If you’re like me you find yourself occasionally scratching your head over the odd partnership between the Colorado Rockies and Pizza Ranch restaurants.
Pizza Ranch is all over the place during broadcasts of Rockies games on AT&T sports net despite the fact that Pizza Ranch’s only Colorado locations are in Loveland and in Pueblo. Two Colorado stores. That’s it.
So why does the chain advertise so heavily on a Denver-based regional sports network? Is it because Pizza Ranch has seven locations in Nebraska and one up in Wyoming? Does AT&T sports net even broadcast in those places? Is Pizza Ranch seeding the market with adverts in advance of an aggressive expansion into the Denver area?
The partnership seems extremely unlikely unless one considers the one thing Pizza Ranch and the Colorado Rockies and their owners seem to have in common: an apparent disdain for the gays.
Dick Monfort is widely known to be an active and activist purveyor of his Christian faith.
In 2006 Dick told USA Today that he credited the success the Rockies were enjoying to recruiting players with “character” which he defined this way: “I don’t want to offend anyone, but I think character-wise we’re stronger than anyone in baseball. Christians, and what they’ve endured, are some of the strongest people in baseball. I believe God sends signs, and we’re seeing those.”
I suppose they pray harder.
Unlike many MLB clubs the Rockies have never sanctioned an official team-sponsored “Pride day”. They have, however, hosted “Faith Days” for Focus on the Family types.
The Rockies’ recent signing of Daniel Murphy was seen by many fans as signal that, because of their Christian values, the Rockies are tolerant of intolerance towards homosexuality.
While with the New York Mets in 2015 Murphy told a local media outlet that he disagreed with the gay “lifestyle” “100%”. It came up because of a visit to the team by Billy Bean, the first former MLB player to admit that he was gay. This is the full quote: “I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. I don’t think the fact that someone is a homosexual should completely shut the door on investing in them in a relational aspect. Getting to know him. That, I would say, you can still accept them but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100 percent.”
Murphy went on to say: “Maybe, as a Christian, that we haven’t been as articulate enough in describing what our actual stance is on homosexuality. We love the people. We disagree the lifestyle. That’s the way I would describe it for me. It’s the same way that there are aspects of my life that I’m trying to surrender to Christ in my own life. There’s a great deal of many things, like my pride. I just think that as a believer trying to articulate it in a way that says just because I disagree with the lifestyle doesn’t mean I’m just never going to speak to Billy Bean every time he walks through the door”
Daniel Murphy’s comments would seem to make him a perfect fit for the Colorado Rockies. But they would make him an even better spokesperson for Pizza Ranch restaurants which have earned an anti-LGBT reputation that makes Chick-Fil-A look like tolerance central.
Like the Colorado Rockies, Pizza Ranch claims to be a “Christian-based company” whose vision is “To glorify God by positively impacting the world we live in”. The company is based in Iowa and its locations are frequent campaign stops for Republican candidates stumping there and the restaurants sometimes host anti gay events.
Fans of irony will enjoy knowing that the founder of the “Christian-based company”, Lawrence Vander Esch, was sentenced in 2001 to ten years in prison after confessing to diddling dozens of teen male employees after convincing them they were donating semen samples. I kid you not. How is that these “Christian values” types are so inclined toward teen penis?
Knowing that Pizza Ranch is a company that frowns on gayness might help explain why a restaurant chain with just two locations in the entire state of Colorado is life partners with the Colorado Rockies. The team’s affiliation with Pizza Ranch is further evidence of ownership’s intolerance.