Rocky Mountain Low

Written by Drew on June 5th, 2006

The media usually print negative commentary on Christian practices. Take, for instance, the story that came out last month triumphantly proclaiming the ineffectiveness of prayer. Or read the bizarre account of how a woman was struck by lightening while praying in her kitchen for the safety of her family. So when the press puts a positive spin on religion, people listen.

USA Today reported the following on the religious habits of the Colorado Rockies:

No copies of Playboy or Penthouse are in the clubhouse of baseball’s Colorado Rockies. There’s not even a Maxim. The only reading materials are daily newspapers, sports and car magazines and the Bible.

Music filled with obscenities, wildly popular with youth today and in many other clubhouses, is not played. A player will curse occasionally but usually in hushed tones. Quotes from Scripture are posted in the weight room. Chapel service is packed on Sundays. Prayer and fellowship groups each Tuesday are well-attended. It’s not unusual for the front office executives to pray together.

On the field, the Rockies are trying to make the playoffs for the first time in 11 seasons and only the second time in their 14-year history. Behind the scenes, they quietly have become an organization guided by Christianity — open to other religious beliefs but embracing a Christian-based code of conduct they believe will bring them focus and success.

The story created quite a stir, but not the kind you would expect. You would think the Rockies would be proud of the persona created by USA Today–the polishing of their public image would boost ticket sales and generate more endorsements. Instead the Rockies took issue with their portrayal.

Pitcher Jason Jennings said, “You don’t have to be a Christian to have good character.” First baseman Todd Helton wanted to make sure everybody knew he subscribed to Maxim. “We’re dirtbags,” says Helton, “like 99 percent of the world. Maybe worse, because we are baseball players.” Pitcher Aaron Cook, who has led the team’s chapel service during spring training, responding by saying he had never seen a Bible out in the open in the team’s clubhouse.

Evidently, the story was based on the religious views of the front office, not those of the players.

My question is, were the Rockies embarrassed by their wholesome portrayal because it was way off base, or because it damaged their “bad boy” image? Either way, it is a shame that the story turned out to be inaccurate. As hard as we try, we can’t seem to find heroes in baseball anymore.

 

6 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ike says:

    Well, what do you expect? Helton went to UT.

    Seriously…

    I’m not going to write this off as a total negative just yet. If the front office is making “character” an issue in building the team, then it’s a significant story.

    Sounds as though the players are “backtracking” only for the sake of avoiding charges of hypocrisy. No one wants to be in position to be the “bad guy” that made the rest of the team look bad. The rosy clubhouse picture painted in the USA Today piece is likely exaggerated, and the players ought to tell the truth about that.

    This is just the modern equivalent of Leeds’ own Charles Barkley declaring “I am not a role model.”

  2. J-Train says:

    The UT comment was LOW!

    Sadly, I don’t know where Ike allegiances lie, but someone who would stoop so low has to be an Alabama fan. Fortunately I’ll take the high road.

    9-2 (last eleven years)

    -Joel

  3. Kevin Rhodes says:

    I think maybe Drew should address allegiance to false religions like the SEC.

  4. J-Train says:

    FALSE religion? All football-fearing men know that the SEC is the ONLY football Religion. Even the muslims say there is one SEC, and his prophet is the University of Tennessee.

    -Joel

  5. cammie *a future doctor* says:

    What do you expect from a bunch of college guys playing football?? I think you were right in the first place assuming that they didnt like that image given to them by this magazine because it would ruin the bad boy image they had. It’s college football….and for some reason these college guys dont want to be known as religious people.

  6. J-Train says:

    Cammie, sweetie, don’t go into sports medicine. The Rockies are a baseball team. Thanks for the comment though.

    -Joel

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