One of the fun tasks of a Lyft driver is taking folks to their expatriate sports team hang outs. With 350 people a day moving into Denver, they bring with them their Penn State, Crimson Tide, University of Texas fandom. There is a bar in Denver for about any team. I am not sure about Slippery Rock (The Lions are 6-0 for the first time since 1962), but I am sure you could find a gathering of Toledo ‘Mud Hens’ on most any Saturday.
Last week I picked up Kerry who was let’s say, ‘a bit wound up’ as she was preparing on Friday for the BIG GAME on Saturday. I asked her in my naïveté “What big game”? She gave me the “Oh yes, I forget – I live in Colorado now. I went to Michigan State and we play Michigan tomorrow”. I earned her trust back with my “Go Spartans” comeback. She began a two minute soliloquy on why they would probably lose. There is no way I could even paraphrase it. I think it was actually one sentence with at least 13 “you knows” and only one breath. She then asked me if I had a team. I played my ‘native Coloradoan’ card, “I pull for the Rams, Buffs, and Falcons and anyone playing Alabama… oh yes and when BYU plays Notre Dame,God takes a 4 hour nap”.
She shared how she came to Denver a little over a year ago. She fits a demographic that I see all the time. She is from the Mid-West, college educated, works in tech and never plans to leave. The question came again about how I feel about the current invasion. “I am ok with it except for the traffic. Everyone came from somewhere else. As long as you invest yourself into more than the 3792 new Brew-pubs or the Weed, I welcome you. We need to continue to be willing to make Colorado a sustainable, inclusive and just place to live. If you are from the East Coast, you can check your attitude at the Kansas border. If you are a Boston sports fan, find your bar and stay there. So much for my speech”!
I dropped her off at a downtown restaurant where she was meeting some other Spartan fans to get ready for the game. You have to love ❤️ being 25. I asked when the game was. She said “Tomorrow afternoon”. I replied “For what’s its worth I will send up a cheer”. (I really didn’t think they had a prayer).
My next ride was three Oklahoma Sooner fans. I won’t go into it but they already had OU playing Alabama in the National Championship Game. Saturday came and the next afternoon I checked my phone while playing with my family at “Scream Acres” in LaSalle. I was stopped in my Pumpkin Chunkin tracks (for $five you get to shoot 6 pumpkins with air cannons at targets a 1/4 mile away)—Michigan State 14, Michigan 10–final. Then the OU score— Iowa State had beaten The Sooners 38-31–UPSET CITY!!! There were two bars in Denver where the Green and White (Spartans) and the Yellow and Red (Cyclones) were pretending they were back home for a day.
Later Saturday evening I saw a pile of forlorn Nebraska fans sitting on the curb with red face-paint dripping down their faces. Go Buffs!!!
Onward and Upward,