To my pleasant surprise, my one-hundredth game turned out to be a blast. Never would I have imagined this milestone to take place on a Friday night in Fort Collins, Colorado. However, I learned a bit more about the intensity of small town rivalries. The trail blazed from Laramie down I-80 and I-25 is just close enough to spawn a deep loathing between these two opponents. They play for the coveted Bronze Boot and whether you are wearing a cowboy hat or ram horns, the trophy means intense bragging rights and often a bowl placement.
Hughes Stadium is set far from the campus of Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colorado. The setting is amazing as it rests up against the Rocky Mountain foothills. But, it sits all alone. Looking at it, you wouldn’t imagine that the stadium could provide such a wild atmosphere. Surrounding the stadium are acres of land used for parking. The scene is quite chaotic…much like a rock concert. Police pointing cars in all directions, vehicles bumping along on the rocky grass and drunken college students swarming the area. Night games are commonplace at Hughes Stadium, which only gives the student body more time to fill their student bodies with alcohol. The lawn outside the stadium is an all-evening party up to kickoff. The sun disappears behind the mountains and its game time.
Colorado State likely held the most anticipation for getting their first home game of the season underway. Having started the season with a heartbreaking loss to rival Colorado in Boulder and a crushing shutout loss to top ranked USC, playing in front of a friendly bunch of folks could prove to be the best remedy for their woes. The Golden Gophers travel from Minneapolis with an undefeated record attached to their luggage. The Rams may be glad to be home, but Minnesota may have not been the most welcome guest. The Gophers come in with an impressive running game, while Colorado State still searches for corks to plug their leaky defense.