If you weren’t impressed by the Rams, remove your sunglasses

Sep 17, 2023, 6:00 AM

Colorado State Rams...

Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The distance between Fort Collins and Boulder is about 50 miles, but in Saturday night’s Rocky Mountain Showdown, it was as if Cain and Abel were strapped by leather, together, inches apart, menacing breath steaming down each other’s neck.

The result favored the Colorado Buffaloes—a 43-35 double overtime thriller—as Colorado State Rams rabbel-rouser head coach Jay Norvell may say, even Stevie Wonder could clearly see, this was the best game in the history of the series rivalry.

The intensity of the buildup, unlike anything ever seen in this rivalry, exploded like an over-cooked pizza at The Sink. The endless number of personal fouls and cheap shots culminated with CSU’s best defensive player, Mohamed Kamara, getting ejected for trying to harm CU quarterback Shedeur Sanders in the first extra period.

However, the water in the pot was boiling from the start.

When rapper Offset was being interviewed there were offsetting penalties during a skirmish.

ESPN announcer Mark Jones said the CU sideline looked like the BET awards as the camera turned to Master P and Key Glock.

Sanders was involved in another pre-game fracas—this one seemed to be based on whether his opponent was or was not manure.

CSU’s Henry Blackburn blasted two-way superstar Travis Hunter with a late hit out of bounds that got fists flying and eventually sent the Buffs player to the hospital.

There was more heat than The Rock stepping in the ring Friday night at Ball Arena against old rival Austin Theory. CSU was embracing the role of the heel with relentless if not somewhat dirty intentions. CU was the ultimate babyface leading up to the game. But, as things were rolling, it felt more and more like the spoiled brats were getting what they deserved.

In the second quarter, Coach Prime took off his shades to properly see what in the world was going on with his frenetic team.

It was more than reasonable to ask if the massive hype leading up to this slanted rivalry was leaning heavily on the shoulder-to-shoulders of the Buffs players more than the blue collars of the Fart Collins Rams.

Yes, that was one of the more clever signs highlighted on ESPN’s College Gameday show. It was a sensational program that featured legendary broadcaster Lee Corso putting on his 400th mascot headgear, The Rock stripping down to a Shedeur shirt and more praise of Deion Sanders than photosynthesis says kind words about sunshine.

Coach Prime took his “it’s personal” rhetoric to the next level when on the Big Noon Kickoff show on Fox, HE brought up his momma, promising a special momma message for his pre-game speech.

The truth was CSU coach Jay Norvell’s matriarchal mantra about meaningful manners made its desired impact. It didn’t matter how many Blenders sunglasses Prime moved, Norvell’s goal was to apply pressure where it didn’t previously exist. The CU players themselves.

It worked.

The poise and proper aggression favored his side throughout a penalty-plagued affair. But, despite Norvell’s conspiracy-laced theory about the officials he expressed during the broadcast, his bold Rammies repeatedly punished and overpowered the Buffs, silencing the blinded-by-the-light student body who was quickly realizing you can’t see bull junk at night with shades on.

CSU receiver Louis Brown caught a laser from newly installed starting quarterback Brayden Fowler-Nicolosi to make the score 21-14 with four minutes to go in the first half. Taking the fire to extra crispy, Brown hit the Folsom faithful with the Primetime Dance and The Watch move simultaneously mocking father and son.

It couldn’t be clearer that Norvell’s game plan was worked to a T. As he said, nobody in Boulder was ever going to like or respect them. Why should they? While CSU was being DESTROYED by Washington State in their first game, Prime was being engraved as the fifth face on Mount Rushmore.

There is a massive and obvious talent difference between the two clubs. At the end of the day, the final score favored the deeper squad out of Boulder many of whom are so new to the program they likely need directions to Pearl Street.

It shouldn’t be lost on anybody that Sanders drove his team on a 98-yard drive with time ticking down in regulation plus a two-point conversion, plus two touchdowns in OT with ANOTHER two-point conversion! He was sensational when it mattered most.

While there will be plenty of time to praise a likely top-ten NFL QB candidate in this year’s draft, let’s take a moment to appreciate what FORT Collins has produced.

The Rams players are a different breed. They are the ones who tend to be overlooked and unspoken about. They are the ones who need to somehow grow in the deep Sanders shadow emanating from the prodigious foothills. While not victorious on the field, it wasn’t without the stalwart effort of true heroes who we should all praise.

For all the hype surrounding the 3-0 Buffs, the one word to describe the most memorable of all showdowns is ASUNDER.



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