At some point today, maybe even before I finish this column, Von Miller will put pen to paper and become the highest paid non-QB in the history of the NFL. There are some of you who believe the Broncos will ruin their cap and mortgage their future by agreeing to such a deal (they won’t), but that’s beside the point. What you should take away from this is that the Broncos are going to steal all the headlines on the same day that the Rockies begin the second half of their season. And so begins the annual mid-summer transition, where the Rockies will be overlooked when training camp starts and almost entirely forgotten when preseason games get underway.
This is the path of the casual fan or those like me who bleed orange and blue. If you’re a diehard Rockies fan, you have every right to be pissed that it’s the same old song and dance every year. I’m just not sure what you can do about it.
Just the other day in my Nuggets column, I mentioned that the Nugs were dead last in home attendance in the NBA. Coach Michael Malone and his players have spoke at length about how they don’t really have a home court advantage, but it’s their job to convince the fans to come back by playing winning basketball. The Rockies don’t have this problem, despite the fact that they aren’t much more competitive than their brothers-in-arms. There are a lot of factors that play into this: ticket prices are lower, the Broncos are on vacation until August and although the Rockies aren’t a winning team, they often put on a good show.
That being said, the biggest reason that the Rockies can draw a crowd is that they play in a beautiful ballpark, and there aren’t many better summer hangout spots than catching a ballgame at 20th and Blake. The Monforts are fully aware of how much appeal that Coors Field adds to their team. That’s why they added a rooftop bar last year instead of some quality veteran pitching. They know that fans will attend games regardless of how well the team is doing. It’s kind of like putting up with family members that you don’t get along with because they have an outdoor pool and a luxurious game room.
Yet the Rockies continue to be an afterthought in the Colorado sports scene whenever the Broncos are in the news, and that’s not going to change until the Blake Street Bummers give people a reason to tune in during football season.
Obviously, I’m somewhat of a pessimistic Rockies fan. If you believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel and the Rockies are simply following the Royals’ blueprint for success, then power to you. Maybe Jon Gray is the long-sought ace for the rotation. Maybe Jeff Hoffman was worth trading Troy Tulowitzki for. We won’t know those answers for another year or two.
I just don’t think I’ll be paying much attention to the Rockies past today. Instead, I’ll be counting down the days until the Broncos’ season opener against the Panthers, and as a diehard Nuggets fan, I’ll be thanking God that there is at least one relevant team in Denver.