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Fans of Rockies roll on

DENVER - Figuring it could be a while before the Rockies are back in the fall classic, Denver is savoring its first World Series. Even while your Sox were showing the upstart NL winners no mercy, the Mile High City was celebrating. "This is a huge step in the evolution of Denver," said Rockies team historian Paul Parker, Colorado's equivalent of Red Sox raconteur Dick Flavin. (Either an optimist or a fool, Parker told us before Game 3 that the Rocks had the Sox right where they wanted 'em.) The weekend games drew a bevy of Denver dignitaries who were trying hard to ignore the scoreboard. "It's a tradition for us to be the underdog, just ask John Elway," said state Senator Chris Romer, directing our attention to the Broncos Hall of Fame QB. "We get down and then we hit you in the gut." Standing nearby was Romer's dad, former governor Roy Romer, who is widely credited with bringing Major League Baseball to Denver. "I started this thing," said Romer Sr. before being wrapped up in a bear hug by the current governor, Bill Ritter. Many more muckety-mucks were in the swish Coors Clubhouse, including Colorado Senator Ken Salazar and the man he defeated for the job, beer baron Pete Coors, as well as Molson Coors CEO Leo Kiely and Broncos coach Mike Shanahan. Billionaire business tycoon Philip Anschutz was MIA, but wife Nancy and son Christian, a prominent Denver developer who once dated figure skater Michelle Kwan, were there. (Among Philip Anschutz's many holdings is Walden Media, the film company with offices in Boston.) By far, the Rockies' biggest fan - the club's Dennis Drinkwater, if you will - is flamboyant Denver car dealer "Dealin' " Doug Moreland, who's always perched directly behind home plate at Coors Field. ("Dealin' " Doug dug deep Saturday, bringing 18 family members to the game.) Said historian Parker: "If the franchise was located in Aspen, we'd have a lot more celebrity fans." Among Sox supporters, there were a few familiar faces, including Drinkwater and corporate consultant Joe Baerlein, both of whom flew out on a private charter with the BoSox brass, as well as nightclub owner Ed Kane, chef Todd English, who looked pleased to be sitting with the Red Sox wives, Continental Cablevision cofounder Irving Grousbeck, father of Celts CEO Wyc Grousbeck, and former governor Mike Dukakis. At the Pour House, a BoSox-friendly bar not far from the park, we also ran into Jeffrey Donovan, the Amesbury-bred actor who stars on "Burn Notice" on the USA Network, who was hanging out with Eric Paquette, a Sony exec from Fall River. On a break from filming Clint Eastwood's new movie "The Changeling," Donovan told us it was a treat to be among friends in enemy territory. "Dude, they have a picture of Fenway on the menu!" he said. "It's like being in Mattapan." Well, sort of. . . . Before the game last night, Fred Willard, star of the new Fox show "Back To You," was spotted having a very good time while reading the Sox starting roster on TV. As the crowds made their way to their seats, one attendee stood above the rest: Brad Garrett, the 6-foot, 8 1/2-inch star of the Fox sitcom " 'Til Death," who rattled off the Rockies starting lineup. "What a beautiful night for baseball," Garrett told us as he was making his way with his son Max to the Main Concourse to find a souvenir shop. "My heart's in Colorado, but I'm rooting for the Red Sox tonight," he assured us. A Yankees fan, Garrett said his strategy was simple: "I do the other thing. . . . If you're good enough to beat the Yankees you better win the World Series." He then walked off and disappeared into the crowd - as much as Garrett can - saying: "This is chaotic. This is nuts." . . . Michael Chiklis of Andover, star of FX's "The Shield," couldn't resist attending. "I just had to see my boys close it out. I just want to bask in the glow of the image of A-Rod sitting at home while we win our second title in four years." He was there with boyhood friend Danny McDuffy, also of Andover. "I'm hoping to hook up with Schill and party all night," Chiklis said.

Denver bar says cheers to Red Sox faithful
Thanks to folks like Eric Young, the reach of Red Sox Nation continues to grow. EY, as he's called, is the GM of the Elm, a Denver drinking spot that's become Sox central during the World Series. A la Sonny McLean's in Santa Monica, the Elm isn't a sports bar per se, but Sox-loving lager louts seek it out because it airs every game. "A couple of my bartenders are big Sox fans, so this thing just kind of developed," says EY, proudly pointing to the red "Yankee Hater" hat hanging behind the bar. "Sox fans began Googling us, and showing up to watch the games. . . . I'm not going to lie to you, it's been absolutely unbelievable for business." That was certainly the case over the weekend as the place was packed with BoSox boosters and even a Japanese news crew, which stopped by to watch Sox fans watch Daisuke Matsuzaka. To be fair, this western city has three other watering holes that also pledge allegiance to the Sox - Spanky's Roadhouse, Choppers Sports Grill, and the Pour House, which is blocks away from Coors Field and takes its name from the Back Bay bar. "I'll tell you," says EY, "I'm looking forward to playing 'Dirty Water' on the jukebox when they win it."

Meat the opposition
Carrie Underwood was a curious choice to sing the national anthem before Game 3. Why? Because the "American Idol" winner is an outspoken vegetarian and Rockies owners Richard and Charlie Montfort made their millions in the meat-packing business. (Their father and grandfather started Colorado-based Montfort Inc., which was the third-largest meat-packing plant in the country before it was bought out.) Of course, Underwood, who's twice been voted the "world's sexiest vegetarian" by PETA, could have refused the assignment, but perhaps that would have been carving off her snout to spite her pretty face. (Keep in mind that Fox airs both "Idol" and the Series.) For their part, the Rockies seemed slightly annoyed by Underwood's selection. "Major League Baseball told us who the singers would be," Rockies flack Jay Alves told the Rocky Mountain News.

Riffing and raffling

"Rockies? Isn't that some kind of cartoon character?" Jay Leno cracked about the Sox's opponent in between taking pictures with the supporters of the National Braille Press at a fund-raiser Friday night. The Andover native hosted the swanky soiree at the InterContinental Boston that raised $1.4 million for the Boston-based nonprofit, which conveniently fell during a break in the World Series action. "Coincidence," Leno told us about the timing. "I got a chance to do a little visiting, but I'm heading right back tonight." "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling got an award, which she accepted via a taped message, and offered up for the live auction a complete set of autographed first editions of her books that went for $43,000 to Lumber Liquidators honcho Tom Sullivan, a longtime supporter of the Press's children's book program. In addition to his 30-minute stand-up routine, Leno emptied the pockets of locals through the auction, and got GM to donate a Cadillac for a raffle that was won by PR gal Ann Murphy. At the end of the night at a VIP event hosted by Boston Common magazine, Leno still had the energy to chat about the Olde Towne Team. "There's no doubt the Sox will continue to play well," Leno told us. "This is an incredible team."

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