Sean Beckwith: Mile-high sports hate
When I was young I road tripped through Colorado with my uncle Mark. I’m not sure where we were going or what the point of the road trip was, but I do remember what we listened to. We found some sports talk radio; it might’ve been in Denver or just outside, and the topic was sports hate.
Various Colorado sports fans were calling in and you had your typical anti Raiders and Chiefs crowds. However, the most prominent team that came up was Nebraska football. As a couple of Husker fans, it gave us such glee to be the primary tormenters.
Sadly, that time has passed. Conference realignment and Texas ruined that rivalry — though I’m sure, like a few Nebraska fans, there are some CU diehards who would welcome a return the to Big 12.
I bring this up because recently I was able to take an incredible amount of pleasure in a different segment of Colorado fans’ discontent. Let me be one of many to welcome Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Sorry, I digress. Today I’m going to make educated guesses at what afflicts each fan base of Colorado four pro teams. (Comcast and Altitude’s ongoing dispute notwithstanding.)
Honestly, I don’t really follow hockey, but from what I understand is the Avs are pretty good this year. Backers of the Avs probably take some kind of issue with line switch, icing, high stick (am I close?) thing. As of Monday, though, the Avs are 1 point out of first in the Honda West (kudos to product placement).
They’re tied with Vegas for second behind … drum roll … the St. Louis Blues. My actual guess this year is for ire of Avs fans is their competition for the division seeing as they all play each other 50 times. We all know familiarity breeds fights, which are still a thing in hockey.
Now that John Elway is back to selecting Chevrolets and not 6-foot-5 quarterbacks, all focus turns to whatever the hell is going on with the Bowlen family “Succession” plot. Regardless of who ends up with control, the history of owner’s kids isn’t great.
Al Davis’ kid Mark was cutting his hair at home before the pandemic. Hiring John Gruden paid off in the fact that they’re now selecting in the early teens as opposed to top five. Jeanie Buss just won a title, but we all know LeBron is the puppet master wherever he goes. So congrats to the Lakers for piggybacking off previous accomplishments. Harold Steinbrenner and the Yankees haven’t won a title in over a decade, a drought by Pinstripes’ standards.
Until he’s gone, though, Broncos fans are going to associate Vic Fangio with losing. The guy loves to blow games late, and you could argue their offense consistently underperforms. When healthy, Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy and Cortland Sutton have as much potential as any young pass-catching corps in the league.
How inept management is going forward will determine Fangio’s successor to the most hated sportsperson in Colorado throne — and his head coaching job.
The Nuggets are like the middle child who — even if he’s riding a unicycle while juggle ice picks and singing “La boheme” — will never get his due attention. And that is pretty much what Nikola Jokic has been doing this season. The guy is as close are we’re going to get to seeing Arvydas Sabonis in his prime.
His command of the game is transcendent, and he plays the right way. I don’t know if Mike Malone is coaching the right way, but people are always going to blame the coach when players aren’t consistent. Jamal Murray and Michael Porter Jr. are prime candidates for public enemy No. 1, because they are talented enough to go for 40 but disappear too much. That said, if your three best players all play different positions and should seemingly fit on paper but underperform, then it’s going to fall to the coach.
However, the things Nuggets’ fans hate the most are other Colorado sports fans. The team is as fun as any Nuggets team I can remember. Even peak Carmelo wasn’t as great as Jokic. He’s in shape and an MVP candidate, but people would still rather talk about if Drew Lock is the guy (he isn’t). The only way Coloradans would watch Jokic is if Elway signed him to play under center. (He’s got the arm.)
This one is too easy. I perused comments on The Denver Post’s Arenado trade article, and let’s just say there are a lot of people who would be elated if the next person/people jettisoned from the organization were the Monfort brothers. The crazy thing is Mike Trout ($426.5 million) and Bryce Harper ($330 million) have contracts that exceed the net worth of the Rockies’ ownership (allegedly $700 million). Forbes has the team valued at $1.275 billion.
If they sold the team, they’d never have to worry about another meatpacking plant again. And Rockies fans would never have to wonder if their best player will be traded the next time the price of pork dips.
I don’t know if that’s how it works; I just know that a bunch of basement Wall Street bros took a large chunk out of new Mets owner Steve Cohen’s pockets and he still tried to sign Trevor Bauer. Speaking of which, shout out to Rockies’ No. 2 most hated entity, the LA Dodgers. I guess just be glad Arenado didn’t get traded there.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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