Tuesday, September 26, 2017

A GREAT American Football Weekend in Boulder, Colorado

Laurie and I were off to Boulder, Colorado to enjoy another great weekend of University of Washington Husky football with son Andrew, his wife Jenn and our long time friends, Susan and Mike D'Antuono.

The University of Washington Huskies
Season Record 3-0, 0-0 in Pac-12 play

The University of Colorado Buffaloes
Season Record 3-0, 0-0 in Pac-12 play

It promised to be a good game, in fact a rematch of last December's PAC-12 Championship game played at the San Francisco 49ers new, state-of-the-art home, Levis Stadium, in Santa Clara, California.

It was our first time in

That is Folsom Field in the foreground on the Buffaloes' campus.

Unfortunately, an unusual rainy weekend did not allow us to see much of the Flatiron Mountains that create the Boulder Valley.

To get to the game, we took an early morning, 90 minute flight aboard Southwest Air from Burbank to Denver.

Cool mural in the Denver Airport

Foreboding mural in the Denver Airport

We had a slight problem in that Jenn and Andrew's flight from Las Vegas was delayed and they would not arrive in Denver for another five hours.

After picking up our rental car from the Budget lot, we opted to get lunch at a highly recommended Mexican restaurant near the airport.

Then we found that it was a food truck not at the address that we were given by YELP.

Arby's it was then.

We were definitely NOT in
Rams Country anymore

Still with lots of time to kill, we drove into downtown Denver.

The Colorado Rockies were
playing in San Diego today

Twenty-two years old?
How did that happen?

Piggly Wiggly
GREAT name for a market chain

Laurie putting a move on
the Rockies mascot

After some nachos and a crafted beer at a brew pub across from Coors Field, we picked up Jenn and Andrew and we were on our way to Boulder to meet the D'Antuono's for dinner.

This place sells FANTASTIC beer
sausages and pretzels!

It was still fairly warm but storm clouds were fast approaching.

Time for some sleep.

An interesting gathering in our
Hyatt Place Hotel on Saturday

After breakfast in the hotel, we were off to the University of Colorado Bookstore in search of souvenirs.

A stuffed Buffalo

No, I didn't buy it.


Not PC?

Not really.

One of the great traditions in college football for the last 50 years has been Colorado's Ralphie the Buffalo leading its four handlers at top speed and the football team on to the field just before kickoff.

It turns out that for all 50 years of this tradition, Ralphie has been a female.

Apparently, a male buffalo was deemed to be too big and powerful to handle, so 50 years ago the decision was made to go with a female in the roll of the now famous Ralphie.

Since Ralph has been known to occasionally drag a handler and even attacked the University of Oklahoma's Boomer Schooner once, this was probably a wise decision.

They would be so slimming
but they weren't the right colors

The Sink is a traditional
college dive bar just off campus

I LOVE college dive bars.

It all started at Dante's in Seattle . . .

Intersting mural in The Sink

Graffiti is encouraged

Who the heck is
Valentina Contreras?

After sharing a small pizza and some libations, we were off to Boulder's quaint Pearl Street Mall pedestrian only shopping area.

Boulder's Court House

In memory of Boulder's
Civil War deceased

This one was for Boulder's
World War I heroes

There is Ralph again

A Buffalo at the end of the
Pearl Street Mall

It was still overcast with an occasional mist falling from the heavens.

That would change soon enough.

Tailgating on the Franklin Field
practice facility with Folsom Field
in the background

GREAT set up but
the field was closed off
due to the torrential downpour

We arrived here at about 5:30 p.m. for the scheduled 8:00 p.m. kickoff in a pouring rain.

We were the guests of Stan and Patty Phillips and their two sons. Their boys get together with 11 other friends each year to share the cost of renting this tailgate space.

All they need to do is then buy their food and beverages for the game. Everything else, including the BBQs, is taken care of them through the University. The University even transports their supplies from their cars to the tent!

Everybody hiding from the rain

Stan told us that in 20+ years of being a Colorado season ticket holder, he had never seen it rain like this.

And we were there to share this historical moment with him.

Six Drowned Huskies

Back Row, L. toR.: Me, Andrew and Mike D'Antuono

Front Row, L. to R.: Laurie, Jenn and Susan D'Antuono

Thank goodness for the $2 ponchos we bought in the bookstore!

At about 7:00 p.m., we made our way into Folsom Field.

The stands were still empty but
the Huskies were warming up . . .

. . . with no shirts on in the rain!


We don't need no stinking shirts!

I loved it!

Balch Fieldhouse

It was an indoors savior from the rain for the Drowned Six Huskies! 

The field house was their original basketball arena.

The University of Colorado Marching
Band in the Balch Fieldhouse

It was dry and warm in the field house which led directly to our seats!

They also had several concessions stands, restrooms and two big screen TVs that were showing other games when we arrived but would switch to our game once it started.

We stayed in here right up until kickoff.

Go Buffs!

Lots of people staying dry
in Balch Fieldhouse

The view from our seats
on the end line

Huskies were now warming up
in full pads

Love college bands

Here come the Buffaloes
led out by . . .


Due to all of the rain, the University opted to not let Ralph lead the way tonight in fear for her safety on the wet turf.

Chip tried to rampage out onto the field but it was just not the same.

Disappointing to say the least.

And here come the Huskies


We were LUCKY! The hard rain stopped and we only had to deal with occasional misting during the game.


Later in the game, the
Huskies driving for another TD

A great pick by a Buff
kept Colorado in the game in the
First Half of play

One of WR Chico McClatcher's
four catches good for 44 yards

Unfortunately, he suffered a broken leg in the Second Half.

RB Myles Gaskin
202 yards rushing and 2 TDs

The Dawgs rushed for a total of 254 yards on the night including 1621 yards in the Second Half.

OB Sack by Levi Onwuzurikw

And another QB Sack
by another Husky

Athletic Chico McClatcher again

An AMAZING Husky TD grab by
Quinten Pounds

More QB Sack Mania by L. to R.:
Ben Burr-Kirven and Akeem Victor

In the end, only the Colorado Band
remained from the home crowd

It was a GREAT win to open PAC-12
play for the Huskies!

But the best part for us was still seeing Andy, Jenn and the D'Antuonos.

Did you know that the
Denver Airport restrooms
serve more than the usual function?

Rex Ryan said on Sunday that
"I didn't sign up for this"
after President Trump's
NFL comments

Actually Rex, you did.

Gee Rex, maybe it is not as much fun when the President singles your group out instead of women, POWs, Blacks, Mexicans, etc.

Reading Is FUNdamental!

Another good effort from
this fine Scottish writer