Kevin Cullen

Mild-high excitement

By Kevin Cullen
Globe Columnist / October 25, 2007

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If the Rockies lose the World Series, most people in Colorado will go:

A. into a deep depression.

B. straight to the fridge and grab another cold Coors Light.

C. skiing.

If you answered C, then you understand Coloradans all too well and need not read any further.

The 103d edition of the Fall Classic is not really a fair contest, not off the field, anyway. Having won 21 of their last 22 games entering last night's opener, the Rockies are the hottest team in baseball. They have some of the best players you've never heard of. And their payroll is just about what the Sox paid for the rights to talk to Dice-K.

The unfairness of it all is that while a disturbing proportion of us really, actually, honestly care about whether the Red Sox win or lose, most people in Colorado think baseball is a sport that strays far too deep into football season and perilously close to ski season.

Unlike us, Coloradans will not lose sleep over the World Series, figuratively or literally, thanks to their living in the Mountain Standard Time zone.

They will not endure the insufferable banter of local TV anchors, who treat the prospect of baseball in October here like they do a dusting of snow in February: something to be talked about endlessly on air.

"In other news, the death toll from that explosion in Pakistan yesterday reached 436, which coincidentally is Dustin Pedroia's on base percentage in the post-season."

As a part-owner of the Red Sox (PERSONAL DISCLOSURE: The New York Times Co., which owns the Globe, owns 17 percent of the Red Sox, which means that while all you suckers are forking over $4.25 for a bag of peanuts at Fenway, I pay only $3.53.), I am deeply concerned for transplanted New Englanders who have to live among such hardball apathy in the great Centennial State.

Take poor Sydney Westland.

She and her family recently decamped from Milton for Boulder, where she is a sophomore at the University of Colorado. On Monday, Sydney went shopping for a Red Sox jersey, which turned out to be something of an odyssey.

She went to a Sports Authority store where the sales people looked at her with utter incomprehension. Next, she tried Dick's Sporting Goods, where an extremely rude clerk said they did not carry Red Sox items and dismissed the Olde Towne Team as "a bunch of boogers."

"Well," Sydney replied, "that's a compliment, because I love to pick my nose."

That's telling 'em, Syd.

Finally, Sydney's perseverance was rewarded when she went to a store called Fanzz. She got her jersey and assorted Red Sox paraphernalia. A sales clerk there told her they sell more Red Sox stuff than any other team.


On Tuesday, Sydney went online and scored four tickets to Monday night's game at Coors Field. She was shocked to learn that there were something like 18,000 tickets available for that game.

"The Broncos are playing Monday night," Sydney explained.

Translation: Denver is a football town.

"There are a lot of people jumping on the Rockies bandwagon out here," Sydney said on the phone.

"They pretend that they care, but I get the sense that a lot of them don't care very much whether the Rockies win or lose. They're just happy to be in the World Series."

Sydney said her newfound friends in Colorado don't quite get the whole Red Sox Nation phenomenon.

When she talks about her passion for the Red Sox, some of them look at her blankly. Others smile and pat her hand, as if she had just confessed to having contracted some horrible, incurable disease. "I've tried to explain it, but - ."

She says it's not really fair to compare the two franchises involved, not to mention the psyches of their fans.

"I'm 19 years old," Sydney Westland said. "That means I'm four years older than the Rockies."

Kevin Cullen is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at

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