Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Rox in Big Sky Country

A few years ago I spent a couple of weeks litigating some awful little case involving the sale of radio stations in Great Falls, Montana. I lost the case -- deservedly so, because it was an awful case -- but that wasn't my biggest disappointment of the trip. The worst thing about it was that I have never felt more divorced from baseball than I did for that week and half.

Sure, there's a Pioneer League team there, but it's a short season league and they were nowhere to be found that April. My hotel room had ESPN, but between the two-hour time lag and the post-court meetings, dinners, drinks, and recrimination settings, I was always getting back long after whatever televised game had been decided. The newspaper had no box scores. My Internet collection was wonky. No one in the hotel bar was all that interested in talking about ballgames. In short, I was in Hell.

So I suppose I am somewhat happy to read that Montanans are going crazy for the Rockies:

With the Colorado Rockies heading to the World Series the fall classic comes closer to the Big Sky State than ever before. Moments after last night's win, sporting good stores say fans were already buying Rockies gear. And Consultants with Cook Travel say their phones have been ringing off the hook . . . David Bronson, Assistant Manager of Universal Athletics says that Rockies logo wear is a top sales item. "You know people just pretty excited you know. I think people want to root for the Rockies cause like I said they're so close. Everybody's getting excited; they're coming in buying hats, jerseys, T-shirts. It's just a baseball feeling in the town I guess."

Like everyone else, I am getting a little carried away by the Rox fever, but I know it will pass after the World Series is over. Here's hoping it holds up in Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and other Rocky Mountain locales. Because a baseball-free zone is a depressing place to be.

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