In my introduction last week, I tried to be as open and honest about myself as possible. But I have to admit now that there was one small omission I left out.
I know I’ve only been writing here at INDenverTimes for like a week and a half, but I’ve been pleased with the connection we’ve established already; so I’m legitimately nervous that this confession might torpedo the momentum that we’ve got going.
Regardless, here goes…
Good people of Denver, I am a Philadelphia sports fan.
OK, OK, before you contact the editor or grab your pitchforks and torches, let me quickly defend myself with a couple key facts.
FACT 1: My dad and his family are from Philadelphia. This is how I was raised, so I come by it naturally.
FACT 2: My Wife and I love living in Colorado. When we were thinking about leaving Virginia, Denver was the first and only option on our list. I’ve lived in a lot of different states and never thought I would find a place where I could see myself living and dying, but I think I finally have.
FACT 3: After a trip to Seattle this spring, I wrote an extensive love letter to Denver and immediately bought a Rockies hat after the trip as a peace offering to the city for my dalliances.
FACT 4: My favorite football player of all time is safety Brian Dawkins and even he followed me out to Denver this year (and I even swallowed my pride and bought my wife a Dawkins' Broncos jersey as a wedding present).
FACT 5: After he led me to my first fantasy football championship a couple of years ago, My Wife (Girlfriend at the time) bought a Brandon Marshall jersey. The first as such in my collection that was not from a Philadelphia sports team.
And if all of that is still not good enough, here’s what life for Denver sports fans has been like since my presence has been in the city this year: the Nuggets went to the Western Conference Finals, the Rockies turned their season around and made the playoffs, the Broncos are off to a very surprising 5-0 start (hopefully 6-0 after tonight) and the Avalanche are off to a blazing start after a disappointing season last year.
You’re welcome, Denver.
The Bull and I went to a bunch of Rockies games this summer, my Wife and I were at Invesco last week rooting on the Broncos in their overtime win against New England, and I even locked down a 10 game pack of Nuggets tickets for their upcoming season (I love pro basketball); so we really are trying to be good residents and get ourselves immersed in the local sports culture.
That said, my worst fears were realized last week as the Phillies faced the Rockies in the first round of baseball’s playoffs.
Really baseball gods?
It was a stressful week for me and it all started at the beginning of the series when a local mechanic called me out for wearing a Phillies t-shirt while I was getting my oil changed. That led into the first two games of the series, which of course had to be scheduled as day games, when I, of course, had to be at work with my co-workers, who are of course Rockies fans.
Tempering my excitement for the Phillies win in Game 1 was almost as much fun as living through their excitement when the Rockies won Game 2.
You have to understand that I come from a small town in Virginia that doesn’t have its own professional sports team, so you can always feel free to root for whoever you want. I know Denver has a lot of out-of-towners living here now, but the Tidewater area is made up of mostly military families, so NO ONE is actually from there.
If you walk into a local sports bar on a Sunday afternoon in Norfolk, you would see a NFL bouillabaisse of Redskins, Cowboys, Steelers, and Dolphins jerseys and apparel.
So, it’s taking me some time to get used to everyone out here supporting the sports teams from just one city.
To be perfectly honest though, I kind of like it.
As I mentioned last week, too much of my own self-worth comes from the success of the Philly teams that I follow – and that’s just how it works in Philly. They live and die on every pitch, every pass, every slapshot, and ever three pointer.
I love that intensity; but at least for me, it gets exhausting.
Denver fans seems passionate, knowledgeable, and completely into every game, but they also seem to have this strange ability to enjoy the games as well.
A concept foreign to me.
After the Phillies clinched on Monday, I was expecting a lot of cold shoulders at work on Tuesday, but people actually stopped by my desk to congratulate me.
A concept completely foreign to me.
Maybe that’s what I need in my life right now: a solid example of fanaticism yet fun in regards to the teams we follow and the games we watch.
Just another reason why I’m happy to living here.
A couple of days ago, my buddy Gray asked me if we stay here and have kids, would I let them choose to be Denver fans instead of rooting for Philly teams.
Of course I would let a child choose!
I would let them choose between being a Philly fan or having a roof over their head and food on their plate.
Let’s not get crazy.