Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Colorado Chronicles : Sports Fan Edition

 When it comes to professional sports, few cities are as rabid about the home team as Coloradans. At the top of the list, without a shadow of a doubt, is the two-time Super Bowl Champs, Denver Broncos. There have been some outstanding players wear the Blue and Orange - Floyd Little, Haven Moses, Karl Mecklenberg, Terrell Davis. Only one name, however, is ever mentioned as Mr. Bronco and that is Hiram Lipschitz, I mean John Albert Elway. Number 7. The guy who sells a million new cars a year in Denver alone. Maybe I exaggerated that about the new cars, but there is no denying the man's career stats in the NFL: 51,475 yards passing, 300 TD passes, 2 Super Bowl Titles, etc. etc., etc. Elway was a beast on the gridiron. The picture above is of  Invesco Field at Mile High, the Home of the Broncos and 76,125 insane fans, not to mention the millions of other Broncos supporters throughout Colorado. On your typical autumn Sunday, it seems like the whole state shuts down for three and a half hours during Broncos games. Denver pro football fans are nuts about their Broncos.
During Major League Baseball season, the Colorado Rockies rule the roost in the Mile High City. 50,445 seat Coors Field (yes, that Coors) is home to the Rockies 81 games a summer and is one of, if not the, most beautiful ballpark in the majors. Of course, having the Rocky Mountains as a backdrop doesn't hurt things much. The Rockies inaugural season was 1993 and they have had some success having made the playoffs and even reached a World Series, but it's hard to measure up to the 50 year history and tradition of the Broncos. Still, there are worse ways to spend a summer night than at Coors Field soaking up the National Pastime. It just goes to show that Denver is a big-time city with big-time pro sports and two beautiful facilities in which to enjoy them.

NOTE : I know about the Nuggets and the Avalanche, and we'll get to them another time.

Maine Minutiae : Rangeley

I first learned of Rangeley about a week ago when my cousin by marriage, Ashley, mentioned that she and her boyfriend were going there for the weekend. I was curious, so I looked it up, and what I found is wowzers! Just look at the picture to the left. I. Want. To. Go. There. Here's some of what I learned from rangeley-maine.com : "Until 1796 the area belonged to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. That year four men – including James Rangeley Sr. of Philadelphia – purchased nearly 31,000 acres between the Kennebec River and New Hampshire for timber and mineral rights. The area was inhabited by five different Indian tribes at the time...". A more comprehensive look at the area's history can be found here . Rangeley is now a town of a few people over 1000 and is a popular vacation destination. With the chain of lakes there, I guess so! I've gotta pack up the Tribe and ease on over to Rangeley soon - and I mean soon. The trout population may never recover after I am through with them. Fish. Fear. Me. Click on the links scattered about the post for a ton of great information and photos, then leave a comment about what you think.

Texas Tidbits : The First Cattle Drive

Cattle drives are as Texan as corn bread and pinto beans. They've been a part of our heritage for hundreds of years. Did you know that the first cattle drive in Texas was a result of the American Revolution, and took place some fifty-seven years before the Alamo? Me either,un- til this morning. In 1779, Spain became a crucial ally to the American colonists fighting for their independence, by declaring war on Great Britain. King Carlos III commissioned Bernardo de Galvez, for whom Galveston is named, to attack British forces along the Mississippi. In order to continue the assault, Galvez needed food for his army. The Handbook of Texas Online picks it up from there : "In order to feed his troops, Gálvez sent an emissary, Francisco García, to Texas governor Domingo Cabello y Robles requesting the delivery of Texas cattle to Spanish forces in Louisiana. Accordingly, between 1779 and 1782, 10,000 cattle were rounded up on ranches belonging to citizens and missions of Bexar and La Bahía." There you have it. the first cattle drive in Texas history. I had never really thought about Texas' role in the American Revolution, but now that I have tasted the first morsel  of it, I am hungry for more. I'll employ my Google-Fu to see what else we can learn about the subject in a future post. Adios, y'all.

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All Original Material © Toby Shoemaker