This weekend I was posted up on my couch watching the SEC Championship when I began observing the mob of a crowd in attendance all screaming at the top of their lungs.
My mind then took on the task of imagining what it would be like to attend a school built around a powerhouse football program, or any athletic team for that matter.
How cool would it be to look forward to every game like a little kid waiting for Christmas?
The students at the University of Michigan get to call the largest stadium in the United States their battleground on a weekly basis in the fall. The “Big House” pulls in an average attendance of 112,179 for every home football game.
That number twice as big as the school’s student and faculty population. This shows the sense of community within not only the city of Ann Arbor, but the entire state of Michigan.
Reflecting back on the times I’ve dragged my feet through that dirt field on the way into Hughes to watch our football team get beaten like a high school team, it feels like a pretty big disappointment.
I do believe that Fort Collins does a solid job taking care of CSU, but I still can’t help but wonder what that’s like on the primetime level.
I’ve come to the conclusion that most times it is found in states without professional sports. You won’t find an NFL stadium in the state of Oregon, but when I walked into Autzen Stadium last summer, the closest thing I could compare it to would be Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
Taking professional sports out of the picture allows the population to invest their emotions at the collegiate level.
Most Nebraskans might care less about paying attention to NFL games on Sunday, but that’s probably due to the day prior that they spent yelling at their television.
However, placing all your eggs in one basket can be somewhat dangerous. Big Red fans eat, sleep, and breathe Nebraska football, and that can end in a heartbreak when it all falls apart. I put my money on those same fans feeling like a teenager dumped before prom after getting crushed 70-31 by Wisconsin this weekend.
So maybe it isn’t all bad that CSU has more than one focus.
After all, we do have a volleyball team that just made its 18th consecutive NCAA tournament appearance and our basketball team is off to its best start since 2005.
At the end of the day, I can honestly say that I’m proud to be a CSU Ram. We experience highs and lows, but we do it together as a family. I may spend my days wondering what life would be like at an elite university, but I couldn’t come to terms with being away from this state that I love.
On top of it all, when the Broncos win, the sun shines a little bit brighter, and pretty girls smile at you a little bit longer.