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Hamblin: Ram Jam brings out the kid in all of us

Sports can be defined as thrilling, jaw dropping, heart racing and often downright intense. Whether the competitive level comes from high school football, collegiate volleyball, professional or even the Olympic games — a sport is a sport.

With every sport comes a head coach, star players and several wingmen that contribute to the success of a team. While there are ups and down to any high school, collegiate or national level team, that does not stop us from cheering for our favorite players and letting them sign our faces if there is no paper.

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Take moment and reflect back on your life. Who was your favorite childhood celebrity, and who would have made you scream if you saw at the local supermarket or neighborhood mall? Now take the time and think about the Fort Collins community: what players do you watch on the volleyball court, football field and several other games throughout the year that you would like a chance to meet?

That opportunity was handed to you on a silver platter Wednesday night at Moby.

While many fans young or old grow up following their favorite rookie card or any player, for that matter, on the professional level, there are several fans in the Fort Collins community that look just as highly if not more to the athletes at Colorado State University.

CSU Athletics held Ram Jam, not only give back to the community through events, promotions and giveaways all night long, but most importantly this event was a way for local fans to come out and meet their favorite player.

CSU Volleyball player Kelsey Snider, Soccer player Jami Vaughn, and Football player Chris Nwoke sign posters for Ram Fans at the Ram Zone in Old Town last semester.
CSU Volleyball player Kelsey Snider, Soccer player Jami Vaughn, and Football player Chris Nwoke sign posters for Ram Fans at the Ram Zone in Old Town last semester.

With the sounds of children screaming, laughter of young and old and the heart of all when they got the opportunity to have a poster signed by their favorite athlete. With virtually every CSU Athlete in attendance, Ram Jam would have been a perfect commercial as well as several photos’ worth of a Kelloggs cereal box.

As a native to Illinois, I grew up watching Illini games not only glued to the front of my living room television with my dad and grandfather, but live because also had season tickets to go and watch home games. While in many of my years growing up the football team was a step below average, I still loved and cheered for that team.

For me, at the age of 21, I see several football, volleyball, basketball and even softball players around campus and I often feel that I am in front of a celebrity. I’m able to whisper to my friend next to me on the plaza and say I interviewed them after last night’s final buzzer win is not only a thrill, but my inner fan coming out.

To imagine myself as a 6-year old watching the volleyball team clinch the Mountain West Conference agains and the women’s basketball team watching the big screen as it waits for the final score of the Boise State game is unimaginable.

Think back to your childhood: who was your favorite professional player, and if you had a favorite player in the collegiate level, what would your reaction be if you had a chance to meet them face to face, not to mention participate in a skills competition with members of the team?

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What differs between several other CSU games is that the athletics department allows fans to come onto the court, shake hands with the coach and even get to do a poster signing after the game. While students often think that our tuition and fees go towards this department and we do not get anything in return, you are wrong.

If you did not go to Ram Jam this year, put it on your calendar for next year. This is a way for the athletic department to thank you for cheering on our teams even in the darkest of hours.

Ram Jam brought out my inner child; how about yours?

Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Haleigh Hamblin can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @haleighhamblin.

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