Yep, I shouldâ€™ve gone to Tour de Fat.
For the last couple years Iâ€™ve lamented that Iâ€™ve not been of age to partake in New Belgiumâ€™s beer-guzzling, bike-parading extravaganza, but the knowledge that this year I could suck down a Fat Tire or three, dress like a pirate and swerve around Fort Collins for a few hours kept me happy.
Oh, but no, the fates conspired to schedule the Tour de Fat on the same day as the Rocky Mountain Showdown and make the hapless Fort Collins folk choose between a good thing and what seemed to be a better thing.
But, being the loyal Ram fan that I am, what choice did I have but to buck-up, buy my $27 ($2 just to print it out? Really?) and find my way down to Denver for the annual clash of semi-domesticated animal college sports teams.
After all, I told myself, Tour de Fat seems like fun, but the Showdown is always one of the best days of the year.
And yet, here I sit today with my proverbial foot in my proverbial mouth.
Iâ€™ve been to a lot of Colorado State football games during my four years here. Through thick and mostly thin, Iâ€™ve watched the Rams triumph, and Iâ€™ve watched the Rams mostly disappoint.
But Saturday I wasnâ€™t really even disappointed.
I wonâ€™t lie: I didnâ€™t have high hopes for a victory, but I didnâ€™t expect a blowout. Sure the team is young and inexperienced, but itâ€™s the Showdown. Energy runs high and players are out to prove something. And, come on, itâ€™s the Buffs.
So I dragged my cold-infected self out of bed sometime shortly after the sun had risen and loaded myself up with cold medicine. A half-hour of blowing my nose, cursing microorganisms and wandering foggily around the apartment trying to figure out why I was up at such a god-awful hour later and I was on my way to Invesco.
After the initial pain of morning, the early part of the day went fine. If nothing else, CSU students know how to throw tailgates, and there was plenty of bad beer to be had. Now, Iâ€™m not one to complain about beer, but living in Fort Collins has transformed me into quite the beer snob, and by 10 a.m. the first pangs of â€œman I could be drinking good beerâ€ coursed through my body.
But as we moved toward the stadium through the throngs of green and gold clad fans, the shouts of â€œDirty hippies fâ€”k CU!â€ rising with the heat, I kept focused on the experience. Cheap beer and good football seem to go together and the time to watch the Buffalo-beatdown was nearing, so I happily joined in jeering at the CU fans as we flooded into the stadium.
And thatâ€™s when everything went downhill.
The first drive pretty much set the tone for the entire fail-game. Three hours later I found myself dehydrated, burnt to a crisp and trying to convince my girlfriend that hunting down and killing the CSU football team would not be a productive use of her time.
Youâ€™ll notice I didnâ€™t include feeling disappointed. I wasnâ€™t. Disappointment had faded with heat stroke and first half.
Iâ€™ve never left a CSU football game early, but by the end of the third quarter I walked out. Go ahead: question my dedication to the team. If the Rams had managed to put a single point on the board before then, Iâ€™d have stayed. But they didnâ€™t.
As I drove back to Fort Collins, I consoled myself by remembering that, if nothing else, I didnâ€™t have to get on a bus and go to Boulder. And then I saw the remnant Tour de Fat riders gleefully cruising the town in that unmistakable ale-induced haze and I almost cried.
If youâ€™ve made it this far you must be wondering if I have a point. The short answer is no, I donâ€™t, but the process of putting my thoughts on paper and hoping that you feel like Iâ€™ve wasted as much time of yours as the Rams wasted of mine is somehow cathartic. Or maybe the heat just scrambled my brain.
One way or the other, I was wrong. Tour de Fat wouldâ€™ve been a better choice, but hey, thereâ€™s always next year â€¦ except that Iâ€™m graduating in May. Saturdayâ€™s punches just keep on coming.
Editorials Editor Jim Sojourner is a senior journalism major. His column appears Tuesdays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.