A day of football, American and otherwise

Woke up to another brisk, sunny Saturday morning, and a pretty full slate of athletics.

Chloe had another soccer game in the AM. Thankfully, this game was more competitive than ones in recent weeks (i.e. Chloe's team scored a goal this week.) It doesn't bother the girls too much, but us parents do like to see the joy in their faces when the TigerBears score a goal. Scoring aside, the coach and I are beginning to see some gains and we'll have to take pride in that.

After an afternoon of relaxing (me) or getting manis and pedis (Peggy and Chloe), it was time to head down to Folsom Field on CU's campus to watch the Buffs take on the Longhorns of Texas. We got there a little earlier than anticipated, which provided several benefits: it allowed us to get a bite to eat, watch the marching band do their pregame pep rally in the field house, and see the scoreboard showing a 0-0 tie (because that's as good as the score got for the home team.)

The most anticipated event of the night, though, was watching Ralphie run. Ralphie is the real, live buffalo that runs out onto the field before the game and after halftime. There are handlers tethered to her (yes, despite the name, Ralphie is a girl) that in theory are there to guide her around the field and into her trailer. But in all practicality, after watching this event one clearly sees the handlers are largely along for the ride.

In addition to those tethered to her, there are handlers I've termed "the human guardrail." They position themselves around midfield in an arc, creating the "outer barrier" to where Ralphie is supposed to run. As Ralphie runs towards them, they "guide" her through the turn by running in the arc they formed, and if everything goes right, she runs safely to her trailer. The video below isn't the best quality (it was taken with a digital point and shoot) but it does somewhat capture the spectacle.

(Pictures, top to bottom: Chloe in action on the pitch [x 2]; Chloe waiting for Ralphie to run; a view of Folsom Field with the Flatirons in the background.)

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