In defense of Ralph Routon

Ralf RoutonRalph Routon’s recent diatribe in the Indy about the impending departure of Michael DeMarsche was lame. But you have to understand. Having Ralph write about the arts is akin to having John Waters write about the Superbowl. You can only imagine how funny that would be. To us. But not to sports fans. You might as well call Jesus a homo or spit on an Indian before you sully such sacred land.

People. Look at the picture of Ralph. Then consider that no one chooses their worst picture to present to the world.  This is likely as good as it gets.  Which means that he is a beer-swilling bratwurst-gobbling sports-worshiping manly man.  He spits.  He scratches.  He has issues with dingleberries.  But he LOVES sports.  And by sports, I don’t mean fencing or horse racing or curling.  Sport involves a BALL of some sort.  And a distinctively American connection (which rules out rugby and soccer, although rugby is the ultimate masculine sport…even basketball doesn’t totally qualify for reasons I can’t quite figure out, but I think it’s because there are so few good white players).

One of the most memorable arguments that Dave and I ever had involved music.  We were in our late twenties; we lived in downtown Denver and we were cool.  He was a surgical resident at the U and I was a financial guru for a hip software company.  As such, we were invited to many events. When these invitations came in through medical channels everything was great.  Orthopedic surgeons are always jocks who were inspired to become surgeons while recovering from their own sports-related injuries.  But when the invitations came from my side of the channel, things were unpredictable.

We were invited to Josephina’s on Larimer, to drink wine and listen to some groovy jazz with fellow yuppies, a term Dave hated.  We got there.  We drank Coors Light while they drank "whine."  They listened to the "music."  In a very unfortunate turn of events, the girl that Dave took to junior prom, Alison, the fantastic skier, the one that paid only friendly attention to him due to family connections, walked in with her new husband, Clark.  Clark was an attorney who was, tragically, wearing a knee-length fur coat.  Dave was wearing Levis, tennis shoes and a yellow t-shirt (with red letters, like a hot dog) that said "NO LIGHTS AT WRIGLEY FIELD!" (which is now framed in the basement, I kid you not).  Things went rapidly downhill from there.  ‘When’s the music gonna start?  I could probably fix that pinkie for a fee.  Let’s go to the sym-PHONY next week."

Dave is the guy who slept through the birth of most of his children.  Our 10-year-old had the lead role in Oliver! at the FAC and I had to beg Dave to watch a single performance.  Brendan was in Colorado Christmas at the Broadmoor, performing for 1,000 people every night and Dave came to watch only once and rolled his eyes at all the "religious" bullshit (he doesn’t know any Christmas carols).  Brendan was hand-picked by Debbie Allen to be in Pepito’s Story at the Pikes Peak Center and Dave was sort of embarrassed and wondered if Brendan might be gay.

This same guy sobbed like an 8-year-old girl when Brent Musburger retired from sportscasting.  I’ve been to two Broncos Superbowls, Northwestern’s first Rose Bowl in 80 years, several Olympic games, the Citrus Bowl when Peyton Manning was senior quarterback and headed for greatness.  Weeping and gnashing of teeth all around.  My children paint, and play music, and sing, and dance.  None of it matters.  But Dave is elated for days if 6-year-old Devon, the only girl on the team, makes a double play to win the game.  Booyah!  Fuck yeah!

My point in all this is that Ralph Routon DOES NOT and CAN NOT care about the arts.  We will have to leave it to the psychiatrists to figure out why. Ralph Routon does not care who or what is playing at the Black Sheep, Theaterworks, the BAC.  He won’t attend Pridefest, nor the Diversity Fair.  Not even Springspree.  But he will agonize over the legal troubles of Michael Vick and any injury sustained by LaDanian Tomlinson.  He did, after all, draft them to his fantasy football team and he’s got 50 bucks hanging in the balance.

John Weiss, not exactly a manly man and therefore less than qualified to diagnose the problem, better figure it out soon and bring in some new blood.  Or the Indy will become the Indy 500 and he’ll have to find a whole new group of advertisers and readers.  Of course I’m kidding.  Car racing is most definitely not a SPORT.  Duh.

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