I’m always getting tips on big games I should be attending. But me being at these games isn’t always a good thing. I used to write for the Rocky …
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I’m always getting tips on big games I should be attending.
But me being at these games isn’t always a good thing.
I used to write for the Rocky Ford Daily Gazette through the
early 2000s. During a couple of those years, I covered the Rocky
Ford High School Meloneers athletics teams and some of their dismal
seasons in a variety of sports. The football team was winless.
Softball couldn’t get past districts. Girls basketball had no
players of size, and the boys were simply too young. The wrestling
team was quality but never had a decent shot at the state title
while I was there. Baseball had a roster of kids too scared to
swing the bat.
After I left that community and took to other ventures in
Switzerland, I kept track of those teams while I was overseas via
the Web. To my surprise, almost each of them had turnaround
seasons, complete with the football team having gone undefeated but
losing in the first round of the state playoffs. Meloneers softball
has since become a staple of the Class 3A state championship
I almost started to feel bad, or at least cheated. Why couldn’t
I have been reporting sports there when there were good things to
write about? You can only put a positive spin every week of a 0-9
football season so many times before a sports writer is tempted to
throw himself on a rusty nail. But as soon as I leave, the football
team goes undefeated?
After I returned stateside, I saw the Meloneers baseball team
was putting together a stellar season. I drove down to see a couple
friends one particular weekend and figured I’d swing by the diamond
and see Rocky Ford play.
The Meloneers were up 6-0 against Fowler, I believe it was, when
I walked up on the chain link fence where the rest of the “good ol’
boys” would watch the game. They recognized me and welcomed me
back; however, the moment I got there, Rocky Ford started to tank
and gave up five runs in two innings. In the top of the seventh,
they fell behind 7-6. One of the good ol’ boys turned to me and
said, “Well, thanks for coming by Benn. I know you’re busy, so I
guess you better leave.”
They suspected it too. I was a jinx. At least for Rocky Ford.
Good thing I left.
A couple years later, Rocky Ford wrestling made a huge offensive
for the Class 2A state championship. With four grapplers in the
finals and a commanding lead in the points, two of the four
Meloneers won their finals, while the other two did not. Guess
which finals matches I got to watch? Yep, the ones that eventually
cost them the title.
Paonia’s heavyweight, a senior in his only year of wrestling,
needed a pinfall to nab the state title from Rocky Ford. He did
exactly that. Guess who watched the whole thing? Me. I did it to
Rocky Ford again.
Now obviously, I’m not a total jinx. Since I’ve been with CCN
sports, I’ve been on the sidelines while Douglas County High School
football won the 2005 state championship from Mullen, while
Ponderosa won many of its consecutive wrestling titles and while
Littleton won both state track titles last Spring. However, there
are a couple of coaches in the South Metro area I’m sure would
rather see me elsewhere during the big games.
About four seasons ago, I earned no less of a fan than Chaparral
softball coach Joe Bilello. Of course, we joke about it now, but
the stigma of the Wolverines losing only the games I showed up to
has stuck even now. I think it was the following season, Chaparral
made it to the state softball championships and lost in the first
round. And of course, I was there.
When I walked up to coach Bilello to get comments, the first
thing out of my mouth was, “It wasn’t me! I stayed away from you
guys this entire post-season until now, but it’s not my fault.”
Like I said, we joke about it now, but it’s a joke that continues
to come up.
I was starting to think I had the same effect on Ponderosa
soccer in the playoffs. Ever since they made the final four a few
season ago, they hadn’t gotten out of the first round with me
standing on the sidelines. I stayed away this last post-season for
them, and they at least made it to Round 2.
Nonetheless, if a big game is coming up and you want me to show
up, first make sure I’m not on a cold streak. If I am, be glad I
stayed away and sent someone else to do the work for me.
Benn Farrell is the senior sports writer for Colorado Community
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