Harmony Returns from the Dead By Michael Krumhotlz An old fight song is chanted, for the first time this season, inside the closed locker room doors. It’s been so long that the tune is almost unrecognizable. Muffled through the porcelain tile inside Washington State’s Martin Stadium, the words reappear in an improbable setting. “Shoulder to shoulder we will fight, fight, fight.” This, the proud tune of success, signals some semblance of a beginning. This is an anthem for better times. The Buffaloes, golden again, have won a conference game after three belittling weeks as the only remaining winless team in the Pac-12. Heads finally point upwards, in position to answer back to any negativity that rolls into earshot. The critics with nothing better to do will still surround this group (I say that without hesitation because I’m one of them). For now the berated and beaten players answer in unison with their black- and gold-plated mantra. “Sing it loud enough so they hear us back in Colorado,” Head Coach Jon Embree yelled. Even those who turned off the game’s broadcast, when CU was down by three scores with under eight minutes left, heard the fight song. Expecting the same old show, fans were treated instead with a musical encore. Until this game, obvious divisions ran through the university and town. Harmony was buried under mountains of extreme doubt and ugly results. From here, the people that surround the program with insistent spectatorship will continue to expect more from the players and coaches inhabiting it. But after a needed win, the team has a model to guide it forward in conference play, like a finally-lit torch in the cave’s darkest section. A one-point win against Washington State won’t impress many around the Pac-12 or the nation. Still, at the very least, this team showed that it still cares. Looking around, comparing themselves to others in the rankings, the players realized a chance to push restart. “Look, right now we go and win this game – We’re undefeated in the Pac-12,” said left tackle David Bahktiari before the game when addressing his teammates. “Not to mention, USC lost last week so we’re going to be ahead of them.” As the game wavered on the line, it was quarterback Jordan Webb who allowed his team’s 17-point deficit to deteriorate. Without warning, or consent from the inhospitable Martin Stadium crowd, the game would ultimately belong to the Buffs. Webb, with a cool-as-jazz demeanor, orchestrated three touchdowns in the final quarter, including a 4[SUP]th[/SUP] down touchdown run with no time remaining. He then ran just as fast back to the sidelines to give Embree an emphatic hug, as if they were both saying, “Finally it’s happened” without saying anything. “You can’t draw it up like it happened today,” he said. “It was a great win, a dramatic one.” Even considering the comeback, there was some cartoonish banality to Saturday’s scene. The celebrating players reciting the common “Who they?” chant that goes echoed across sports, the coaches keeping up with some sense of sternness and discipline (“Monday we come back, we gotta go to work,” Embree says.), and the Washington State fans and players in the type of dejection that can only come from disbelief. All of this was easily observable through the multitude of cameras surrounding the weekly spectacle. Yet one important thing remained out of sight, under the Buffs’ numbered Nike nylon. There, beating with unsold endurance, was the “heart of the buffalo,” as Embree had alluded to leading up to the game. Those collective hearts, once seen as dead, shouted out their song with unwearied voices. The pulse beats loud.