What? Colorado Springs Mayor Lionel Rivera is going to dance into city hall, in boxing gear (complete with gloves and a champ’s robe), shadowbox around the hallowed chambers to the theme of “Rocky,” and then “stare down” a welterweight champ? Yes he is. We can hardly wait to see his legs.The announcement was sent out by the city earlier this week. Today, Thursday, March 6, at 2:15 p.m., Rivera – a conservative Republican who ran for congress two years ago and is hardly known as an “anything goes” kind of guy – will stride into the council chambers of this city of a half-million.
He’ll bop around, throw some jabs (and probably a few hard rights) and “stare down” USA Boxing welterweight participant Greg Carter.
Then, according to city PR flacks, Rivera will accept an oversized ticket to the 2008 U.S. Future Stars National Championship, in which 200 male and female boxers from across the nation are coming to Colorado Springs to participate in the competition, which begins this Sunday.
Many of the athletes who are coming to town will, no doubt, vie for a spot on the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England.
“It will be a fun way to welcome this event to Colorado Springs,” claims the city’s press release, of the mayor-as-Rocky episode.
Upon receiving this notification, Colorado Confidential immediately contacted the brains behind the publicity stunt.
“How did you know it was me?” asked John Leavitt, who works in the city’s public relations department.
Colorado Confidential: Uh, John, I’ve known you a long time. But how did you get the mayor to go along with this?
Leavitt: “He always likes to cut loose a little bit, but he was like, `I’m kind of wondering if this will really work…’ and I said, `it’ll be fine…’ USA Boxing is lending him boxing gloves – they actually are lending him the shorts and a jersey plus one of those robes. He may not want to show off his beautiful legs, so he’ll be wearing a robe like boxing champs wear.”
Colorado Confidential: Is he gonna hit anybody?”
Leavitt: “He’d better not. You should see the guy he’s going up against. But actually, he used to box in college at Texas Tech.”
Colorado Confidential: OK. I’m just trying to imagine this…
Leavitt: “The idea is, he’ll shadow box a little bit and do a stare down – sort of like what [boxers] do during weigh-ins.”
Colorado Confidential: He’ll do a little bit of shadow boxing?”
Colorado Confidential: Are you going to tape this?
Colorado Confidential: Are you going to make a YouTube video out of this?
Leavitt: “We should.”
Colorado Confidential: That is definitely a good idea.
Leavitt: “I have to say whenever we have an opening of a police station or a fire station he always wants to be there, and maybe ride in on a fire truck,” Leavitt says. “When Fire Station 8 opened instead of a ribbon cutting there was a chain, and he used the Jaws of Life to cut [through] it.”
Colorado Confidential: What do the city council members think of this? Will they be aghast?
Leavitt: “I’m sure they’ll just roll their eyes.”
Cara DeGette is a senior fellow at Colorado Confidential and a columnist and contributing editor at The Colorado Springs Independent. E-mail her at email@example.com