Sep 122010
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

The only thing in Colorado that’s not on fire is the Colorado State football team.

With fires blazing along the Front Range from Arvada to Loveland, living in Fort Collins, you can’t help but feel a bit left out.

Even Colorado Springs has sparked a new light with the Air Force football team, which beat Brigham Young for the first time in seven years Saturday.

The entire state of Colorado may be under a Red Flag Fire Warning, but the Rams’ football team appears about as snuffed out as the flame of two former lovers naively trying to rekindle a dead relationship at a high school reunion.

I wish I would have known that before holding a Collegian watch party for Saturday’s game.

Unless you are a Thompson Valley graduate, chances are the Rams’ 51-6 loss at Nevada was the worst football game you had ever seen.

The offensive play-calling almost felt more predictable than Jimmy Johnson’s “up-the-middle, up-the-middle, up-the-middle, punt” mentality at Oklahoma State in the early 1980s. Yes, Pete Thomas completed 64 percent of his passes, but only for an average of 5.4 yards.

The defense obviously wasn’t any better. I’ll leave it at that.

Watching that game was painful. The fact that it was televised on ESPNU, a network that apparently only brought two cameras, operated by high school interns, to Mackay Stadium, didn’t make it more enjoyable.

I wish I had a time machine to go back to Saturday knowing how depressed the upcoming game was going to make the entire city of Fort Collins. I would have created a list of things to do in order to keep myself sane for three hours and posted it on my website for the world to read and counted it as a community service project.

Instead, I am creating this list as a retrospective, wishing I still had my sanity. If only I could take my DeLorean back in time two days.

Pistol offense drinking game

If you have been hiding under a rock for the past three years, maybe you don’t know that Nevada runs the pistol offense. If you watched Saturday’s game, you now know everything there is about it thanks to color commentator David Diaz-Infante saying “pistol” every four words.

The game is simple. Every time the word “pistol” was mentioned, you took a drink of beer (or whatever). You would have had alcohol poisoning by the end of the first quarter, but it would have been better than watching the final three periods.

Stockholm Syndrome

If you aren’t aware, Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological phenomenon that sometimes develops in hostages when they suddenly become flattered by their captors and want to protect them.

In sports, I like to call it Stockholm Syndrome when fans start rooting for the opposing team. I think a lot of us at my house caught Stockholm Syndrome Saturday night.

Play make believe

As I mentioned before, the camera work from Reno, Nev., Saturday was some of the worst you’ll ever see from “professionals.” Often, the tailback wasn’t even in frame prior to the snap and the high cam had a hard time following the ball.

So because you really never could tell where the ball was going, just pretend that it was thrown to the end zone for a touchdown every time for CSU.

Look forward to the Jacksonville Jaguars game

For 99.9 percent of you, you were looking forward to the Denver Broncos game because the state of Colorado as a whole could care less about college football. For me, I’m a Jaguars fan –– have been since the third grade.

I get to watch, at most, one Jacksonville game a year on cable. I’m so glad the Jaguars came away with a victory on Sunday. Sorry, Bronco Nation.

Do anything else

I seriously applaud anyone who had the fanhood to watch Saturday’s game to its finish. That takes heart. The eight Collegianites at my place did, but that also could have been because we have no life, so there was nothing better to do.

But you could have been more productive doing, literally, anything else.

The good news is the offense can’t get any worse — the Rams rank dead last in points scored amongst all 120 NCAA FBS schools.

Up is the only direction this team can go, but will they?

I hope so, because I really do love this team. And speaking as a senior, another three-win season might force us to start some fires of our own.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at

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