Tipping Pitches: Sports: Lucky Mustache Not Enough


Thursday, October 1, 2009

Sports: Lucky Mustache Not Enough

email to friend edit
There's no fun in being a fan without getting your heart ripped out a few times.  You can love your team, defend them, follow their every move in ways that should otherwise be considered illegal.  In the end, your team doesn't care about you.  They're punks like that.

I was reminded of that today.  This week really.  As you already know (right?), I'm a Brewers fan living in Colorado.  Fan for life, followed them through the crap and the good.  Always there, for whatever reason.  I'm forgiving like that.

Since the Brewers only played in Colorado once all season, my sons and I have been looking forward to this week for months.  I took them to Tuesday's night game, and they lost.  It was fun, but they weren't particularly entertaining until we left after the eighth inning.

I also went to today's game, the third and final game of the series.  The Rockies had also won the second match-up 10-5.  Nice, Brewers.  Nice.

But today was another day.  At about 11:30, I threw my fifth and final Johnsonville brat (now having two days of beer soaked in) on the grill.  There's no other way to prepare for a baseball game.  At about 12:20, I headed for Coors Field.

On Tuesday, we were lucky.  We got free tickets because my buddy Eric with the lucky mustache had friends with season tickets who weren't attending.  Today, we'd need to pay.  I was going without my sons this time and Eric was bringing his fiance, Emily.  The first to get there would get in line and buy tickets.

I knock Rockies fans a lot because of their laid back nature.  I really have no respect for them, but it's not their fault.  It's nothing personal, really.  But unless you are under 20 years old, you did not grow up with the Rockies.  You do not have any deep-seeded family traditions.  And if you are an adult Rockies fan, it says a lot about you.  It means you either switched loyalties when the Rockies came to town, or you were a casual baseball fan without loyalties.

Again, this isn't something that Rockies fans can necessarily control.  It's just kind of how it is.  The Rockies wouldn't have fans at all without having people like this.  Unfortunately, that makes them somewhat less knowledgeable and loyal than the typical baseball fan -- particularly when compared to certain markets.

That may be a cruel generalization, but I think it holds up.  I asked Eric with the lucky mustache if he could name any Rockies fans who are as die hard about their team as he is the Brewers.  He said he could maybe think of two.  I can't think of any.  I know enough people out here that I should at least know a handful.

If you're in New York, you won't need to be introduced to many people before you run into someone who is more than a little serious about the Yankees or Mets.  They aren't just "fans."  The team is a part of their lives.  Maybe to the point where it isn't healthy.

Same is true in Chicago.  Boston.  Milwaukee and Wisconsin in general.  I think it has a lot to do with staying power and tradition.  You can say that the Brewers aren't all that old and established (technically started in 1969 as the Seattle Pilots), but keep in mind that even when I was a seven year-old fan in 1982, I had a father who grew up with the Milwaukee Braves.  Milwaukee has baseball tradition.  Colorado just doesn't.

Anyway, I was a bit impressed when traffic into today's potentially Wild Card clinching game was horrendous.  Finally, it would seem, with their team looking to make the playoffs their fans are going to start to care.  And by care, I don't just mean show up.  I mean care.  They typically have decent crowds, just not boisterous, excitable crowds.

But it was busy around Coors Field.  The first sign that Eric's lucky mustache was working, though, was when I was able to find the final empty spot in my familiar parking lot.  Good start to the day.

As I approached the lines to buy tickets, I called Eric with the lucky mustache on the cell to see if he was here yet.  He was, and was at the front of the line.  This is what I overheard:

"What are your three best seats available?"

"What?  Wait..."

"Serious?  Ok, can you check these?"

Little did I know that while Eric with the lucky mustache was ready to throw down some of our hard earned cash on some tickets, someone came to the front of the line and offered four of his season tickets to him.  For nothing.  Free.  And the woman in the window checked them, and they were legit.

