1 February 2006: Tancredo & Elway, immigrants

Let’s face it,Tancredo, even Elway an immigrant

I don’t know about you, but I have had it—tired of “those people” who immigrate to Colorado, refuse to learn the language, drink swill in lieu of real beer, and refuse to leave behind their loyalties to the place of their births! No, I am not referring to folks who wend their way from Latin America or Asia. I’m talking about those who sputter things like, “Ha ya doin?” and chant, “Here we go Stillers, here we go!”

Of course, it’s been more of “those ones” from the “Burgh” of late, sporting their yellow and black bumble bee outfits and twirling terribly reeking “terrible towels,” most of which haven’t been washed since the last Pittsburgh Super Bowl victory in 1980. Invesco Field, or Mile High to real Broncos fans, was aflutter with them, which was painful to watch, second only to the Broncos stinking it up. But in fairness, the Iron City “Swillers for Stillers” are not alone—continually we have to endure Redheads from KC, Cheeseheads from Green Bay, lilting Cowpokes from Dallas, and Brownies from Cleveland. It’s enough to make an open-minded, compassionate progressive like me turn into a regular Tom Tancredo.

Immigrating is something I know about firsthand. Left the “Burgh” 30 years ago, sat in the South Stands for my first Bronco game (versus the Stillers), stood and cheered for Franco Harris when he scored, looked around, and thought, “Ooo, this could hurt.” It jarred me enough, though, to realize that if Colorado were to be my home, then I needed to be a Coloradoan. So, I replaced the yellow and black with orange and blue, switched to Coors—a vice Pete Coors lately cured me of—took up skiing, and learned to say “out” rather than “aht,” “downtown” rather than “dahntahn,” and Steelers rather than “Stillers.”

Now, not everyone gives a hoot about sports, and besides the Broncos, there are the Avs, Nuggets, and Rockies, each with its own set of colors. Nevertheless, I propose a two-step ritual for sports-minded ones planning to stay in Colorado more permanently than a ski trip. First, they enter the DMV on their knees, groveling and doing obeisance before a life-sized cardboard cutout of the god of Colorado, John Elway, the most famous of Colorado immigrants. Second, prospective Coloradoans, appareled in an aforementioned sports team’s garb, or perhaps of the Buffs, Rams, or Falcons, pledge their fealty both to Colorado and her sports teams while listening to the strains of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High.”

All the rest—those who realize there is more to life than sports, who prefer their life’s ice cream a swirling mixture of flavors rather than plain chocolate or vanilla—could, instead, shake their heads and have a good laugh on the rest of us as well as Tom Tancredo, former Gov. Dick Lamm, and others who are working to close the door behind them.

The following are two organizations you can contact for more information on the immigration issue: Coalition for Human Dignity Beyond Borders: www.dignityde.org; American Friends Service Committee: www.afsc.org/central/colorado.htm.

In Brief: State Republican Chair Bob Martinez stated, “Sen. Salazar is nothing more than a partisan pawn (for voting no on Alito) who is simply toting the party line of the extreme liberals within his party,” despite the fact Salazar voted to confirm Chief Justice Roberts and Attorney General Gonzales, much to the chagrin of progressives. In the meantime, Sen. Allard has one of the most dependable records of a “partisan pawn” of any senator, well over 90 percent of “party-line” voting.

From one reader: “Every time I hear the President use the phrase ‘terrorist surveillance
program’ I want to ask, ‘If you know who the terrorists are, why don’t you just pick them up and lock them up so they can’t do any more harm?’”

Payback Mountain: The President has indicated he will not be viewing “Brokeback Mountain,” the film about two gay cowboys in Wyoming. He will wait for the Religious Right counter-film: “Payback Mountain,” based on the enduring relationship between fundamentalist leaders such as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, and the faith-based Republican Hierarchy; directed by James Dobson.

About the moniker “Religious Right”: I’ll be happy to quit using that term when they stop telling the rest of us how to lead our private lives. From the Dictionary of Republicanisms: faith n. The stubborn belief that God approves of Republican moral values despite the preponderance of textual evidence to the contrary.

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