Welcome to The Preview of Hate, a weekly preview series that will cover the upcoming game for Colorado State University. The Four Tiers of Hate (TM) will cover everything from the team to the city to the fans of every team CSU faces this season.
This week, the Rams travel to Denver for that annual neutral site contest known as The Rocky Mountain Showdown.
Their opponents, the Buffaloes of Colorado University, are the reigning champions of this game. Last season, CU pulled out an overtime victory that spoiled Mike Bobo’s RMS debut as head coach of the Rams.
This year, as I mentioned last week, the Rams come in as a team in transition. They won’t be naming a starting QB until game day as Bobo continues the weird tradition of college coach head games.
But this isn’t about the Rams, this is about what I hate most about the team the Rams are playing. This week, I hate CU.
Let’s get into the Tiers, starting with Tier One.
Boulder is an exceptionally beautiful Colorado town that rests right on the mountains with outstanding views of an incredible canyon and a mountain town feel for many of its areas.
And then you go into a popular neighborhood.
It’s long been known that Boulder was lost to the Republic of California many years ago. The heavy influx of West Coasters who saw a town they could shape and mold into a city of their image has made the town feel like more a different country than a city a half hour outside Denver.
There’s been so many jokes about The People’s Republic of Boulder and other disparaging remarks due to the town’s overwhelmingly liberal populace. But, that’s lazy to pick on. That’s like picking on Boulder’s weed smoking or weird homeless population. It’s lazy, it’s tired and I’ll let CU Journalism students make the lazy jokes here.
But I want to discuss just how much Boulder looks and feels like it’s literally a town in SoCal. There’s no Colorado feel to this city anymore if you just visit the popular areas. Boulder is like a colony of natives in 1600 Mexico and California came through like Conquistadors making everyone change their religion and government system.
Take for instance, the shopping center on 28th street in Boulder. Here is a picture of it:
Oh yeah that looks nice. A nice outdoor shopping center you might see anywhere in Colorado, such as Centerra in Loveland or the Flatirons Mall in Broomfield.
Wait a second, enhance that on the left there.
CALIFORNIA pizza kitchen.
Let’s not even begin to discuss the style and color scheme of this center is actually common to outdoor shopping centers in Southern California, like this one in Irvine.
“But Connor,” you shout, “this hardly seems fair since that is a very common shopping center style across a lot of this country. It’s just bright buildings and cool decks.”
Yeah, you would say that, if you were from Boulder.
CU-Boulder got this way for a variety of reasons. For the longest time, CU was ranked as one of the best party schools in the nation. This, paired with it’s proximity to skiing and overall Colorado funtime culture, brought in a wave of students from the coasts looking to create a name for themselves in this wild west.
But then they stayed. What happens to crazy college kids who move four states away to party and then stay in that state? You guessed it, they get boring. They meet their significant others, they find jobs, and then Boulder goes from “wacky party town” to “nice, wholesome city with a few crazy weekenders.”
That’s why they have shopping centers with California on them, that’s why Pearl Street is legitimately one of the five most overrated areas on Planet Earth, that’s why Boulder is the New Year’s Eve of college towns. It’s fun to think about, ultimately not up to your expectations and just like every other town out there.
The Boulder resident, the CU student.
Boulder’s a city with some fun things to do and a couple of good bars. But if you talk to a resident of Boulder they’re the town to INVENT bars and fun things to do. Have you ever asked someone who lives in Boulder about fun things to do there? It’s like asking any random dad about George Carlin. They act like before Boulder came along nobody literally had any fun in the entire Western region.
I get city pride, I do, I have it for every city I’ve lived in. But we really don’t need the song and dance about Boulder’s nightlife like before Boulder came around people just rolled tires on the sidewalk and burned sticks for entertainment. Seriously, the only difference between you and every other college town in this country is that it only takes three beers to get buzzed in your town.
This isn’t to say Boulder isn’t unique or special. It is, the state of Colorado is. The views are unequaled, the mountains are gorgeous, the air is pristine and crisp like none other.
But, please, for the love of Elway, stop pretending like CU invented partying. You didn’t even perfect it. You did it better for like four years in the early 90’s and now people want you to stop talking about it. You’re the Donnie Wahlberg of party schools.
