Countdown to Kickoff Day 75: My Favorite Loss

There’s no 75 on the roster so we’ll have to do something else. The freshmen are all reporting to campus, so I’m hoping they get assigned jersey numbers within the next couple of days so I can quit coming up with stupid gimmicks like: My Favorite Loss. But here we are.

My favorite loss was the 2019 Arkansas game.

As a very important Top Booster, a friend and I had the opportunity to fly to Fayetteville with the team, stay at the team hotel, and watch the game from the Athletic Director’s suite. (When my sister heard, she asked me “are you dying and aren’t you a little too old to be getting a Make-A-Wish?”)

Friday morning we show up at the Loveland airport and we’re handed a schedule with the entire weekend broken down to the minute: meetings, workouts, the number of the bus we’d be on, etc. Some local catering company showed up with probably over a hundred meals for us to eat on the flight. Brown rice, teriyaki chicken, and veggies. Pretty nice gig for that catering company!

They boarded me and the rest of the normal people first in the back of the plane: boosters, athletic department staff, etc. I was surprised how many people headed down: alumni relations people, ticketing office people, CSU media people. I think I heard Mike Brohard joking about how he gets to take a chartered flight to games now while his old newspaper colleagues had to drive down. Perks!

The departments get a set number of seats on the plane to each road game and seats to Fayetteville were in high demand. Newer employees get the shit games in Logan and places like that. Apparently the worst game to go to is Hawaii because you’re sitting in coach seats for 12 hours.

We land at a small airport in Fayetteville, three buses are waiting. Players and football staff in the first two buses, everyone else in the third bus. From the airport to the Embassy Suites we get a sweet police escort. In the driving rain, three poor saps on motorcycles are blocking off all the intersections so our buses can go through town unimpeded. I had never seen anything like that before and it was awesome. And this wasn’t just a couple blocks, it was about a 30-minute drive.

Everyone checks in to their rooms at the Embassy Suites. My friend and I are scheduled to go to the Green and Gold Dinner because we’re very important Top Boosters. We go to the hotel bar to get a couple beers in our system and we miss the bus that’s supposed to take us. (I should also mention that this was also the Coaches’ Wives weekend and all the wives were in town.)

Since we missed our bus, the only option to get us where we needed to be was to pile us in the van with all the coaches’ wives in it. So imagine a van with all these ladies, me and my buddy, and a cooler full of wine-in-a-can. It was great. For us. I’m sure the wives were like “who the hell are these two jamokes?”

We get dropped off at the Ram Rally, and about an hour later we head over to the Top Booster Only dinner event. It was a god damn who’s who of CSU royalty: Suzie Wargin, Steve DeLine, aaaand that’s all I can remember. I was drunk. Instead of taking the bus home, my buddy and I explored Dickson Street. Look, I know we love Fort Collins but Friday nights in these SEC towns are way more fun. I can’t imagine what the scene would look like if Arkansas was actually any good.

There was a restaurant there named Los Bobos! That had to be a good omen, right?

(We didn’t eat there though. Who the hell would eat Mexican food in Arkansas? Gross.)

Saturday morning we somehow crawl out of bed and get on the team bus to Razorback Stadium:

Head inside the stadium:

Seriously, this Arkansas team sucked so bad. Look at the crowd! How did we lose this game?!

Headed up to the visiting Athletic Director’s suite. This suite is by far the worst in the stadium, it’s super narrow and on the goal line, so you have a sharp viewing angle if you want to see anything. If you’re in the back of the suite, you have to watch on TV. And there was no booze in there! Luckily our VIP passes allowed us entry into the club level where we could buy some beers and drink them there, or sneak them back into the AD suite.

The game was a blast for the most part. Back-and-forth (both the game and me going from the Club Level to the AD Suite), high scoring, and tied in the 4th quarter. Can’t really ask for more.

I was in the AD Suite and I had a deep moment of reflection. It wasn’t that long ago that I was in Hughes Stadium, standing in the student section with my buddies. Pockets full of booze that I had snuck into the game. Now here I am standing in a private suite with the likes of Athletic Director Joe Parker, CSU fundraising legend Brett Anderson, President Joyce McConnell. Pockets full of booze that I had snuck out of the club area. I finally made it.

So CSU falls apart in the 4th quarter and we lose. Joe Parker swaps our VIP Club Pass with an All-Access Field Pass (what the hell, why couldn’t we have these before!!) and we’re ushered through some tunnels and onto the field:

We hop on the team bus and our catered pre-flight meal is a pulled pork sandwich from a local restaurant that is famous for their BBQ, I guess? I really can’t tell the difference between good BBQ and bad BBQ. No police escort on the way back to the airport. POLICE ESCORTS ARE FOR WINNERS!

Flight back was pretty quiet and solemn. Bad loss, bad Collin Hill and Jeff Taylor injuries, and the awkwardness in the air that we might be nearing the end for Coach Bobo and a bunch of the staff.

We all talk our trash about Coach Bobo, which is fine that’s part of the job, but it bugs me when people say he didn’t care. I saw first hand how pissed Bobo gets. I know the hours of work he puts in. I saw the conversation between him and Colin Hill in the tunnels of Razorback Stadium after the game. The guy cares. He just couldn’t figure out ways to beat shitty 2-10 SEC teams and now he’s gone. That’s the job.

Wheels down at the Loveland Airport and the trip is over. Would have been nice to leave with a “W” but really couldn’t have asked for more.

The weekend cemented my Top Booster status. I didn’t see Pat Stryker there and I sure as hell don’t see her writing a shitty blog. Your move, Pat.

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