Living the Golden Age

May 042003
Authors: Reed Saunders

Of all the questions we seniors field as the hour-glass of graduation continues to drain (“What are you doing to do now?”, “Do you have a job?”, “Don’t you still owe me $50?”), I’ll probably never get the chance to have an exchange like this regarding my four years of higher education:

“What did you do there? I got high-igh. What did you feel there? Well I cry-ied. But why the tears there? I’ll tell you why-hy: It’s all too beautiful, it’s all too beautiful.”

Does a lyric from the Small Faces really deserve to be mentioned in my last collegiate column? Probably not.

Concerning my college years:

Did I get high-igh? Well, yeah, by accident.

Did I cry-y? Only for very special Dawson’s Creek episodes.

But that last sentiment: It’s all too beautiful. Mmm.

So true.

Hope you were paying attention the last four years, folks. If you’re on the way out like me, you had front-row seats to the Golden Age of CSU athletics.

Maybe it’ll take a few more years or a few Cinco de Mayo-margs to make you realize it, but the truth remains: we may never see days like this again.

Not since the Caesars or the Bee Gees has the world seen one force so dominate a stretch of time.

People say there’s more to athletics than winning and losing — the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline of great competition, the class of sportsmanship.

Screw that.

Winning’s the thing. And the Rams have won, dominated and won more in the last four years than perhaps any other four-year span in CSU history.

Football won three Mountain West championships in four years and beat CU three of the last four years – something that hadn’t happened since FDR was in office.

Men’s basketball enjoyed a remarkable renaissance – going from conference basement-dwellers to conference champions. Anyone who told you before this season that the Rams would be playing (and playing WITH) Duke in the NCAA Tournament with a straight face, you’d have called them a damned liar.

Women’s basketball went to the postseason each of the last four years. It went through more drama and inner turmoil than a two-hour episode of Sorority Life this season and still managed to head to the WNIT semifinals.

The Ram volleyball team is in the thick of an unbelievable stretch: four years, four conference championships, four NCAA tournaments, four All-Americans. They won the regular season MWC championship this season… in a “rebuilding” year. PA announcer could use some work, though.

Both men’s and women’s golf went to consecutive NCAA Tournaments and had individual MWC champions – Martin Laird and Lynette Duran.

Track and field became a Mountain West powerhouse. Bryan Berryhill, running like he just had really bad enchiladas, steamed to an NCAA title in 2001, the first indoor title in school history.

Liz Toman came to CSU a cancer survivor and left it the MWC’s top female athlete.

Swimming and diving and cross country have become Mountain West powers, the softball program is enjoying a resurgence and tennis had its best ever conference finish in 2001.

If I had more room, I’d ramble about the solid administration, the venerable head coaches, the nimble training staff — everyone who worked so hard to make this great run possible.

Instead, all I can say is thank you.

Just so happened my four years here were the best in CSU athletic history.

It’s time to go out, and I’m leaving on top, knowing I’ve been a witness to history.

College has been an unbelievable time. I’ve gotten high and I’ve cried. It really has been all too beautiful.

This run may continue for the next 10 years, it may end tomorrow. But I know I’ll be bragging about it someday, probably for many days to come.

More than the Dawson’s-Creek-watching, anyway.

Reed is a graduating senior majoring in journalism.

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