Tonight, the Rockies will host the Cubs in the opener of a three-game series at Coors Field. While there are certainly implications in terms of potential wild card standings down the road, it won’t be the on-field play that will get the most attention, unless Carlos Gonzalez does something dramatic. Instead, it will be the latest invasion of Cubs fans in Lodo that will have people talking.
Every time Chicago comes to town, their backers come out in droves, turning Coors Field into “Wrigley Field West.” It’s an impressive showing, as they’ll potentially outnumber Rockies fans and will certainly be as vocal in the stands, but that doesn’t mean it’s not annoying. A healthy respect for the effort is one thing; not being fazed by it is another.
Why will Cubs fans get under the skin of true, diehard Rockies fans this week? Well, other than the sheer number of them in attendance, there are plenty of things they’ll do that will be bothersome; the list is almost limitless.
But a few things will rise to the top. Here are the five most-annoying things Cubs fans will bring to Lodo this week:
5. Complain about Coors Field – Wrigley Field is a cool ballpark; there’s a reason why it’s a bucket list item for almost every sports fan. But for the most part, that has everything to do with its age. Attending at a game that opened in 1914, and looking at the field where virtually every star in the history of the game has walked, is special. There’s no doubt. But other than that, Wrigley is a dump; it’s a pain in the neck to visit and a bad place to watch a ballgame. But that won’t keep Cubs fans from acting like it’s the greatest sports venue ever built, which they express by criticizing every aspect of Coors Field. They’ll rip the expansive outfield, make fun of the messages on the scoreboard, scoff at the party deck and turn their nose up at pretty much everything at 20th and Blake. And it will be annoying.
4. Wear brand new gear – There are some legitimate, lifelong Cubs fans out there. These are the people who were weeping in the streets when the team finally broke the Curse of the Billy Goat with a World Series win in 2016. Those folks coming to our fair city, wearing their Ryne Sandberg jersey and telling stories about watching Ernie Banks play is great – Welcome to Denver! But they’ll be in the minority of Cubs fans in attendance. Instead, it’ll be a bunch of bandwagon jumpers who started following the team when they graduated college, moved to Chicago and started hanging out in Wrigleyville. They “suffered” through one or two disappointments before finally getting to see a winner in the Windy City. How can you spot them, other than their frat guy look? They’ll be the wearing the “Bryant” jersey they just bought on Fanatics and the hat that still has the hologram sticker under the bill.
3. Drink Old Style – This beer has a long history with Chicagoans, dating back to its inception in 1902; 100-plus years of consumption will create a bond between a brewery and those who tip back a few, even if the product is pretty mediocre. Throw in a sponsorship of the Cubs that dates back decades, creating a nostalgia effect that goes hand in hand with a franchise that’s played in the same ballpark for more than a century, and it’s easy to see why fans in Chicago have a kinship for Old Style; it reminds them of trips to Wrigley. But that doesn’t mean the beer has to be served at every bar in Lodo this week, even though it normally isn’t on tap. And it definitely doesn’t excuse the Rockies for serving it at Coors Field. That’d be like establishments in Boulder and the folks at Folsom Field serving those crappy red hot dogs when the Huskers come to town; it’s sacrilege.
2. Fly the “W” flags – Back when the Wrigley family still owned the Cubs, they also owned the company that would ferry the team and its fans out to the club’s spring training facility on Catalina Island in California (which is a cool location, by the way). Those vessels all flew a blue-and-white “W” on their mast, which inspired the team to start displaying a similar flag at Wrigley Field any time the home team won. They also used to hoist an “L” any time the Cubs lost, but that probably became way too tiresome over the years given Chicago’s ineptitude across multiple decades. Now that the Cubbies are good, fans love to wave the “W” any time their team wins a game. Without a doubt, they’ll be on full display inside and outside of Coors Field if Chicago bests Colorado during the series.
1. Sing “Go Cubs Go” – In 1984, the Cubs made their first playoff appearance since 1945, causing the city of Chicago to lose its collective mind. Part of the mania included this ditty from folk singer Steve Goodman, a longtime fan of the team, which became a part of the celebration surrounding every victory en route to the NL East title. But by ’87, the tune had been replaced by “Here Come the Cubs” by The Beach Boys, becoming a mere footnote in team history. In 2007, however, it enjoyed a resurgence, once again being played after every win at Wrigley Field. More than a decade later, the tradition remains. So if the Cubs beat the Rockies this week, fans will surely be serenading Colorado fans with their official victory song inside the ballpark, and there’s a pretty good chance some of the watering holes in Lodo will blare it on their speakers.
If you’re heading down to Coors Field for any of the Rockies-Cubs games, brace yourself; you’re most likely to see some if not all of these things on full display. It’s inevitable every time Wrigley Field West invades Lodo.
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