Aspiring writers have to come to grips with the fact that they will inevitably come under fire for their opinions. Aspiring writers in 2012 (and quickly entering 2013) have to come to grips with that fact along with the notion that they will be subject to the vitriol of “message board courage,” in which readers who have been granted eternal anonymity fling insults and even go so far as to threaten them for what they have written. For my part, I have struggled with this reality. I do not particularly like confrontations or arguments, and as such, I am often apologetic with my opinions so as to avoid any such nasty exchanges.
Having said that, I am about to write something which will draw the most fire of anything I have ever published, on Rox Pile or otherwise. This topic may not play that well outside of Rockies nation, but among those who love the purple pinstripes this might go viral. I might lose readers and followers for this. But this opinion comes from the heart. I mean it when I say…
…I think Dinger is a good mascot.
I think Dinger is the target of unwarranted criticism. This includes the opinions of many of my favorite Rockies writers, including the Denver Post’s Troy Renck and my esteemed Rox Pile colleague Michelle Hoag (you know her as Rockies Woman). He gets crushed for being annoying and is often wished out of town.
I disagree. You are reading this right. I am telling you all that I like Dinger.
Before proceeding to arguments in his favor, let me grant you the accuracy of some of the knocks against him. First of all, a dinosaur in the mountains? Definitely confusing. Does he look cartoonish and remind us all a little bit too much of another big purple dinosaur? Yes he does, and it is baffling that nobody thought of that before introducing Dinger to the world. But other than those meta-points, I will resist many of the day-to-day complaints lodged against Dinger.
Here are my points in defense of the Rockies mascot:
1. You do not see very much of him
He is on the field before the game, sometime around the 6th or 7th inning to launch some T-Shirts via cannon, and in the last half inning behind the backstop. I believe people’s annoyance with his final appearance behind the backstop have convinced them that he is always around, getting in the way, and interfering with their viewing experience. The fact is, he has a surprisingly good sense of when enough is enough. That brings me to my second point…
2. He is never, ever seen lumbering around on top of the dugout.
This is huge, and Dinger deserves much more credit for it than he currently receives. Do you know how unbelievably obnoxious it is when a mascot parades around on top of the dugout? The only time in my young life that I pondered violence towards a mascot was when Colorado Springs Sky Sox mascot “Sox the Fox” continued to hinder my view of home plate (picture included). Dinger stays off. Seriously…that’s huge.
3. He hustles
Dinger has come under fire for being overweight. Maybe so, but first of all, he’s a big dinosaur, and second of all, he gets on his hoss when going from point A to point B on the field. You can’t teach hustle, and Dinger hustles.
4. He does it for the kids
And of course it’s always about the kids. The only other point during a Rockies game at Coors Field when you might see Dinger if is you have a child who wants their picture with him starting in the 3rd inning. Well, if you have children or if you are my adult sisters who have gone to have their picture taken with him. The point is this: he knows why he is there (kids) and he is out of the way otherwise.
5. He is funny
That’s right. I actually think he is funny. I understand why people disagree with me on this, as it is a matter of personal taste, but I actually think his slapstick schticks behind the backstop are pretty funny. More importantly, I do not find them to be a distraction at all. If I want to giggle at him spinning his head around (my favorite) or him pretending to fall down because of a ball fouled straight back, then I can take a moment to do so. But if I want to focus on the miserable experience of watching (enter Rockies pitcher’s name here) making me sweat the top of the 9th inning, I don’t have to notice that dinosaur if I do not want to. If that’s really a problem for people, I believe that’s what they call a personal problem (instinctively ducks at desk after typing).
So there it is. I like Dinger. Want me to say it again?! I LIKE DINGER. And you know what they say…
Haters gonna hate. So bring it on, haters.