One thing that I am darn proud about, is being from Colorado. Colorado is hands down the best state in this beautiful country of ours. Growing up, I would ski to school, tip over cows on Saturday nights, and during the cow-tippin offseason, I would spend my Saturday nights hanging out at Super Walmart. Life was chilled out and simple. When one needs to shift lanes, the person behind him allows the other car to go ahead, in front of him. People do not cut one another off. People are very polite. When the speed limit is 55 MPH people go 45-50 MPH. On one occasion, when we were visiting Denver after spending a magical year living in the Holiest city on the planet- Jerusalem aka the City of Gold aka the Holy City-- My wife and I and two children were walking in the King Soopers (the local grocery store), taking up the entire aisle, making the aisle as impassible as a fallen tree makes a creaky bridge in a wooded mountainy meadow in Finland. Suddenly, we heard a very polite request, "Excuse me...I am so sorry, but would you mind if I could please get through? So sorry to inconvenience you!!" The good folks out west are VERY friendly.
To top it off, we had the Broncos and Avalanche to root for growing up, both winning two championships during my youth. The Nuggets made many playoff runs, only to routinely fall in the first round-- year after bloody year. The Rockies, however, have made a habit of finishing rock bottom basically every year. I put up with it though, during my 18 years living in Denver, because we have season tickets, and I would routinely go with my father. I was an extraordinarily cute little boy--not much has changed-- and I would often leave games with balls the players tossed up to me. Those games are undoubtedly among the highlights of my youth. One specific ritual we had, was that my father would pull us from school to take us to Opening Day. I will never forget the time he totally surprised us, and took me in 1995 to the first ever game at Coors Field, against the New York Mets (remember them-- they will come in to play later).
The game went quite long. The 6th inning became the 7th inning. We did the 7th inning stretch. The 7th inning became the 8th inning. the 8th inning became the 9th inning. The 9th inning became the 10th inning. People were sissies, so they started leaving. I moved down to the first row behind the Mets dugout. Bret Butler tosses us up a ball. The 10th inning became the 11th inning. The 11th inning became the 12th inning. You get the idea, but I'ma keep going, because this is my blogg, and I can. The 12th inning became the 13th inning. The 13th inning became the 14th inning. We did the 7th inning stretch, which I thought was strange, inasmuch as it was the 14th inning, and not the 7th inning.
Then, Dante Bichette steps up to the plate. I swore to myself when I got older, I would grow a mullet like him. In fact, one of my favorite websites of my childhood was ratemymullet.com. At the time, I didn't realize how hard it is to grow a mullet when you are rapidly balding faster than Husein Bolt runs the 100 meter race. In the bottom of the 14th, Dante took one mighty swing of the bat, hit the ball with a thunderous roar, raised his fat arm to make a fiery fist pump, and he trotted around the bases in glory, as he hit a walk off shot to end the game. (http://wapc.mlb.com/col/play/?content_id=7667603&topic_id=33627488&c_id=col&tcid=vpp_copy_7667603&v=3)
I still get the chills watching that.
But Henry, 1995 was a very long time ago. Since then, they have stunk it up worse than a shvitzy four year old coming inside after playing in the humid sun all day, and worse than a 2 year old girl potty training, and accidentally missing the potty when she tried to relieve herself. They had a fluke season in 2007 where they got swept out of the World Series in 2007 by the Smelly Sox from Boston. They have made the playoffs three lousy times in their pathetic 20 years of existence.
And now, lets fast forward, from their opening game in Shea Stadium, in 1993, to August 8th, 2013. On August 8th, I quit being a Rockies fan. They just ended their season by finishing their road-trip with a 1-9 record. But whats worse, oh Henry, is how they lost, and to whom they lost. The trip started against the Braves with 9-8, 11-3, 9-0, 11-2 losses to the Braves. And it ended by being swept by the Mets- arguably the only team in the MLB who has been more pathetic than the Rockies in the last 20 years. That loss in August 8th to the Mets, completing the sweep-- was it for me. I was checking out.
But, this was mainly just a big, fat, unnecessary, digression. Let me get to the point.
Let me first introduce my main point by just informing my thousands of readers, from Canada to Mexico, to Israel, France, Russia, and now, most recently, Australia of a new up and coming website about which you might not have heard, but which will play a critical role in my overly-over-drawnout story. I am extraordinarily tech-savvy, so you might not be aware of this, dear readers, but there is a new website called www.twitter.com that is a new type of facebook. Famous rabbis, like myself have accounts, with myriads of followers. We can tweet (ie. write) very short messages including 120 characters to our devoted followers. This is the newest trend nowadays, so naturally, I have a blossoming account. Check me out at @dannywolfe1. When I resigned from being a Rockies fan, I became a Cleveland Indians fan. The logic was as follows. My Better half is from Cleveland. The Indians are from Cleveland. Therefore, I should love the Cleveland Indians. And I do. So I thought that my hundreds of Twitter followers would want to know about my not-so-sudden change of allegiance. So I sent a Tweet, (ie. a message) that in addition to going to my hundreds of followers, also went to the Rockies, and the Indians. It said as follows:
The Cleveland Indians liked these chain of events, so they wrote back to me as follows:
The Indians thus officially welcomed me to being a fan of the Tribe. And this point is exactly what I wanted to discuss with you on this chilly 65 degree evening in Ohio. Someone, who works for the Cleveland Indians marketing department, wrote me a tweet, giving me a warm welcome. They said something kind to me. And, Henry, it made me feel good. Someone said something nice to me, and it felt great. And this is a profound lesson that you, Henry, and my thousands upon thousands upon thousands of readers should take to heart. People like when you say kind things to them. People like when you compliment them. It can completely change someone's day--heck, it might even completely change someone's life.
Think for a moment, the last time you were told a compliment. What was it? How did it feel? Sometimes we (especially those of us of the male persuasion) feel like its unnecessary to compliment because something is so obvious. For example suppose our spouse is wearing a pretty outfit, we feel like we don't need to compliment, because obviously she looks beautiful. But how many times does this spouse then change her outfit, and then when we look at her in astonishment, she explains she changed because she knows we didn't like it? How often do we feel under appreciated, or stressed out, and one little compliment is all it would take to turn around our entire mood?
The Torah teaches us that we need to have an "ayin tova-" a good eye. This doesn't mean to make sure not to swing at balls when you are batting at home plate. It means that you have to train yourself to see the good in everyone around you. It will change your life. You wont be focussing on the negativity any more, and you will only see the good. For homework, dear henry, please compliment one person every single day. As much as this will impact and empower those around you-- it will reshape how you yourself view the world.
@Indians-- it feels darn good to be part of the Tribe. Thank you.
Your biggest fan,