It's NEVER over until it's over (JESSE KURTZ)

By: Jesse Kurtz
By: Jesse Kurtz

The Rockies have proved lately that it's never safe to leave your seats early. You may miss something great. It's a lesson I learned as a child, and I live by it today.

Watching the Rockies lately has been soooo exciting.  I am on the edge of my seat virtually every night.  Last week, the Rockies won three straight games in the final at-bat, including a 9-run 9th inning to beat the St. Louis Cardinals.  The excitement got me thinking about a very valuable lesson my parents taught me a long time ago.

I grew up in Denver apart of a die-hard sports family (crazy, I know!).  My parents had season tickets to the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets.  I enjoyed every moment of going to games.... well, almost everything.  My parents were very stubborn when it came to leaving games early.  They would NEVER do it... Under no circumstances would he leave until the clock struck zero.  It frustrated me as a young sports fan.  I was there for the hot dogs, foam fingers and people watching.  My mom and dad were there to get their money's worth.  It drove me crazy when I was really young.

I can remember sitting at Mile High Stadium, frozen solid in the 4th quarter, but we stayed until the players headed for the locker room.  As I grew older, I appreciated their spirit and along the way, it taught me a valuable lesson that I live by now.  I NEVER LEAVE GAMES EARLY.   If I had, I would have missed some great finishes.  Here are the top, come-back wins I have ever witnessed in person as a fan.

3) COORS FIELD DEBUT (1995) -  I was fortunate to go to the first regular season game ever at Coors Field.  The Rockies hosted the Mets on a very chilly April night in Denver.  The Rockies and Mets fought for nine innings, with no winner.  They played the 11th, 12th and 13th innings to no decision.  Then, late in the 14th inning, with many of the Rockies faithful warming up in their cars on I-25, I sat in left field watching Dante Bichette hit a three-run homer to give the Rockies a thrilling win to open Coors Field.

2) CSU at AFA (1996) - This was another very cold ball game.  The windchill at Falcon Stadium had to be near zero.  I can remember my friends and girlfriend spending most of the game in the bathroom with the hand dryers running to warm up.  I sat on a frozen block of snow watching Air Force pound CSU for three quarters.  As a student at Colorado State, I was frustrated that I made the drive down South so I could watch my team get pummeled while I turned into an Otterpop.  Some of our group left after the third quarter disgusted with the 41-14 score.  The fourth quarter was nothing short of amazing!  CSU scored 28 consecutive points in the final frame, highlighted by a 21-yard touchdown pass from Moses Moreno to Jeremy Calhoun with 45 seconds to play that proved to be the game winner.  CSU won, 42-41.  I still haven't let my friends who left, live this down! It was an awesome drive back to Fort Fun that night.

1) THE FUMBLE (1988) - This was my first AFC Championship game.  As a die hard Broncos fan, I just knew they were headed to the Super Bowl once again.  But late in the 4th quarter, Denver had blown a 21-3 lead.  Cleveland had rallied to tie things up at 31.  John Elway rallied the Broncos with a late touchdown pass to Sammy Winder to give Denver a 38-31 lead.  But the Browns never said die.  In fact, they drove right down the field to set up what would have been a game-tying touchdown putting the Broncos trip to the Super Bowl in jeopardy.  But with 1:00 to play in the game, Jeremiah Castille stripped Ernest Byner of the football (Broncos recovered) in what became known simply as "The Fumble."  The Broncos went on to win, advancing to their second-straight Super Bowl.

Moral of the story...  NEVER leave your seat early.  You never know what can happen in the Wacky World of Sports!

These are my favorite comebacks I have ever witnessed "in person" as a "fan."  What are yours?

Jesse Kurtz

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