Next week I'll finish my finals week with a stroll through Moby Arena as a graduate, and I'll take with me some great sports memories.
The last four years of my life have been filled with sports. I estimate I spent about 570 hours at different games, including three bowl games and three Mountain West Conference tournaments. That's probably more than I spent in class or studying, and it was time well spent.
I've gathered a few of my favorite moments in sports as a final farewell.
1. Utah vs. CSU volleyball, Fall 2004. I saw these two teams duke it out twice this past season, and they were amazing matches. This is one rivalry that never seems to die. These are two great teams and there's always a fire on the court when they play. Long rallies, sharp kills, spectacular digs. Come to a Utah match and you'll understand what Moby Madness is about.
2. CSU at Wyoming football, Nov. 1, 2003. One of the coldest, nastiest games I've been to, but what do you expect from Wyoming? About halftime it started snowing and I was in the shade. Several missed calls by the refs left the Rams in despair and the drunken Cowboy fans hurriedly trying to remember how to spell W-Y-O. Any game in Laramie brings a story when you have 5-year-olds in 10-gallon hats flipping you off, and this game was no different. The Cowboys won their first game against CSU in years, and the Wyoming fans stormed the field and tore down their own goalpost. I love civilization.
3. CSU vs. North Texas, New Orleans Bowl, 2001. The Rams finished in third place in the MWC, but they made their first bowl game with Bradlee Van Pelt at the helm, creaming the Eagles into the turf. It was also the only one of three bowls that CSU won in my tenure. New Orleans was awesome and I would have much preferred going there again than Memphis in 2002. I also had fun singing the wrong words to the North Texas fight song. Not that their fans knew the correct words anyway.
3. CSU vs. Duke, men's basketball NCCA tournament, 2002. In my experience at CSU, the men's teams have sucked. The players are all cool guys, but the seasons have been marred by their lack of wins. But in 2002, the Rams surprised everyone, especially me. They finished in the bottom half of the conference but stole the MWC Tournament and got a ticket to the Big Dance. I wasn't there in person, but even on television it was amazing. Duke almost lost that night, and I saw fear in their eyes as the Rams tried to pull an upset no one expected.
4. CSU at Air Force, football, Halloween 2002. I had been to a few very cold Air Force games in the past but nothing like the spectacle I saw that night. A blizzard, a CSU kicker returning for a touchdown, and my favorite part: the cadets cheering for the Rams. The Falcons started off the season with six-straight wins but lost several in a row after that; the Rams won the MWC crown. The snow was wet and thick, and my shoes froze to the metal stands. I could hardly see through the snow but I screamed myself hoarse and couldn't speak for the next two days. Go to a game at the academy before you leave CSU. You'll never forget it.
5. CSU vs. UNLV, football, final home game 2004. The Rams didn't make a bowl game this year. They had a losing record and it sucked watching them lose. But my final home game didn't disappoint. The Rams took out their frustrations on the Rebels en route to a 45-10 win. I yelled, I cringed and the Rams didn't disappoint. The season may have been a lost cause, but I didn't think about that as I celebrated.