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bsn BSN: The CU Buffs are back, believe it

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Sep 26, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    BOULDER – After the final whistle blew on Saturday evening, while the joyous Colorado Buffaloes were celebrating on the field after their biggest win in years, an emotional Mike MacIntyre was asked on camera what went through his mind after Akhello Witherspoon’s game-saving interception.

    He paused a moment and wiped a tear from his eye.

    “I was so happy for those kids… Nobody believed in ‘em except themselves.”

    Before that statement had a chance to fully sink in, MacIntyre quickly amended it.

    “I take that back. A lot of people believed in them in our area, but outside no.”

    He was right. There has been a local buzz around this program this season, with a hashtag and a video series to go along with it. “The Rise” has become a mantra in Boulder, and the team’s impressive performance in the first two games of the season more than justified a sense of true optimism, an emotion not felt in close to a decade, heading into the game against Michigan.

    Then came reality. A 21-7 lead turned into a 45-28 loss, and CU lost far more than the game. Their kicker and their best outside linebacker were gone for the season, and their quarterback and emotional leader’s immediate future was in doubt.

    The next opponent, Oregon, looked vulnerable, but they were still Oregon, and the Buffs were still the Buffs. 45-2 and 70-14 are far too easy for any CU fan to remember. Perhaps Colorado would have a chance if Sefo was healthy enough to start, but the prevailing mood along the front range was that the game was a lost cause if he was unable to play and be effective. How could you blame them (also known as you from a week ago) for feeling that way? Steven Montez had looked decent but not overpowering against Idaho State, and he failed to complete a pass against Michigan. What chance would he have to pull out a win in Autzen Stadium?

    Minutes before the game, Montez was announced as the starter, and a collective groan went up at the Blake Street Tavern. It wouldn’t have been an overstatement to say that, at that moment, the players on the Colorado sideline were the only ones who gave the Buffs a chance.

    Which is why it’s a good thing that oddsmakers, sportswriters and fans don’t play the game. CU came out of the gate exactly as they had the previous three weeks: Forcing a punt and driving down the field for a touchdown.

    The Ducks struck back to make it 10-7, but Montez and the Colorado offense just kept going; running the lead up to 23-7 in the second quarter. That’s when the little voice inside my head started trying to lower my expectations.

    Remember last week? This lead isn’t safe. One mistake and it could all fall apart.

    At halftime, the Buffs were up by nine, but there was frustration about Bobo’s would-have-been touchdown catch that was ruled incomplete. Tack on the fact that CU fans had seen this exact situation many times before and the seeds of doubt weren’t far out of anyone’s mind.

    MacIntyre took the field at the beginning of the second half and confidently said that the Buffs were going to “finish” this time. He showed none of the strain of a 2-25 Pac-12 record that includes eight one-possession losses in the last two seasons. Instead, he looked like a man who was ready to win, and the team followed his lead. Montez threw a beautiful touchdown to Devin Ross, and the Buffs were up 33-17 in the third quarter. Oregon couldn’t move the ball on their next drive, and CU found themselves driving down the field again with a chance to blow the game open. Their confidence was evident on every play, and even the most scarred fan was starting to think that it really was going to be their day.

    Then came the interception. And the second one. Before anyone knew what had happened, it was 38-33 Oregon and the third quarter wasn’t even over. Everything came unraveled, just as it had so many times before, and the Buffs were going to go down yet again. Perhaps, across the sports bars and living rooms of Colorado, there were people who thought they were going to rally and pull the game out, but I can tell you that there was at least one person who knew for certain they were going to lose.


    After Montez’s second interception late in the third quarter, I’d had enough. I told my friends I’d see them later, and I left the Blake Street Tavern and walked to my car to drive home. I didn’t need to see Oregon run up the score in the fourth quarter and pull away. I’d already seen that movie too many times, and seeing it twice in seven days was more than I could handle emotionally.

    I pride myself on being a dedicated fan. I’ve been to every single CU home game over the last four seasons, and I’ve watched every road game, including every minute of the Hawaii debacle last season. But I had seen enough on Saturday to tell me that there was no chance the Buffs were going to pull this one out. So I gave up and drove home. I didn’t even turn the radio on in the car.

    Visions of Oregon going up 38, 45, 52-33 were all I could see. I asked myself out loud why I kept doing this to myself. Why did I invest so much into something that never pays off? Did I really think this time was going to be different?

    Because of the light Saturday traffic I arrived back in Boulder about half an hour later, and I went inside my house and decided to take a nap; hoping that the game would be over by the time I woke up. Just as I was lying down, my phone started going off like crazy.


    “Bobo = God mode”


    Wait … could CU be ahead? Was that really possible?

    I tried to push the thought from my mind and fall asleep, but I couldn’t. Curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to check my phone to see what the score was. To my amazement, it was 41-38 CU with three minutes remaining. I got out of bed, went downstairs, and turned the TV on. Oregon had the ball on their own 42.

    I watched on mute while lying on the couch as Tedric Thompson nearly ended the game with an interception, only to be flagged for pass interference a few plays later. Then Oregon drove down to the CU seven-yard line, and I started trying to prepare myself for how I would handle this latest heartbreak.

    Of course, that’s when Witherspoon stepped in and made the play of the decade for CU football. I was so stunned that I couldn’t even open my mouth to yell. I just lay there, almost catatonic on my couch, not believing what had just happened.

    Not only could I not believe what had happened; I didn’t believe there was any way that it could happen. The last decade had conditioned me to expect nothing less than failure and heartbreak, and in lieu of that, I didn’t know how to react.

    When MacIntyre said after the game that the fans in Colorado believed in the team, I felt a little guilty. While I’ve done everything possible to support the Buffs while I’ve been a student at CU, I just didn’t think there was any way they could go into Autzen and come out with a victory. Fortunately, I wasn’t on the field on Saturday.

    MacIntyre is fond of saying that “Players make plays. Players win games.” It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks or how anyone else feels. These players don’t care about the past, and they aren’t scared of any of the things that some would say they should be.

    The baggage of ten losing seasons in a row did nothing to separate Witherspoon from the football in the end zone at the end of the game. Past humiliations against Oregon did not pry the ball loose from Bobo’s right hand when he caught the game-winning touchdown. The hostile noise of 50,000 people did not faze Montez when he threw perfect spiral after perfect spiral to his receivers. And the anxiety of every weary fan back home did not manifest itself in the play of the team on the field.

    The Colorado Buffaloes are here. They are good. They have an unflinching belief in themselves and they don’t care what conventional wisdom says their chances are. They aren’t scared of anyone, and they feel that they can win the Pac-12. People laughed at that goal at the start of the season, and some may still be laughing now, but it doesn’t matter what anyone outside that locker room thinks. The players and coaches believe, and the whole country saw why on Saturday afternoon.

    After winning a game on the road against Oregon with their backup quarterback, I no longer have any reservations about this team. The spell has been broken, and the cautious, slightly cynical outlook I had before is gone.

    The Rise is real. The Buffs are back. Believe it.

    Ted Chalfen
    Continue reading...
  2. Idot Buff

    Idot Buff Club Member Club Member

    Aug 19, 2007
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    StormTrooper likes this.
  3. StormTrooper

    StormTrooper Millennial Liason Club Member

    Aug 6, 2015
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    Yeah, this is what I do in my spare time.
    J.R. Ewing likes this.
  4. Bufffan68

    Bufffan68 Club Member Club Member

    Sep 8, 2014
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    The announcer on the SC top 10 when Bobo was #1 said "the Buffs are back!"
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2016
    StormTrooper likes this.

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