What was the catch?  Seriously.  What was it?  Are we going to be the center of a bomb plot?  Needed to plant us there?  Is it a joke?  What is it?

Could only be the lucky mustache.

Amazingly, we got through the turnstiles.  No issues.  These tickets?  Directly behind home plate.  First section, 34th row.  Pretty amazing for free tickets.

By the way, it's freezing freaking cold.  May have been 50, I don't know, but we were in the shade and it was windy.  Felt like 20.  Should have had on more clothes.  Or worn a lucky mustache to keep my face warm.

We were sitting at the end of our row as the game started.  I glanced over to my left...

"Dude, Mark Attanasio."

"Who?" asked Eric with the lucky mustache.

"Mark Attanasio."

"Mark Astnasio?"

"No, Mark Attanasio.  The owner."

I don't even know how I spotted him so easily because I barely got a side view.  But it was definitely him, and he was within arm's reach.  Same Starter jacket that he wears to every game.  And he walked to the front to his sweet seats.  It was him.

Did I mention it was cold?  It was really freaking cold.

The Brewers were the typical Brewers.  They didn't care.  I wait all season to watch this team, and they just didn't care.  I guess it's unfair to say that, but they played like they didn't care.  The opposing pitcher, Aaron Cook, was walked three times.  Twice with the bases loaded.  It was absolutely embarrassing.

This is when I decided that I could not be an owner or general manager.  How can you sit in those front row seats and be subjected to that display, and then not immediately cut everyone involved?  Or at least Manny Parra?  Manny Freaking Parra.  Disgusting.

On the bright side, I did have some good timing.  At one point I decided to break out my camera and take a couple of pictures with Ryan Braun up.  Took one when he was standing at the plate, getting ready for the pitch.  Pitch coming... time it perfectly...


Home run.  That's some professional photography right there.  Gotta be Eric's lucky mustache.

Beyond that, it really wasn't much fun to watch.  The pitching was terrible.  The hitting wasn't any better.  And it was freaking cold.  Did I mention that?

So, it was easy to get a little surly.  I was aggravated.  And Rockies fans make me even more aggravated.

How is it that you aren't allowed to bring a sign on a stick, but you can bring brooms?  What if you put a sign on that broom?  Would that be allowed?

It wasn't particularly loud for a Wild Card clinching game.  If it was, it would have drowned out my agitated rants.  It wasn't even a full stadium.  I don't care how freaking cold it is.  At one point I asked Eric with the lucky mustache, "Let's say you're a Brewers fan.  Your team is down 7-1.  They're walking in pitchers.  The team doesn't care.  You have nothing to root for.  Now let's say you're a Rockies fan.  Your team is up 7-1.  This is the Wild Card clinching game.  Which person should stick around and watch through the cold?"

We stuck around.  Several people around us did not.  Typical.

So I probably got a little obnoxious.  I just don't enjoy seeing someone else's fans happy when I'm suffering.  In the cold.  Particularly when I don't think any of these fans really care about their team when they are losing.  Or at least I have confidence that a large percentage are that way.

In the ninth inning with two outs, Mike Cameron hits a double to center field to score Prince Fielder and bring the Crew within seven at 9-2.  My natural response:

"Yeahhh!  Comeback!"

Ok, there may have been a choice word in there that I left out.  Anyway, pretty clear that it's a joke.

Of course, a Rockies fan took it a little too personally.  He gave me the stink eye, mumbled some things including a few not-so-nice names.  Ok.

I'm not proud of that behavior.  But let's not be so sensitive.

Of course, then the game finally ended and we stood there watching the Rockies celebrate.  And stood there.

"Dude, ready to go home?"


The lucky mustache is good for parking spots, free tickets and action photography.  But unless the Brewers are sporting them, we're out of luck.  They may say that it's better to be lucky than good, but today...  Today, I'd just appreciate not having to deal with the pain of losing.

The cold pain that a loyal fan feels.


Post a Comment