Dec 012002
Authors: Reed Saunders

Going into Saturday, I had my column all planned out.

In the spirit of the occasion, I was going to write about the Liberty Bowl and how it had worn out its welcome with me and the Mountain West Conference.

How the cold streets of Memphis weren’t an attractive destination for any Mountain West school. How it’s too far of a trip and how, if we really wanted unpredictable weather, we might as well just stay in Colorado.

I was going to talk about how the MWC’s ideal situation would be getting back to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego and how strings needed to be pulled to get there at all costs.

How commissioner Craig Thompson (who swung a great TV deal and four, yes, FOUR bowl slots for a mediocre conference) should wield his clout to get back the top spot in San Diego where the WAC champion used to play all those years ago.

Hell, I even had a Madonna reference all ready to go! Holidaaay. Celebraaate. Get it? Heh.

Yep, It was going to be a great piece of writing, let me tell ya.

Guess I, like most of the CSU football team and Mountain West officials, forgot there was a game to be played this weekend. Forgot there was still business to be done, one more game to go.

The 36-33 loss to UNLV just left that feeling of uhck stuck in your throat. I kept saying it the rest of the day. I’m still saying it, actually.


But more than that, it led to the weirdest post-game proceedings I’d ever seen. Conference officials took the Rams’ victory for granted and foolishly arranged the championship trophy presentation earlier last week.

Liberty Bowl officials planned to grant the Rams an official invitation around the same time – days before the actual game.

So when the Rebels had lowered the boom and effectively sucker-punched the entire stadium, it made for an awkward mix of emotions on the field following the game.

Here you had exhausted football players who knew they came out flat, felt bad about their performance and felt downright awful about sending off their 13 seniors in such disappointing fashion.

At same time, you have conference officials, running around putting championship hats on players’ heads, who, in turn, used those hats to hide the tears and frustration on their faces.

You had seniors accepting a Liberty Bowl bid following a performance that they know wouldn’t have landed them in the Bowl outside Rock Springs.

It was like getting dumped by your girlfriend at the prom and then being crowned the king.

The conference was at fault for not awarding the championship last week when the Rams actually won it. The players were at fault for not coming with their top game and perhaps looking past UNLV.

In short, everyone involved was a little guilty of making plans before taking care of the business at hand this weekend.

Even that damn Madonna.

Reed is a senior journalism major.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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