I was confident about the long layoff not being at all bad for the Rockies... but the layoff has been so long that now I'm starting to have second thoughts, and there is enough time left before Wednesday for third and fourth thoughts as well. Getting out of my controlled environment didn't work as well as I thought it would. The woman who cut my hair on Friday in Chicago had no idea who Troy Tulowitki was, can you imagine? It was also quite a nasty blow to my sense of self-importance that pretty much to the last every member of my Irish Catholic family at the wedding today told me "It's really nice about the Rockies and everything, but we're still rooting for the Red Sox to win. Sorry."
Also... I'm away from my fast computer and my reliable Internet connection, and I'm freaking out. Let's call a spade a spade: this is the highest-visibility period Bad Altitude has ever had and likely will ever have, and it's not doing me any favors being stuck in airports with no cell phone service and no computer for large chunks of it. For all the people who have contacted me in the last few days, journalists, radio personalities, fellow fans, and well-wishers, I apologize profusely for being unavailable. It's out of my hands. There are certain obligations families present that utterly supersede even playoff baseball. (Although tell that to all of my uncles and cousins who hovered over my cell phone for each update during ALCS Game 6.) Even with my deathly NLCS Game 3 cold moving into full-body expulsion mode, I still had to dance with every single pale, freckled first cousin in the joint or else face personal responsibility for having made the wedding less than a complete success.
Of course, a lot of other things had to go right, too: Had the Sox not won, the wedding would have gone into family memory as a fiasco anyway. That's what we need to be mindful of making this season about, as Rockies fans: Cultural memory. As of right now it's impossible to have grown up in the Denver area without the Broncos having made some impact in one's life, something that as a native Chicagoan it's always been incredibly hard for me to understand. You could easily, though, have gone your whole childhood quite happily ignoring the Rockies just as if they hadn't entered the league around when you were 10 or 11. But if people are still talking about this Rockies team in four or five years' time, then I don't see any way that the franchise can't have been permanently changed for the better. Even an ugly history (Cubs, Phillies) is better than no history at all (Devil Rays). The Rockies are only four wins away from an utterly undeniable slab of according-to-Webster's history, and I hope the players are as acutely aware of this as you and I.
Update: In the time-honored way of recklessly leftist alternative free weeklies everywhere, Westword has totally abused the praise I gave them on their Rockies coverage with this incredibly simple-minded socialist fairy tale regarding two idiots who went to jail for running on the field after the Rockies-Padres tiebreaker game. Oh, poor kids didn't want to go to jail? Then DON'T RUN ON THE FIELD.