Nov 012007
 
Authors: Joseph Haynie

After the Colorado Rockies lost to the Boston Red Sox in the World Series on Monday, someone asked me if I was tired of watching baseball.

I told him that I wasn’t quite ready to stop, but three more games would have been nice.

This week has left me and many others in a state of reflection similar to that awkward and lonely void following a funeral.

A mainstay in my life is now no longer there. I’ve found myself surfing the channels looking for those familiar Rockies, only to come up with the World Series of Poker – not exactly America’s favorite pastime.

Although Colorado Avalanche hockey will eventually fill that void and occupy my evenings for the next few months, I’ll still long for the sights and sounds of baseball.

The Rockies captivated not only a local audience, but a national one as well.

Although most people in and out of Denver could not spot any of the Rockies players on the street – they were able to meander through Boston with almost complete anonymity – they put Colorado back on the baseball map. Their performance on the field, and their humility off it, inspired many.

Although the bandwagon may be overflowing, with many joining the journey as it came to a close, one can only hope that it stays this way.

As I watched the Rockies this season, and especially during the postseason, I found a few lessons that can benefit us all.

When you step up to the plate, take a swing.

In the first few games of the World Series, it seemed as if the Rockies had forgotten how to swing. They stood like bystanders, watching pitches fly past, avoiding them as if they were traffic.

It’s hard to fathom how a team that lead the National League in batting wound up with far more strikeouts than runs scored and a sub-par batting average to end the postseason.

One common reaction to season ending defeats is a phrase we all know: there’s always next year. This is a lie.

Look at the Cubs! Not since 1945 have the loveable losers from the north side participated in a World Series. For 100 years they have gone without a championship.

Next year may never be. Take advantage of the opportunities that come your way as it could be your only shot.

Believe in the underdog!

The phrases “Colorado Rockies” and “World Series” were not supposed to appear in the same phrase this season.

In September, a Rockies’ run to and through the playoffs seemed improbable. People outside of Colorado considered this notion of a playoff run a result of the thin air. Crazy talk! Yet, here we are, one month later, sulking and saddened by a four-game sweep in the World Series.

Alas, not everyone can be the Hoosiers or the Rudy of Notre Dame football fame. Just because you are an interesting and inspiring underdog story doesn’t mean that you will win.

Didn’t Rocky Balboa, after fighting a good fight against Apollo Creed, come up short? He did, but he still came out on top.

Like Rocky Balboa, the Rockies were no match for the Red Sox, the Apollo Creed of baseball.

Despite their defeat, with pride, I’m sure the Rockies can say: “Yo Denver, we did it.”

The Rockies have put their recent season to rest. As they look forward to the spring and the upcoming 2008 campaign, they have a long cold winter to think about what could have been and to reflect on what was.

Hopefully they can learn from their errors and play with the same underdog mentality that propelled them from the league’s basement to one of baseball’s best.

Joseph Haynie is a senior political science major. His column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com

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