Like most students making their return to CSU this fall, I love supporting the Rams’ athletic teams. I particularly love supporting the Rams against a certain other in-state university whose name starts with a “C,” and ends with a “olorado Buffaloes.” (By supporting the Rams, I mean chanting at extremely high volume the words “dirty hippies” followed at even higher volume by words not suitable for print in a public newspaper.) While we’ve got the Cowboys to the north and the Falcons to the south, no rival stirs as much passion in CSU students as the Boulderites and their little football team.
I’ve only been at CSU one year, but one of my best memories from my freshman days was rounding up my new friends and waiting all day just hoping for one of those coveted tickets for the Rocky Mountain Showdown. The CSU-CU football game is one of the best traditions we have left, and I had been looking forward to another great game this year.
But just before I moved up to school, I got a nasty surprise. Our university’s Web site informed me that not only would I have to pay $60 for the right to see this year’s game, but I also would have to enter a lottery and win the right to do so. And then, just to rub a little salt in the wound, I remembered that, after six years in Denver, this year’s game was to be in hippie central itself, the very epicenter of the enemy: Boulder.
Aghast, I still entered the lottery, hoping for a shot to see my Rams play anyways. Like so many of my fellow students, I checked the web site again, hoping to see my name on the shorter-than-Gary Coleman list of winners. I’ll cut the suspense. It looks like I’ll be getting the best seat in the house. My house. Stoked as I was at the prospect of home-viewership for the biggest game of the year, I felt obliged by journalistic ethics to probe the reason for the dearth of tickets for the “Showdown”.
So, intrepid young columnist that I am, I hunted down some facts about the big game. The current deal for the rivalry game expires in two years. According to the Rocky Mountain News, the game will be in Boulder not just this year, but next fall as well. After that, the series returns to Denver for a year, and then bounces back to Boulder. The new deal gives CSU the option to host two games in Fort Collins, in 2009 and 2012 before the contract expires in 2014. CSU athletic director Mark Driscoll says that he’d like to expand the capacity of Hughes stadium to around 50,000 seats, but until that happens, we’re likely to the see the game in Denver or Boulder for the foreseeable future.
I can deal with games in Denver for a while. I could even swallow a drive to Boulder every other year. But, according the Fort Collins Coloradan, CSU has only been allotted 5,000 tickets for the game. Total. Seems like CU is playing keep-away with the tickets. According to Gary Ozzello, director of media relations for CSU’s athletic department, last year students got 10,000 free tickets for the game. This year, just over 1,000 students will pay $60 to see the big game in person.
Well, I’ll still watch from my camping chair, but I can’t chant “dirty hippies” loud enough to reach Boulder.
Matt Hitt is a sophomore theatre major. His columns will run every other Monday in the Collegian.