If you woke up in Denver, Colorado last Sunday morning, you had the opportunity of the sports year. Actually, it was bigger than that -- it was the opportunity of a sports lifetime. It was an opportunity so rare that it only occurs once, maybe twice each year, if at all.
Allow me to explain.
Imagine, if you will, the following: it's an ordinary October Sunday in Denver (I know it's tough, but stay with me). You go through your normal Sunday routine, then make your way to Invesco Field in the early afternoon for the Broncos game, where you enjoy 3-4 hours of Broncos football. (Yes, I'd normally insert a McDaniels/Orton joke here, but at 5 and 0, I'm not saying a thing.)
Then, after the Broncos game, something strange happens. All of a sudden, the day transforms from an ordinary Sunday into the most incredible Sunday of the year. Because after the Broncos game, you don't go home, or to a bar, or wherever it is you normally go after Broncos games. Instead, you go to Coors Field.
But Ari, why would I go to Coors Field after a Broncos game? There aren't any Rockies games in Oct...
And that's when it hits you -- the October Doubleheader: the opportunity to attend an NFL football game and an MLB playoff game in the same city on the same day. An opportunity treasured by all, yet a feat so rare that many may never experience this epic event in their lifetime.
Well, on Sunday, October 11, 2009, the October Doubleheader came to Denver.
It began at 2:15 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time when the Denver Broncos and the New England (I mean, Boston) Patriots squared off in one of the most anticipated coaching matchups of the NFL season. And what a game it was. Final score: Broncos 20, Patriots 17.
(Two quick notes from the game: First, how about those uniforms, huh? I mean, wow. I don't care if they were designed 50 years ago, I will never understand why someone thought it would be a good idea to make football uniforms out of the two colors most frequently found in a toilet. Second, how about Josh McDaniels screaming at Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer after Darrell Reid's running into the kicker penalty late in the game? It wasn't the screaming itself I enjoyed so much as realizing that Josh McDaniels was using the exact same words to scream at Mike Priefer that I was using to scream at my television. Seriously, it was like I was feeding Coach McDaniels his lines -- it was unreal.)
But I digress. The point is, after this incredible game, after the biggest Broncos victory of the season, there was still another game to attend. That's the beauty of the October Doubleheader: all of that drama, all of that excitement, and there is still an MLB playoff game yet to come.
So after the Broncos game, the Denver faithful put their Rockies purple and black over their Broncos orange and blue (I mean, their Broncos, um, number one and number two), and headed out to Coors Field for a night cap.
Now as we all know, the second game didn't go quite as well as the first. I could sit here and blather on about how it was an incredible game and an incredible series even though the Rockies lost, but I know that won't help. In fact, the wounds are still pretty fresh, so let's not talk about it.
But I will say this: Despite the Rockies' misfortune, Denver still played host to history on Sunday, and the Denver sports fans behaved beautifully. 76,000 of you piled into Invesco Field Sunday afternoon to watch the Broncos beat the Patriots, and then, despite sub-freezing temperatures that were never meant for baseball, 50,000 fans continued on to Coors Field to cheer on the Rockies Sunday night. Well done Denver, well done.
And one more thing: For those of you lucky enough to attend both games -- congratulations. You witnessed history. You accomplished something amazing. You accomplished a sports milestone that many dream of, but most will never achieve. You accomplished the October Doubleheader.
Not bad for an ordinary Sunday in Denver, huh?