Monday, September 16, 2013

Shouldering The Load

Fight CU down the field,
CU must win
Fight, fight for victory
CU knows no defeat
We'll roll up a mighty score
Never give in
Shoulder to shoulder
We will fight, fight
Fight, fight, fight!
- CU Fight Song

Thus far this fall the 2013 edition of the Colorado Buffaloes football team is undefeated.  Coach Mac's kids have played twice and won both games.  Considering that the 2012 season, which was comprised of significantly more than just two Saturdays, resulted in only one win, you may not be impressed by the baby steps Mac's Herd has taken so far.  But for those of us who bleed black and gold we are quite happy, thank you very much.

Saturday should have been the Buffs' third game of the season.  They were scheduled to host the Fresno State Bulldogs.  Last September the Buffs dropped a nail-biter in Fresno 69-14.  Working off of memory, I think it might have been 35-0 at the end of the first quarter.  Yep.  It got very ugly very early.

Nevertheless the Buffs had been looking forward to the return match in Boulder this past Saturday.  Sadly, as Life often does, it had other ideas.  And once it put those plans into motion, everything changed.  Mother Nature selected the past week to subject Boulder, the communities that surround it  including Lyons and Longmont and the entire Front Range - including Fort Collins where Rob and Jess live to historical rainfall and, of course, flooding.  When the local weatherman - and not the preacher man - speaks in terms of "Biblical flooding", he has succeeded in capturing my full and undivided attention.  

At some point in the afternoon on Friday, the adults in charge of making difficult decisions at CU - including Chancellor Phil DiStefano, Athletic Director Rick George and Coach Mac - made a necessary but difficult decision:  they postponed the Fresno State football game.  Recognition was given to the fact that the critical issue was not whether the game could be played but rather, whether it should be played.

On Saturday the 14th of September the University of Colorado Buffaloes football players - joined by their brothers and sisters in the basketball program, volleyball program, soccer program and our newest Buffs - the women's lacrosse program - spent several hours at Folsom Field anyway.  However rather than performing on the field, they performed off of it.  They spent their afternoon serving food, providing assistance and otherwise offering comfort to members of the community, including the CU students whose family housing residences were among those flooded out when Boulder Creek decided it did not want to spend its entire life within the geographical boundaries of its banks.  Approximately 800 people attended the event, including scores of children. 

Among the members of the Buffs who manned the food station on Saturday afternoon was wide receiver D.D. Goodson.  Goodson has gotten off to a terrific start this year as a complementary part of the receiving corps headed by Paul Richardson.  However when the flood waters started to rise on Thursday and Friday, among those residents of Boulder whose places were flooded and whose worldly possessions were lost was D.D. Goodson.  Yet there he was on Saturday afternoon with his teammates and his fellow student-athletes doing his part to ease the suffering of those affected by the week's horrific weather.  Well, those other than himself of course.

CU-Boulder has been an integral part of my life since I was an eighteen-year-old freshman close to three decades ago.  CU and Boulder are engrained into the fiber of my being - part of my DNA if you will.  As an alumni I root hard from afar for the young men and women who represent CU in various athletic arenas to have success.  Some times they do.  Some times....not so much.  For all that my Alma mater has meant to me for the past thirty years, I have never been more proud of it, the young women and men who are its students and the adults who provide them leadership and guidance. 

You cannot spell "Community" without the letters CU.  A lesson learned anew these past few days. 


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