Iâ€™m doing something I never thought I would openly doâ€¦Iâ€™m coming out of my CU closet.
Yes, itâ€™s true I have been and probably always will be a Buffs fan somewhere in my heart of hearts. Itâ€™s not my fault really. I grew up in an area of Colorado where CU was the only college football team that mattered.
There was one football game I looked forward to more than any sporting event all year.
It was, and still is, the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
I was raised in a family in which Ralphie was revered, the year 1990 held as a season of a lifetime and looked down at CSU as the little brother to the north that, try as they might, could never win.
As an innocent 11-year-old, I moved to Fort Collins and was judged for wearing black and gold and looking up to guys like Chris Brown and Bobby Purify as heroes.
The Rocky Mountain Showdown provided me with some of my fondest memories and deepest depressions. I took the games personally. A CU loss was, in my mind, a loss for me. I had nothing to do with the team, or the Boulder community for that matter, but I identified as a Buff and nothing else. On the rare occasions that CU lost, like the infamous 1999 tear gas game, I was angry and even cried (yeah, thatâ€™s how much I care).
But as I grew older I trended more and more towards CSU, rooting for them in every game except the Showdown, conflicted between staying loyal to my beloved Buffs, or supporting the team in my hometown.
Only now do I see the answer to my near 10-year struggle.
Love not one team or the other, but rather love the game itself and what it means for the state of Colorado.
The pride of Colorado football is on display each and every year. There are 69 Colorado natives in this yearâ€™s contest alone, including two head coaches who returned to their alma maters.
It doesnâ€™t matter which side you cheer for, or where you come from, the point is to care. This year is the perfect to time show up and support your school, whether itâ€™s CSU or CU.
The Rams are 2-0 entering the Showdown for the first time since 1941, and for the first time since 1939 CU has a record of 0-2 or worse.
CSU has been more competitive in recent years than at almost any time of the rivalry that spans back into the 19th century.
As of Wednesday only around 53,000 tickets were sold according to the Denver Post, thatâ€™s out of 76,125 seats at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. A majority of those 53,000 belonged to CU fans.
This is inexcusable. I know the Rams have fallen on tough times, but so have the Buffs.
Focus your passion for this great game of college football on the long and historic rivalry between CSU and CU. It has the potential to provide you the best memories of your life, connect you with friends and family and be part of a larger community.
Weâ€™re lucky. Denver gives us the perfect atmosphere for a college rivalry.
Mile High is a magnificent stadium in a neutral site where two programs can showcase their talent. Fans from all over the state come divided between green and black, yet stand unknowingly united by their love of the game.
Poor records are no reason to abandon that. Donâ€™t let down your school and your team because you believe they wonâ€™t win. Go because you love football. Go because you love Colorado. Go because itâ€™s more than just a game.
Sports Editor Cris Tiller can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Colorado State vs. Colorado
When: Saturday, 11:30 a.m.
Where: Sports Authority Field at Mile High
TV: ROOT Sports
DirecTV: Ch. 683
DirecTV HD: Ch. 683-1
Comcast Digital Cable: Ch. 26
Comcast HD: Ch. 665
DISH Network: Ch. 414
Live chat: Collegian.com