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DENVER – Colorado is one of the fastest growing states in the nation and with the population of Denver growing at a rate of close to 20% in the past several years, the influx of transplants have brought with them not just a U-Haul full of possessions, but a sporting passion for their hometown teams. Nothing is more evident of this growth than attendance at a Colorado Rockies game.
Wednesday’s fourth consecutive Coors Field sellout and eighth consecutive crowd of at least 46,000 fans, the longest such streak since 1998 during the days of the Blake Street Bombers, was a scene similar to that of when the Dodgers, Giants and Cubs visit town. A sea of orange blanketed sections of the ballpark in support the visiting Houston Astros.
It was eerily reminiscent of a year ago when the 2017 World Champions traveled to the Mile High City for a brief two-game set and Charlie Blackmon commented on the phenomena of various road team support in Denver with a packed house. “I feel like it was a pretty good atmosphere. There were a few more Broncos fans here than I’d like to see,” Blackmon quipped about seeing so much orange in the stadium.
One player in particular that has received a lot of love from visiting fans was right fielder Josh Reddick. While Houston had a major league high of six players selected to the All-Star Team, he is not one of them. In fact, he has never been a part of the mid-summer classic. What the eleven-year veteran does have is a passion for a few things outside of baseball and that compels fans to pull for him even harder. You probably heard them in the ballpark, even if you weren’t able to grab a ticket for the Houston series.
It’s a distinct shout by his supporters that can even be heard on radio and television broadcasts. Loud and rather brazen, the native call of the Woo Birds is summoned when Reddick steps to the plate. Hands are placed on each side of the mouth, head is tilted back, and the sweet song is beckoned into the ether. Woooooooo!
Reddick’s acolytes are paying homage to one of his all-time heroes, professional wrestler Ric Flair. Known as the limousine riding, jet flying, kiss stealing, wheelin’-dealin’, son-of-a-gun, Flair is one of the most iconic rasslers known to man and is tied for the most World Championship Titles all-time (16) with John Cena.
Speaking with BSN Denver, Reddick shared some details about his passion for sports entertainment.
“In season, it’s very hard to keep up and watch because we’re usually playing on Monday nights (when Monday Night Raw is televised). I try to keep up with it as much as I can on Twitter and with that WWE app. I just kind of read articles and watch matches. The good thing about watching the day after or a few days after is I can fast forward through all of the boring stuff, stuff I don’t want to watch or maybe times when there’s a big match like Braun Strowman versus Bobby Lashley this past Monday night going through the stage, a moment I’ve watched over and over,” Reddick said, smashing his hands together to emphasize the impact of two men who weigh a combined 600 pounds.
“With January rolling around, we’re going to have the Royal Rumble at Minute Maid, so I’m really looking forward to that. I’ve slowly pitched it out to certain media, like I’m doing now, making sure that the Houston media knows anything I can do, I’d love to be a part of it,” he added.
Though his employer would surely have something to say about him getting into the ring and mixing it up with the likes of Brock Lesnar or any other WWE Superstar, there are other potential opportunities for Reddick to make an appearance or factor into a match in a safe way at one of the “Big Four” pay-per-views. His connection with the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative for WWE certainly doesn’t hurt his odds.
“I think it helps too that I know (14-time Champion) Triple H on a personal level. I know a lot of the guys and women backstage. I’m there all the time. They know me. I’m not the guy who comes in and takes the pictures all of the time and be that annoying fan, because I know how that can be. Hopefully, we win the World Series again – I think we will – and I think that will be a better push for me to be involved in it somehow.
“But, if not, I’m always happy to attend. They do a great job. Triple H always leaves me tickets every time I ask for it, no questions asked. I’m very thankful for everything that they do for me. So, I would love to be a part of it, but if I have to sit ringside, I guess that’s not too much of a downgrade,” Reddick conceded.
For the past 18 years, WWE and its Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon have run roughshod over the professional wrestling business without any major competition in the United States. That reign atop the world of sports entertainment is facing some challenges from a brand new federation with its eyes on the brass ring.
All Elite Wrestling (AEW) was founded earlier this year with financial backing of the Jacksonville Jaguars ownership, billionaire Shahid Khan and his son Tony Khan, and creative support from the Young Bucks, brothers Matt and Nick Jackson, and Cody Rhodes, son of wrestling legend Dusty Rhodes. Two pay-per-view events later and a weekly two-hour program on TNT coming this fall, AEW has many inside the industry taking notice, including Reddick.
“(A) very, very promising company from what I’ve seen so far. I have the pleasure of being the fan and not being associated with either one to judge. I really like what Cody Rhodes is doing. Watching everything that they put together is really spectacular and they’re entertaining. They’re putting on some fantastic, five star-plus matches. So they’re keeping the fans involved. Everything you see from the fan response is all positive. I think everyone is excited to have something new and fresh and have a little bit more hardcore on the scene right now. I think that’s what a lot of wrestling fans miss is the hardcore action,” he said of the upstart promotion.
If Reddick can’t transition to a role in pro wrestling in front of the camera, perhaps one behind the scenes is more suited for a creative mind that’s well aware of the spectacle’s secrets.
“You never know. Maybe Cody and Vince are doing it all behind closed doors where they make it happen five years from now some big rivalry. It is fantastic. I really look forward to what they’re going to do from both sides and if they do have any takeovers or invasions. It’s going to be fun,” he shared.
As for that other passion Reddick holds dear and makes him so relatable to fans, it’s a love for comic book superhero Spider-Man. And yes, it should be noted that during this interview he was proudly wearing a Spider-Man shirt. You might even say that’s amazing Woo!