I am a buffalo with a dirty little secret. My best friend is a ram.
My senior year of high school, I had no doubt as to where I wanted to go to college. I have bled gold since I was born.
Unfortunately, my best friend, but mostly his parents, had other plans. CU’s sheer awesomeness, read “reputation for being a party school,” was too much for his conservative parents to handle.
We were basically put into a “Superbad” situation. Would our friendship stay strong with us going off to different—rival—schools?
Sports editor Marlee Horn (right) and CSU-attending BFF Zach at their senior prom in high school. (Courtesy of Marlee Horn)
The answer is yes. Zach once told me that our friendship is too powerful to be destroyed by trivial rivalries. This weekend in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, our friendship will not be destroyed.
The same cannot be said of the hearts of the losing team’s fans. Sure, win or lose we still booze, but rivalries only get more heated when alcohol is involved. This is a fact every “CU News Alert E-Memo” this week wants to remind students.
They warn of “disrespectful fan behavior and unsafe pre- and post-game practices.” They encourage fans to act responsibly as to not damage the reputation of the university.
I have a few not-so-kind words in response to this, but since my mother will most likely read this, I’ll leave them out of this article.
Rivalry or not, CU fans go hard. They chant some naughty words and wear some inappropriate shirts. This is something the powers that be will just have to accept.
In most cases, rivalries are healthy. They give fans a reason to get hyped up and cheer on their team.
Now that Colorado is in a new conference, the CU-CSU rivalry is even more important.
I love when the Buffs win, but sometimes the bragging rights are even better than the win itself.
I love being able to text my friends at CSU and rub it in their face. I also love talking smack to Ram fans as I leave the stadium. No one should test a sports editor on her love of Buff sports.
As enjoyable and exhilarating as rivalries can be, it really is all fun and games until someone gets hurt.
There is no need for frivolous, unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Ahem, Oakland Raiders—you’re grown men getting paid to play football, consider not throwing cheap shots.
There especially is no need to assault an innocent fan who happens to be wearing an opposing team’s jersey.
That was the sad fate of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow. On March 31, 2011 at Dodgers Stadium, Stow was brutally attacked by two assailants.
Stow is a Giants fan, but more importantly than that, he is also a paramedic and father of two. Because of a rivalry, Stow has had to watch the baseball season from a hospital bed. He was left with brain damage, and on Wednesday underwent shunt surgery. His medical bills are expected to exceed $50 million, according to the LA Times.
No rivalry is worth that.
Closer to home, during my freshman year CSU beat the Buffs at Folsom Field. Hours after the game, I was walking to a party when I saw a kid wearing a green CSU shirt, and donning a red, bloodied face.
In the moment, I was unfazed. I figured the guy was running his mouth, and a Buff taught him a lesson.
Looking back, I am disgusted. As much as I enjoy the CU-CSU rivalry, it’s not worth beating someone up.
So while our Colorado.edu inboxes get slammed with more warnings about not getting wasted and too unruly, I have a different message.
Enjoy yourselves, get rowdy and don’t be afraid to shout “F*** ‘em up!” Just remember, no rivalry is worth laying a hand on an opposing fan—or destroying a friendship.
Contact CU Independent Sports Editor Marlee Horn at email@example.com.