Rant & Rave: Sports Boycotts

September 2012

Rave: NFL referees

Well, that’s a relief.

Even prior to this week’s officiating debacle on Monday Night Football, some fans and sportswriters had begun calling for a boycott of NFL games to protest the ongoing lockout by owners of the league’s officials. (The most doable suggestion was for fans—who’ve paid an average of $80 per ticket league wide—to express their displeasure by remaining outside the stadiums for the first quarter of each game.)

The primary sticking point of the lockout, for an organization that rakes in about $9 billion annually, was sustaining a pension plan for the refs that would’ve cost about $100,000 per team (i.e., an amount that most professional sports franchise owners keep crammed into their countertop cookie jars).

Thankfully, it won’t come to that. After the refs mistakenly stole a win from the Green Bay Packers with what is widely believed to be the Worst Call in Sports History, the NFL wised up, got back to the negotiating table, and cut a deal that had the real refs back on the field for the Thursday night game. So Broncos’ fans on Sunday are now free to greet the returnees with a rousing ovation—before getting back to booing them on the first call that goes the Raiders’ way.

Rant: Your Colorado Rockies

But don’t put away those picket signs just yet. Also on Thursday, the Rockies concluded their 2012 home schedule with a sweep of the equally woeful (but explicitly rebuilding) Chicago Cubs. Unless the Rockies win at least five of their last six games, they will finish with the worst record in franchise history. This from a team that many picked before the season to be playoff contenders.

Sure, the Rockies have had injuries; so have a lot of teams. The Oakland A’s, for one, will finish the season with a starting pitcher rotation comprised of five rookies. They also are likely to win 90-plus games and make the playoffs, all with a payroll that’s more than $20 million less than what the Rockies spend.

Although the injured Rockies will return in 2013, so will its front office,—and therein lies the problem. With no coherent plan in place to build a winner (let alone rebuild one), a middling farm system, and a well-established M.O. of doing almost everything on the cheap, why would any reasonable Rockies fan expect next season to be much different from this one? So a Mile High City sports boycott might still need to happen; it may just be in LoDo instead of along I-25.

All of this makes us a little nostalgic for Colorado's great sport moments. The Drive. Elway's helicopter. The Avs winning the cup with Ray Bourque. Matt Holliday's face-first slide into home in 2007. Eric Young's homerun in 1993. The fifth down. 

There's plenty more: Tell us below about your favorite Mile-High sport memories. 

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Follow 5280 articles editor Luc Hatlestad on Twitter at @LucHatlestad.