Who are Colorado Rockies fans really?

Over the final home series of the 2022 season, it became clear as mud.

The house was packed, and the atmosphere was electric. But that has nothing to do with the home team, right? 

I mean, there aren’t really any Rockies fans here… right?

Surely, the vast majority of people in attendance are transplants who were rooting for the visitors, or the party deck crowd who sees Coors Field less as a ballfield and more as the fanciest bar in LoDo.

Of course, there are the folks who show up just for the fireworks show afterward, a spectacle that never gets old for those who enjoy explosions of light in the sky.

The club reports the numbers but the wise among us can clearly see through the charade. None of this energy is about baseball. It’s bread and circuses.

But as I walked around the concourse over the weekend, as much as I see all of that, I see something more. 

Who are Rockies fans, really?

They are the little leaguers falling in love with the game for the first time. Proudly donning their jerseys and caps, hanging on every pitch with dreams of the future dancing in their heads. It’s the youngest’s first big-league game but it won’t be his last.

They are the travelers who flew into town from places all over the world specifically to be here for this.

They are the family in town for their only trip of the year. They drove across the mountains or down from the prairies or up from the deserts of the southwest. It’s expensive. They have a big family and don’t bring in a lot of extra cash but a trip to 20th and Blake has become an annual tradition that brings them all together and creates lifelong memories.

They are the season ticket holders, some going all the way back to 1993, who have seen it all. They’ve been there for the handful of good times and the multitudes of bad. They’ll be there next year, and they’ll be there the next time the team finds itself playing meaningful October baseball. They are the backbone.

They are the local blogger who spends countless volunteer hours researching and analyzing the team, oftentimes just as hard as any professional, living and dying with every single transaction or smallest piece of news. 

They are the ushers and retailers and concession workers and security guards and grounds crew. Not only are their daily lives built around the team, but they are also some of the most hardcore fans in the world.

They are the transplants who often get a bad reputation for cheering on the team they grew up rooting for whenever they come to town. What this narrative tends to leave out is that the vast majority of these fans will root for the Rockies as hard as anyone… just as long as they aren’t playing their number one team. 

They invest their time and money and energy into wanting to see a better on-field product as well and the fact that they occasionally (and sometimes frustratingly) show up in red, blue, or orange jerseys at Coors Field shouldn’t diminish that.

There are the ones who do the wave, the ones who start the wave, and the heroes who ignore them both.

They are the fan who watched every single game this season and honestly couldn’t tell you why. They’ve been angry since the Nolan Arenado trade, if not before, and find themselves scratching their heads at every major and even minor decision. They want the owner to sell. They want the GM and most of the coaches (and players for that matter) gone. They are on the edge of being done with this team.

Many have crossed that line. Make no mistake, fan apathy is at an all-time high. Don’t let the attendance numbers obscure that fact, either. The team is in a bad place and has, if you’ll forgive the pun, a mountain to climb in order to regain the trust of a large segment of the fanbase.

But there are those who, through it all, still love baseball and bleed purple. They came out in droves to sing “TONIGHT” one last time this year for Charlie Blackmon, to say thank you to the players who put in a hell of a grind, and to say goodbye to anyone who may not be back next season.

Baseball teams are many things. As much as they are giant corporations that operate for profit, they are also communities that extend from the owners, front office, and players down to the fan who can only make one game a year… maybe one game a decade.

So, who are Colorado Rockies fans really?

They are lovers of the game who support their team in the dark times and yearn for the day that the quality on the field matches the passion in their hearts.