I've meant to write this for several seasons now, and always think of it during this particular weekend. For at least this one Rockies fan and veteran, Purple Row has been nothing short of a blessing to me. This is my story.
Though my Rockies fandom dates from the conception of the team (I conducted mock-drafts using issues of Baseball Weekly), I grew apart from the team shortly after college. For about the first 10 years of the franchise, I lived and breathed all things Rockies. Following college (2002), I slowly grew apart from the team. I joined the Army, got married, moved to a far-off land (upstate New York), deployed to Afghanistan, and just didn't have time for baseball. During the bad years of 2003-2005, I rarely watched a game.
In 2006, I deployed again, this time to Iraq. I'm not sure why, but I started to miss baseball again. I think that the monotony of a deployment might have been a significant factor. It's tough to explain, but deployments can be remarkably boring. Every day can be the same ... you hope to do your job well, to end the day safely, and to pass the time until the next day starts. For me, I guess I decided to pass the time by following my baseball team again. After a couple of months of reading my daily helping of Rocky Mountain News' stories, I longed for a community in which to participate - like-mined folks connected by an enduring love for the Colorado Rockies. I found my community with a Google search for "Colorado Rockies blog". Purple Row was the first result (this would have been around mid-season in 2006), and it was the only blog I needed.
Purple Row was different then, almost entirely driven by the writing of Rox Girl and a particular Rox Fan in NY. A couple of other posters dominated the comments (David OhNo, malakian, Silverblood), but many of today's features were not around at the time. Nevertheless, the writing was excellent, the passion was evident, and I felt connected to America's past time in a way I hadn't experienced since my early days of watching baseball with dad. Purple Row gave me a connection to the sport I have always loved, and gave me something to do.
Plenty of time has past since I first discovered Purple Row. I've certainly lived up to my user name, living in Iraq, upstate NY, Arizona, Colorado, Iraq, Colorado, Iraq, Colorado, and now Kentucky since I joined the blog. Though I'm far from a prolific poster, I think that I've logged in to this website at least 330 days each year. I'd like to thank the staff (both current and former) who have made this the best website for Rockies' fans, as well as the posters who have provided the expert analysis, humor, and endless supply of memes. You've made deployments a little more bearable, and baseball more enjoyable. Thanks again, Hank