Being one of a few thousand Rams fans at the CSU vs. University of Colorado-Boulder game; I decided my experience in Boulder needed to be heard. From tailgating with CU fans to trying to sit in their section, here is the story of a Rams fan trying to survive in Boulder.
Pulling into the Folsom Field parking lot, my feelings of excitement to finally see the game that we had been talking about for weeks turned to butterflies in my stomach. Surrounded by CU fans in every direction, I got out of the car with my 16-year-old sister, who was hanging out with me for the weekend, and we took to the streets of Boulder.
It was a few hours before kickoff and we decided to go and tailgate with the home crowd. Dressed in our CSU gear, I was a little nervous, but the fact that my shirt said CSU rugby made me feel confident that people would talk trash but nothing more.
So we headed down the streets of Boulder, trying to get to the first party and facing ridicule the whole way. Some people shouted “Rams suck,” others were a little more obscene, but come on, if there were Buffs fans walking around Fort Collins, I would do the same thing. So I couldn’t be too mad.
As we entered the first party, I was happy to see small islands of green among the sea of gold and black. Shirts with a Buffalo “taking advantage” of a Ram and letters saying “Ram this” and another one with a Buffalo hanging a Ram and saying “Silence of the Rams” covered CU fans, but I stood proud. We even occasionally yelled “Go State” when we fit in the safety-in-numbers category.
Between singing the CU fight song and yelling ‘CSU sucks’, CU fans talked to us and even offered us drinks. So we raised our glasses, cheered to football and left for party number two.
We saw the same things at the next few parties and realized it was time to head to the game. So the long walk to the stadium began and the trash talking escalated – right up until the point when I saw a huge wave of green coming toward us and chanting ‘Go State.’ When I looked closer I couldn’t believe who I saw. It was Bradlee Van Pelt.
The man who led us into battle last year was now leading CSU fans into Folsom Field. Wearing a green CSU flag around his neck and running in all directions, getting fans pumped up, BVP still had power among the college crowd.
Not wanting to be an annoying reporter, I conceived a plan to try and talk to him, but not let him know I was a reporter. Mustering up all of my journalistic training, I stood next to him, shook his hand and said, “Hey, good game the other day.”
Wow, really creative, way to go. He thanked me for my comment, complimented my shirt and took off with all of his followers. As his cape blew in the wind, kind of like the hair that is making its way back to the mullet, he disappeared into the stadium and onto the field where he watched the game. Oh well, I might have blown the so-called interview, but it was still quite a sight to see.
As we walked into the stadium, we were thrown into the mosh-pit of people making their way to their seats. Foolishly, I thought we could sit in the CU section and watch the game with my friends. Yeah, bad idea. After being yelled at, getting pushed and watching a cigarette be partly put out on my little sister’s arm, we quickly decided to watch the rest of the game in the comfort of the tiny CSU section.
Everything was better on the good side. We cheered and watched one of the greatest football games I have ever had the privilege of watching. Everything was great, the bombs from Holland, the hard hits and the almost comeback. Overall, it was a positive experience, but I hope it was my last at Folsom. I’ll take Invesco Field any day.