October 28, 2007
Rockies fans get a bum rap, I think.
I've been to baseball games across the country in places where fan bases are reportedly somehow better for baseball -- St. Louis, New York (both teams), Boston, Chicago (NL), Detroit, Atlanta and Cincinnati, to be specific, Western clubs unfairly never seem to make the lists of best fans, and while the environment is different in Denver, there was a youthful exuberance that made last night truly unique and special and certainly good for baseball.
The East Coast stadiums I've been to have loud, boisterous fans that rightfully take pride in their glorious histories and have a sacramental feel to their cheering; everybody seemingly knows the points in the game where you have to stand and shout. Frankly, they are also insular and barely know their opponents, but their understanding of the game and their own team is deep and impressive.
Midwestern fans typically show a more expansive knowledge of baseball, and their fans are less rigid in their protocols for cheering. Not every two-strike count calls for a standing ovation to urge on the pitcher, for instance, but they can get every bit as loud and enthusiastic for their team and sometimes stay that way for an impressive and considerable duration of time.
Colorado has developed a unique fan character. Rockies fans get more jumpy than anywhere I've been to, and very buoyant. The games can get the feel of a rock concert if it's a packed house like it has been since the Arizona series. Don't get me wrong, the scoreboard cheerleading that shouldn't exist anywhere ("Make Some Noise" and "Wave Those Towels") shouldn't exist at Coors, either. It's unnecessary, as the fans are perfectly willing to break out into spontaneous or not-so-spontaneous bursts of noise on their own. Prime examples are the "Go Rockies" call and response appropriated from Broncos games but unique to baseball (kind of like the Braves' tomahawk chop), or the rhythmic "Tulo!" cheer whenever our shortstop comes to the plate (this is kept on beat by the stadium organ, but we were doing it unassisted and got the shuttle bus rocking with it on the way from the parking lot).
I'm not saying any of these fans are superior to others, I am recommending that everyone experience as many of these parks and fan experiences as possible.