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Behind enemy lines:  A CU fan in Nebraska


Behind enemy lines: A CU fan in Nebraska

By Tom Boyd

November 23, 2007 —  As I came into Ashland, Nebraska, I literally witnessed a tumbleweed blowing through the main intersection of town. The tiny crossroads was devoid of any signs of life, and I navigated my Prius between the rows of parked pick-up trucks with ease.

Looking for directions, I pulled into the neighborhood bank. Inside I found the entire staff (of three people) huddled around a television which had been set up for the express purpose of watching the CU/Nebraska game.

Needless to say, I waited until AFTER I received my directions to inform the sweet Nebraska banker, Madaline, that I was a CU fan who, due to marital obligations, was behind enemy lines during this yearís Thanksgiving contest between Big Red (the only pro sports team in Nebraska) and the olí Buffs.

Having been in Boston for the ALCS, Iím getting used to being the lone Colorado fan in the land of our sporting foes.

In Boston, however, I was in the midst of a vibrant city, alive with global culture, abounding with sights, sounds, and hundreds of brands of brews which kept me half-drenched throughout my journey.

Here in Nebraska things are a bit different. Monolithic grain silos dominate the view from my window, and every 20 minutes a train, laden with grain from the recent harvest, rumbles through the one-horse town from which I write.

I will resist the typical cracks at Big Red, not only because itís bad juju to mock your hosts during a Thanksgiving weekend, but because I donít find Nebraska all that bad Ė in fact, Iíve been looking forward to coming here almost as much as Iíve been looking forward to opening day at Vail and Beaver Creek.

To the untrained eye, the brown and broken stalks in a corn stubble field, stretching as far as they eye can see under the overcast sky, all this may seem dreary, even depressing. But to me, a bird hunter with a new dog on his first hunt, nothing is more exciting that the prospect of jumping into that field and perusing for game birds.

While hunting hasnít really won the PR battles of the past 20 or so years, I know many of my friends and readers back in Colorado are bird hunters, too. In the interest of keeping in touch with all of Vailís ďrealĒ parts and pieces, Iím going to cater to the Vail I knew growing up, the part of the town where shotguns are kept in the house and young men crack their first beer soon after their first bird, and Iím going to give us a bit of a bird report over the next few days. Whether youíre a hunter or not, I hope you read, learn a bit from it, and enjoy.

Hunting begins tomorrow. In the meantime, GO CU!



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