28) (both not pictured) jerseys on before the game against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Real Fans
You know who you are … and you know who they are as well. You know the real fans of the Rockies. The fans that will be there on Opening Day not just because it’s Opening Day but because they have to be there to cheer on their team. And then they’ll be there the next day as well when attendance drops dramatically. They don’t go to Opening Day because it’s the cool thing to do. They do it to welcome their team back to LoDo.
They sit there during fireworks games and wonder why crowds like that can’t be there every night. They sit at Coors Field and shake their heads as Giants, Cubs and Dodgers fans make more noise than the Rockies supporters. They don’t just come for bobbleheads or T-shirts. They come to support the Rockies.
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They’re upset when the team loses, especially a game they shouldn’t have lost. They break down the bullpen stats when a relief pitcher is called in. They may even keep score with a pencil like “the good old days.”
They believe Rocktober can and will happen again. They believe it could be this year. But, whether it’s this year or another year, they’ll be there, cheering on the Rockies. They’ll clap in the good times and they’ll hold their head in their hands in the bad. But either way, they’ll be there for “their team.”