Turn Back the Clock – The Snowfan


I live in Denver, and two things have captured most of my attention over the last few days.  They can be summed up by these tweets:

This calls for a special edition of the Turn Back the Clock series.  It’s not all about the players.  Let’s highlight the hero that we all deserve:

This week, we remember the Legend of the Snowfan.

Credit: MLB.com /

April 16, 2013 – We are into day three of a classic Colorado spring blizzard.  I’m a sophomore in college and naturally, the living room calls to me louder than my physics classroom.  My Buffs Snuggie wrapped around me like a large robe, I slide my microfleece slippers across the linoleum to the couch, set down my Big Gulp of hot chocolate, and flip on the TV.

Meanwhile in Denver, while I refuse to let my day begin, activity at Coors Field is well underway.  The previous day’s game against the Mets has already been cancelled from the blizzard.  I am almost certain that the 2nd game would also fall victim.  Given that it is a four game series and New York’s only trip to the Mile High City, team travel agents and medical trainers alike do not want to allow for another day off to avoid the added stress that accompanies it.  This game has to be played.

Photo Credit - CBS Denver
Credit – CBS Denver /

To get the job done, Major League Baseball reverts to its Little League roots.  Parent volunt— I mean, Rockies front office staff joins the grounds crew on the ground.  Notable manual laborers include Dealin’ Dan O’Dowd, Dick Monfort, and everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur.  Even Sandy Alderson joins the locals to clear the diamond.  After a long morning of back-breaking work, the turf is playable and the game is ready to play.

Back in Boulder, the border between my ass and the cushion is becoming indistinguishable.  I keep a close eye on ROOT knowing that the Rockies were expecting to play, but I am stuck watching a Rockies Weekly about the Fantasy Camp that was held in Phoenix earlier in the year.  Classic weather delay stuff.  I fail to gather the courage to make myself a meal, so I settle for scraping out the remaining chunks of Swiss Miss powder that have gathered at the bottom of my cup.

Drew Goodman finally welcomes me into the broadcast with a witty comment about the weather, bringing an enthusiasm I am not willing to match.  The camera scans across a largely empty Coors Field decorated like a winter wonderland.  The bright white left field bleachers bring stark contrast to the recently revealed outfield grass.  Ace Pirates pitcher and former Rockie Juan Nicasio finally makes the first pitch, and the first game of a Tuesday doubleheader is underway.

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The Rockies know that the crowd will be light.  Instead of attempting to charge people to sit through what will surely be a miserable experience, they open the gates and let fans come ad go as they please.  I can only imagine what my parents thought when they had to come watch my pee wee football games in subzero temperatures.  Again, Little League roots.

This is where the game becomes magical.  Around 1,000 people attended these games, but arguably the most important fan did not walk through those gates.  In fact, he was created along the 3rd base line during the game.

Snowfan made me feel like a dunce.  I couldn’t even manage to walk 50 feet to grab my leftover Subway from the fridge, and this hero is braving the frozen tundra in just a cap, sunglasses, and a t-shirt.  I often complain that we need fans with more dedication.  We need more fans like him.

I wish the Mullet Hat promotion had happened years earlier.  Perhaps if we could get our hands on such an item, we could place it on snowfan and bring him to life, so he can laugh and play with the other members of the Coors Field crowd.

Snowfan /

But just as quickly as Snowfan appeared, he was gone*.  Some say that he faded away with the course of the Rockies’ season as they fell out of contention.  Some say he was a fair weather fan at heart, and moved on to a different team.  Some say he was literally a fan of fair weather, moved south, got tan, and now travels around the country.

Regardless, let him serve as a reminder that ready or not, baseball season is coming to Denver.  I can’t promise you that the weather will improve in time for Opening Day, but our boys will play on April 8th anyway, even if the field has to be cleared.

I better start building up energy to get off the couch.  I have games to attend.

*The Snowfan could not be reached for comment on this article.

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