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PREVIEW OF HATE, WEEK FIVE: ROASTED IN BRONZE BOOTS

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It’s Wyoming Hate Week, baby!

NCAA Football: Colorado State at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Preview of Hate, a wildly popular preview column that captures unseen elements of the upcoming Colorado State athletic contests. This week, we’re previewing the 108th Border War, CSU vs. Wyoming. In a unique twist, each week will be broken down into four parts, or Tiers, of things I hate about the upcoming matchup, city, or school CSU is playing. The more I hate the thing, the higher the tier.

Now, before the Tiers I like to talk about the game that was, the game that happened last week. This past weekend, the Rams travelled to Minneapolis to put in a close effort with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

We’ve all seen the gif by now, I hope. You know the one, a Minnesota defender takes off Collin Hill’s head and only by the miracle of science and medicine is it reattached in time for Collin to start the next drive. That gif.

Despite nearly being turned into a pile of dust, Hill and the Rams nearly completed a very unlikely comeback and victory over the Gophs. It was a team that looked more like the team we expected coming into the season than the one that showed up the first two weeks of the year. Hill was rattled and inconsistent, but found grooves when he needed to. A one touchdown defeat on the road against a good P5 opponent is not something to cry about, especially when it’s a true freshman’s first road game.

Despite getting hit hard enough that it would turn a normal man into dust particles, Hill kept getting up and kept firing passes. He struggled at times, he missed open receivers, but Minnesota’s defensive line was in his face a lot more than is usually acceptable for a quarterback. Overall, the hype train stalled out a bit on the tracks but don’t worry, mechanics are working on the wheels as we speak to get it moving again on Saturday.

Speaking of Saturday, the Tiers!

Laramie weather.

One time I visited Laramie in late September, I was the broadcaster for the CSU volleyball team and it was a big conference opener in Laramie. We left Fort Collins where it was 75 degrees and a crisp, sunny, Colorado day.

We arrived in Laramie about two hours later in the middle of a blizzard.

What harsh God has forsaken that town to weather like that?

I can only imagine winters in Laramie to be like John Carpenter’s The Thing. Everyone packed into tiny satellite camps, only moving to class at first light and rushing home as the sun begins to set at 3 PM. Snow covering all monuments and piling over ten feet high as the students tunnel to class.

Really sounds like a lot of fun, I don’t know why they can’t get more athletes up there.

Tier Two

Laramie cuisine.

Now, in a town of 30,000 people there are likely some hidden gems of restaurants that the locals go to. An established burger joint, a local pizza establishment, a brunch place institution. Laramie is no different than any American town in it’s local small business culture, there are plenty of good local joints.

There’s also this:

Eighth place. Perkins.

You couldn’t find EIGHT restaurants better than Perkins?

Even worse is this:

“Hey guys, Perkins is probably super busy since it’s Friday night and all, let’s hop online and reserve our table before we head over so we won’t have to wait for our chicken fried steak and diet Dr. Pepper.”

Who’s in charge of that? I’ve been to Perkins five times in my life and not once did I think to myself “Jeez, I wish I had reserved my table before hand.” Has anyone ever been disappointed by the wait at Perkins in the history of America? Has anyone showed up to a Perkins and been told it’ll be about 20-30 minutes? Honestly I would just expect Perkins to attempt to serve you plates on the floor in some kind of feeble attempt to never have to write names on a list.

My God Laramie, is your Perkins the most popular Perkins in the world? Does the CEO of Perkins demand the Laramie numbers every morning when he walks in so he gets good news?

I started to check out the specific ethnicities of food in Laramie. Here’s the number two rated Italian restaurant:

Interestingly enough, Pizza Hut was only the 8th best pizza place in Laramie.

Number three Chinese restaurant:

I don’t want to accuse Laramie of being uncultured, because they did give Panda three and a half stars (an accurate rating). But the bronze medal goes to a place that warns people their orange chicken might be spicy.

Laramie’s a college town run by picky elementary school kids. Try new things? Not in this town, bucko. Why don’t you move along to Cheyenne if you’re thinking of making something other than pepperoni pizza.

Tier Three

The Wyoming football crowd.

Each time the Border War is in Fort Collins, there’s always the same people that make the hour trip south to civilization. They drive in, they cruise College Avenue anywhere from one to nine hours, they honk their horn at everyone walking in Old Town. It’s as though they think if they don’t announce their presence to all, everyone will wonder if any Wyoming fans made the trek down to watch the game.

Look, I get it, you’re in a town of over 100,000 people it’s probably pretty crazy. We have left turn arrows and actual crowds of people, you might not be used to it. But please, stop cruising our streets playing Garth Brooks as loud as possible, you’re ruining everything.

The worst part is, Laramie tourists become the Greeley tourists for a weekend. They go to the first bars on College and pack The Drunken Monkey or Tony’s, ordering complicated shots and dropping bottles of Bud Light on the pool table. They get into loud arguments with people over things like hunting or bullets, they call everyone blue blooded or greenies, then they stumble into the road and get angry at traffic.

Finally, they show up at the game and watch Wyoming get beaten by 20-30 points, just to engage drunk frat boys in the parking lot and wonder why the cops don’t want people throwing rocks at each other.

Ridiculous.

Tier Four

Wyoming football program.

This is going to be good.

Wyoming football is the Perkins of college football, a lot of promise early on that this will be the time they’re actually good, only to disappoint you and leave you with intestinal distress.

Wyoming has only been to five bowl games since 1990. I was born in 1989 and I’ve seen Wyoming play into December five times in my entire life. For reference, Colorado State has been to five bowl games since my freshman year of college in 2007. That’s 17 extra years CSU spotted Wyoming to get more bowl appearances, they couldn’t do it.

Wyoming football’s last 10 win season was in 1996. Children born in 1997 are now attending Wyoming university.

Wyo football is so bad, one time my roommate in college won an NCAA national championship with them, and the game bugged out and forget to credit him for the title. It gave the championship to Penn State instead, because it couldn’t even fathom the thought that Wyoming football would be a national champion.

You can’t even feel sorry for Wyoming football. They’re not Akron or Central Michigan. They’re just Wyoming. Always bad, never good.

★ ★ ★

Personally, after the last two weeks, I’m expecting big things from CSU this weekend. This game is important because it really does set a new direction for the season. A win and the Rams are 3-2 with two tough games against USU and Boise coming up. A loss, you’re staring at 2-5 and the sadness pillows get unlocked from the closet.

31-13 Colorado State.