In the crowd: Bouncing back |

In the crowd: Bouncing back

Steve Johnson
Aspen, CO Colorado

DENVER ” The chest bump is a common practice these days in sporting venues large and small.

It seems to have replaced the high-five, the low-five, and a variety of choreographed handshakes as the celebration of choice among athletes (particularly the large ones who perform on TV).

A chest bump occurs when two or more athletes approach each other after a good play and, yes, bump their chests together as a sign of celebration or approval. In some cases, the chest bump is preceded by a short run and a skyward leap, resulting in an airborne form of chest bump known as the Flying Chest Bump.

The Colorado Rockies’ thrilling, 13-inning victory over the San Diego Padres on Monday produced similar antics from many of the fans at Coors Field.

I was standing on the left-field concourse, under the giant scoreboard, when Matt Holliday scored the winning run and a blizzard of wild emotion enveloped the stands.

We couldn’t believe what we had just seen. We screamed. We ran in wild circles. We leaped into the air. We high-fived the guys, and we hugged the girls. We screamed until our voices gave out.

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Fireworks exploded directly above us, and the smoke settled into the stands in a delirious haze.

I turned and took a run at the brick wall under the scoreboard. I leapt skyward (sort of) and flew into the wall in a Flying Chest Bump. The next thing I knew, I was lying face down on the cool concrete of the left-field concourse “and laughing my ass off.

I noticed a Rockies usher watching me with a horrified look on his face ” surely this moron must have seriously injured himself. But I popped right up and continued the celebration.

An hour or so later, I noticed that my right hip was very sore, and the cell phone in my right pocket was broken. And my left knee must have taken some kind of blow, because I couldn’t put my full weight on it. My right shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, two fingers and ribs were sore.

I’m not quite sure what happened after I hit the brick wall. Apparently, I bounced off the wall with considerable velocity. It made sense at the time.

And what did I, a grown man, learn from all this? To paraphrase my friend Sandy Munro, who had a similar experience with a banjo on stage at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival: I didn’t know I bounced so good.

Meanwhile, I’m actually enjoying the aches and pains. They’re a visceral reminder of a special night in Major League Baseball history. I think I’ll actually miss them when they’re gone.

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