The Rockies suck. Debating this is foolhardy. We all know it and no one, unless they’re wearing a propeller beanie is going to argue it. Rockies management sucks worse. From the coaches to the GM, all the way up to the owner, it’s a train wreck of biblical proportions that slid to a stop in a pile of dog doo.
But the one thing that keeps coming up in the midst of all the finger pointing and hand wringing about the Rockies is how bad their fans are. Because attendance has stayed constant, the fans are blamed for the continued woes of the team. Go to the games and those complete knuckleheads in the front office won’t need to change anything: the money keeps rolling in.
That’s true but eventually the horrendous product will override anyone’s desire to spend A LOT of money to sit there and watch bad baseball. The success the Rockies enjoyed on the field over the last five years is why you’re still seeing crowds show up for the dreadful show at 20th and Blake. But once the bloom is finally off that rose – and we’re just about there - the crowds will be similar to a late 90’s Nuggets game: so quiet, you’ll be able to hear a $7.50 beer drop.
But I reject the assertion that Denver is not a “baseball town” as we’re starting to see pop up on our usual social media haunts. When you can’t blame the inept coach and the clueless GM anymore, the accusations will turn to the fans and it’s unfair. By throwing out the “baseball town” line, one is saying that the fans don’t understand the game and are clueless (#joelklatt) simply because they pay for a ticket even when the team sucks.
Take the Chicago Cubs for example. Ranked seventh in attendance this season and ranked number one on the loser team/fan scale. These perennial underachievers always draw a good crowd because Wrigley Field is a great place to see a game and the Cubs are as a part of the city as beef sandwiches and heart attacks. The Cubs suck yet no one questions whether Chicago is a baseball town or whether the fans packing the seats know the difference between a double play and a double penetration. Cardinals fans may claim their archenemies from the north don’t know baseball, but to brand them all ignorant fans because they like to have a few beers and enjoy the ball park is ludicrous. It sickens me to defend Cubs fans, but going to a Cubs game is a tradition that shouldn’t muddy whether Cubs fans “know” baseball.
The Rockies are almost 20 years old and they too are a tradition. And maybe it’s inaccurate to call Denver a baseball town because we’ve got so much else going on: the outdoors, micro breweries, the Denver Broncos, but it is unfair to brand the fans of the team as unknowledgeable just because there are asses in the seats when the team plays like ass. Go to the games. Stay away if you want. But don’t assume that because people will willingly watch a bad product that the core of the Rockies fan base doesn’t know what they’re talking about. It’s just too bad there’s just nothing to talk about.