The fans (Part One).
The fans will actually be split into two tiers today because there is a lot they do that makes me hate them in several different ways.
Part One will discuss the “Little Brother” syndrome they like to flaunt around that CSU has. Now, every rivalry has a “more successful half” that gets to flaunt trophies and rings around. It’s just the nature of rivalries. The Broncos get to do it to the Chiefs, the Yankees get it to do it to the Red Sox, etc. The Buffaloes are the more successful half of this rivalry. That is a fact.
But, let’s be clear on what this rivalry has become, two mediocre programs with limited success since the 90’s playing in a game that used to matter a lot more than it did.
That’s not to say I don’t like playing CU or that I don’t like the idea of hating CU (I’m writing an article about it) but the idea that there is a big brother-little brother syndrome here is a false one. They aren’t brothers at all. They’re more like cousins.
CSU is the slightly younger cousin, there’s still competition, our mothers still talk about us together to see which kid is doing better. But it’s rare. It happens once every few months and after it’s over there is rarely an impact on the rest of the season. Neither team is suddenly better because they won the RMS, neither team’s season is salvaged because of it. The Buffs could win every RMS for the next 10 years, still finish 4-8, and still go through three head coaches. It’s not an important game for either side.
But, the funny thing is, CU fans want to make you believe CSU fans care about it more than them, but only when it benefits them. Example: CU wins in student attendance, they obviously care more than CSU! But if you mention that CU cares about the game, suddenly you get “we actually don’t care about the game at all. It’s funny that you think we care, we actually don’t care.”
Another example, CU fans are often engaging in banter prior to the RMS, this is good! Banter is great, especially for rivalries.
But then, a CSU fan returns banter. CU fans rebuttal with something like “Why is CSU so obsessed with us?”
It’s a classic maneuver that puts you in the drivers seat of any sports debate. Make it seem like one side cares too much. It’s just sports after all, why do you care so much?
Only, CU cares just as much. They just have to pretend like they don’t. That way they can still act like the big brother, when in reality, that role left a long time ago.
In honor of this fan phenomena, I made CU a new slogan they can put on signs at the RMS:
The Fans (Part Two).
I hate to make the “living in the past” argument. Mostly because I think a program’s historical success is something for their fans to be proud of and also I think people use that argument in a lot of lame moments. They use it when a team is two years separated from a championship or when a player enters the Hall of Fame. It’s a catch all for fans with teams that have nothing to celebrate.
But, for CU, the successes of the program are deep enough in the past now that it’s actually quite bonkers that it’s still a main trash talking point for them. They cite the overall record, 63-22-2. But, apart from an 8 game win streak when CU was a premiere program in the country, the rivalry has actually been a lot closer in modern history than CU fans would like to think. Since 1999, CU holds a slim 10-7 lead.
I don’t want to be accused of cherry picking, CU’s eight game streak through the 80’s and 90’s is impressive and the program was obviously at it’s highest peak. CSU has never had a program that even holds a candle to those Colorado teams.
But, that’s the thing, the program hasn’t been anywhere near that peak since then. Beyond that, the belief that they’ll return to that peak is, as of now, a Kool-Aid pipe dream of students who pay far too much in tuition to watch the team lose to UCLA at Folsom every week. But you’re still going to hear 63-22-2. Since CU joined the PAC-12, which is their fall back argument when you accuse their team of being bad, they’re 3-2 against Colorado State. Damn, that’s domination folks.
So, yeah, congrats on winning 43 games before college football was integrated. Really proud of the work you did with that 1947 team, generic CU student from San Diego. I’m sure you worked hard to Google the results so you can win an argument in the Mile High Stadium parking lot on Friday.
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In all seriousness, this game worries me a bit. CU’s offense is talented and experiened, the Rams defense is replacing a lot of guys in a trial by fire, and nobody actually knows who CSU’s quarterback is outside Bobo. There’s a lot of questions marks on the season and they all get highlighted in a big time, emotional season opener. 31-20 Colorado University is my official prediction. But if the Rams win please tweet at me that I was wrong the way people tweet at Keith Law.
Tune in next week where I somehow come up with four things to hate about a school I just found out existed last year, UTSA.