Update: On July 10th 2017 Brent Doeden, AKA Captain Earthman, passed away returned to the mothership for his next adventure. My thoughts are with his loving family and I hope the story I shared below lives on - his legend certainly will.
For more info, see the following:
Somewhere around a decade ago I bought a beer. That's how any good story begins right?
This particular ice cold beverage wasn't from the liquor store or the bar, but from an eccentric beer vendor roaming the seats at Red Rocks. If you've been to Red Rocks, there's nothing too unusual about that.
What was unusual however, was that he then gave me his business card, 'Captain Earthman' it said, along with his cell phone number and a promise: I could call or text him with my row and seat number anytime - if he was at the event he'd show up directly to my seats to sell me ice cold beer whenever I needed it. In those pre-Uber, pre-everything-on-demand-from-your-smartphone days, that was a hell of an offer.
Even in 2016, technology hasn't changed much in this area - we still find ourselves leaving our seats at events to stand in beer lines, or waiting longingly for a glimpse of your roaming beer vendor and hoping you can get his or her attention. For a thirsty guy like myself who doesn't like to miss a great song to stand in a line, it was one of the best business cards I had ever been, or will ever be, handed.
For the next decade, Earthman kept his promise - but more incredibly, it wasn't just at Red Rocks. It seemed that no matter where I was, from a music venue to a sporting arena, if I called the Captain he was somehow there. I learned he attended every single Rockies game at Coors Field and still would magically appear whenever I called from various other music and sporting venues in Colorado.
Space travel? I believe.
While I remember all the times he showed up to save the day, it's the times he wasn't there that stand out just as much.
I vividly remember the time he answered his phone, late on a Saturday night, just to apologize to me - he was in Arizona for Spring Training and felt bad that he couldn't help out with my beer needs. What?
All I could think was how easily he could have just let that call go.
I had to be one of hundreds, more likely thousands, who had received his card over the years and enjoyed the brief and fleeting moments of what you could, perhaps just vaguely, call a real friendship.
Did he have me in his phone as 'Seth - Good Guy' and go out of his way to help me out each time? Or was I just another un-saved phone number that he still treated like an old friend every time? It didn't matter.
Whether I was one of a few or one of many, Captain Earthman has always seemed to care about one thing: making you happy by being happy. It's something I've always emulated as a person and as a business owner. Happiness is contagious and if you're willing to treat strangers like family and give your customers the best of yourself then you get the world in return.
It's not easy to transform a seemingly ordinary job into a life long passion that turns you into an icon, but Captain Earthman did just that over the last 20+ years. It didn't take long before I realized he wasn't a secret by any means, he's been featured on ESPN and countless news stories, and if you've been to a Rockies game or a show at Red Rocks you've seen the alien who calls himself an Earthman.
Which brings me now to the real point of writing this. The world's greatest, kindest and most dedicated beer vendor on this planet or any other is in need of your help and support.
A few weeks ago, Brent 'Earthman' Doeden, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
He's beginning chemo and radiation, which will hopefully slow the growth of the tumor and give him as much time as possible. A GoFundMe page has been setup to raise money for the Captain and his family and I'm writing this post with the hope that even if you've never been graced with his presence you'll take a moment to learn about this incredible
human alien and chip in whatever you can.
Brent, along with his loving wife Becky, has 6 daughters and 8 grandchildren (with one more on the way). A man who has given so much to so many complete strangers deserves the same in return.
If you can, please contribute to Captain Earthman's GoFundMe page here. If you can't, simply sharing this post will go a long way.
Check out the article Mashable just ran, "The ballad of 'Captain Earthman', baseball fans' most beloved beer vendor"