Calmer crowds, better sportsmanship noted by Denver police at Rocky Mountain Showdown
Fan behavior and enjoyment were at a high Saturday during the first Rocky Mountain Showdown at a neutral site in three years.
The tension mounted as thousands of fans from CU and Colorado State University converged and chanted their school fight songs within the gates of Invesco Field for the state’s football bragging rights.
Cannon shots echoed around the 75,000-plus-seat stadium, and the battle began. For fans watching the game, most of the excitement and entertainment took place in the first half with CU trailing CSU, 14-10.
“I like the atmosphere here,” said sophomore business student Adrienne Christie. “The cops haven’t been bad, and it’s great to see a sea of yellow with everyone around.”
Black and gold pompoms were the main fan novelty, yet students from both sides proudly energized the stands with cheers and rowdiness.
“We need to play here every year,” said CSU senior Kolsie Frazee. “It’s the Rocky Mountain Showdown at a neutral place, and there’s a fair competition between teams and fans.”
The competition within the stands made for entertaining moments between game plays, with repetitions of “It sucks to be a CSU Ram” and sly remarks about CU’s opening-game loss to Montana State.
“I think there was some tension between both crowds because of the state rivalry,” said open option sophomore Annie Wester. “But it’s all fun and games.”
Coming into the event, security officials prepared to deal with possible altercations and serious incidents caused by unruly fans, but up until halftime, the competitive school spirit consisted only of cheers and spirited shouting matches.
“Everything has gone well,” said Denver Police Capt. Tony Martin. “The biggest problems have been people who have had too much to drink or were overwhelmed with the crowd size. It’s the Rocky Mountain Showdown. We’ve had no major incidents, and I think that everyone has behaved well.”
Following the loss to Nebraska in 2005 in which CU students were criticized for displaying poor sportsmanship in the stands, students seemed set on erasing that event Saturday and were more focused on school pride and psyching up their team.
“I love it,” open option sophomore Ryan Adwar said of the football atmosphere. “I’m a CU fan born and raised, and I love every single minute of it.”