CSU community members – and their dogs – lay scattered along the hill on the West Lawn of the Lory Student Center. Students shouted the fight song as the marching band energized the crowd.
And in the background, a massive ball of flames and fireworks lit the dark Colorado sky.
“The more we get students and alumni together, the more we become a tribe,” said Tom Field, president of the Alumni Association and a professor in animal sciences.
And as the Ram family gathered for the lighting of the “A” Friday night at the annual Homecoming Pep Rally Bonfire, the word “tribe” may be accurate to describe the tight-knit community and passion of the Rams.
Despite the impressive display of school spirit, there were some rooting, maybe a little too much, for the fire.
“I mostly came out for the fire,” said one student who asked that his name not be used. “I’m not going to lie. I’m kind of a pyro.”
But a team of firefighters stood armed with hoses, ready to repel any threat of fire and dousing the hopes of all the pyros.
The crowd roared and dogs whimpered as green, gold and crimson fireworks exploded into the air.
Taylor Smoot, secretary of Associated Students of CSU came out to “feel the Ram power.”
“The fireworks are a representation of our CSU pride because they are true and bright,” he said.
As the fire died down, the crowd slowly dispersed and some were disappointed that the party, for that night at least, was over.
“The Ram in my heart died when the fire went out,” said Kira Maixner, a freshman liberal arts open-option major.
Her roommate, Lindsay Hill, had a different outlook.
“The Ram in my heart is ready for tomorrow’s game!” she said.
The Rams, it turned out, were as well.
Staff writer Teresa O’Brien can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.