I had planned on doing some major channel-flipping tonight with the Nuggets tipping off a playoff game at the same time as the Rockies getting started against the Padres. While I’m not a big NBA fan, I still watch the Nuggets regularly, and a playoff basketball game takes precedence over an April baseball game.
There was a point in time where it looked like the night was about to go completely sour. The Nuggets had built a massive first-half lead, but there was a brief spurt in which the Hornets forced a few turnovers, made a couple of free throws, got the crowd back into the game and threatened to cut the Nuggets lead into the teens. (Considering that the Nugs had blown a 16-point first half lead and lost in Game Three, tonight’s lead didn’t feel safe.) At the same time, a seemingly innocuous third inning was turning into a disaster for Jason Hammel and the Rockies, as the Padres scored four times to take a 4-2 lead.
This whole span only lasted about two or three minutes, and yet I was legitimately worried. Worried despite the fact that there were 6 and a half innings of baseball left, and worried despite the fact that the Nuggets still led by 20 freaking points. (They would win by 58 freaking points, and I spent more of the fourth quarter watching the Rox.)
I do not know why I am conditioned to expect the worst, particularly since in general I consider myself the optimistic sort. Perhaps this is a common Denver sports fan condition – after all, the list of the city’s painful losses is greatest than their list of triumphs. Denver’s not Cleveland or Buffalo when it comes to misery by any means, but let’s just say there’s not any expectation of great success except where the Broncos are involved, and even those expectations have been significantly lowered recently during possibly the worst offseason that any NFL team has ever had. (As a Seahawks fan, I’d like to personally thank Josh McDaniels and Brian Xanders for giving us a top-5 pick next year. Thanks for Sam Bradford, guys!)
Maybe I expect the worst because usually, with the Rockies and the Nuggets in the playoffs, that’s exactly what I get. Maybe one day I’ll feel good about a 20-point first half lead, or feel confident that a Rockies team can come back from two runs down in the third inning.
Those three minutes soon passed, though. The Nuggets took a 24 point halftime lead and the Rockies answered the Padres rally with four runs of their own in the bottom of the third. Neither team trailed again. It was a good, good night to be a Denver sports fan.
Dexter Fowler kinda looks like Omar from ‘The Wire’, doesn’t he?