Lil Wayne, The Rock, ESPN, Fox descend on Boulder for CU Buffs showSeptember 17, 2023
BOULDER — Selfies with The Rock? Or jamming with Lil Wayne? With all the entertainment options on the menu Saturday, Masson Scully felt a little … Weezy.
“I’ll take a free concert any day of the week, you kidding me?” Scully, CSU Class of ’25, laughed as he bounced away from CU’s Farrand Field.
“They got Lil Wayne. And that was a big pull for everybody. So we’re here. We’re like, ‘Let’s go see Lil Wayne and let’s go see Gronk.’”
Within a 2-mile radius, in one morning, you had Dwayne Johnson, Lil Wayne (aka “Weezy”), Migos, Lee Corso, Kirk Herbstreit, Urban Meyer, Mark Ingram, Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn and Desmond Howard.
Oh, and did we mention Gronk danced with Peggy?
Rob Gronkowski, Tom Brady’s lifetime safety blanket, busted a move with 98-year-old CU superfan Peggy “Give Me My Theme Music!” Coppom. On national television. After having to get a private plane chartered because his commercial ride into Denver was axed at the last minute.
Anything for Peggy, man.
Or rather, anything for Prime. Coach Prime, that is.
“I mean, this is the biggest exposure football in the state of Colorado has had in years,” Scully gushed.
Remember Santa Clara seven years ago? Super Bowl 50? For 48 hours, CU Boulder’s campus was a wacky stew of the biggest names in sports and entertainment, all mashed into one punch-drunk — and, in several cases, literally drunk — college campus.
At CU’s Business Field, a Cody Williams free throw from the Events Center, ESPN’s massive “GameDay” set took up what felt like half a football stadium as the Worldwide Leader’s signature morning analysis-and-picks show hit BoCo for the first time since 1996.
While ESPN boasted a guest appearance by The Rock, the wrestler/entertainer/pitch man, Fox returned to Farrand, with signs around campus promising a good time at “Gronk’s Pregame Party with Lil Wayne And Special Guests.”
That was enough for Scully and his pals, even in enemy territory. Clad in a green CSU jersey with the number “42” on the front, he came to the Buffs’ backyard with a homemade neon-green sign with the words “LIL WAYNE” written on one side in huge letters. Hard to miss.
“There’s been some good chirps (at me) today,” he laughed. “And there’ve been some bad chirps today. And I think the CSU Rams have shown out pretty good today.”
“I had to come up with something funny”
If the Fox crowd skewed younger, the ESPN throng — no shock, given the rarity of the visit and the larger Business Field surface to work with — was bigger and slightly more democratic. Officials at Farrand Field put the CU-CSU ratio milling around the “Big Noon Kickoff” set at about 90-10, whereas the “College Gameday” posse was more like 70-30 or 65-35 Buffs.
A half-mile away from Scully, Dathan Ellis turned up at 5 a.m., just in case.
“And I’m not even in front,” he said from center-middle of the pack that formed behind the set of “GameDay. “I came in with a long stick. But they wouldn’t let me have the stick inside the pit.”
Good thing Ellis stands 6-foot-4. Which is why so many folks back at home, and on social media, couldn’t miss the black sign he held as high as he could with gold letters that read:
CSU FANS SMELL LIKE GREELEY
Luckily, it didn’t snow.
Quick backstory for you newcomers to the CU football bandwagon, Greeley is a packing town, historically, in the northeast corner of the metro. Which led to the old adage, “If it smells like Greeley, it’s gonna snow.” As in, if you can smell a certain wind, that means said wind is blowing in from the northeast.
Don’t shoot the messenger, Weld County. Or Ellis, a BoCo dude who was just having a little fun in front of millions of people at Greeley’s expense.
“I had to come up with something funny,” Ellis explained. “So I just felt CSU smells that way.”
Fort Collins begs to differ, good sir.
“This one took me three hours (to make) yesterday,” he continued. “The first sign failed. This is my second attempt.”
At about 5 minutes to 9, the man of the hour, first-year Buffs coach Deion Sanders, flashed his power.
“We are so right,” Prime told ESPN host Rece Davis when asked about the metaphorical shots fired earlier this week by CSU coach Jay Norvell, “you gotta find something wrong.”
Shade all around.
When Johnson hit the stage, Coach Prime, the man with his own turnover throne, did something few folks, if any, in Boulder had seen him do before.
“This man,” Prime crowed at The Rock, back in full preacher mode, “could run for president and win.”
If Sanders wanted to run for office, he’d have Ellis’ vote. A native of Alabama, he moved to greater Boulder about 10 years ago, fell in love with CU football — despite some epic struggles — and has been a season-ticket holder ever since.
Welcome to ride a wave to its crest, man.
“I mean, this is exciting, though,” Ellis said. “It’s probably more exciting for CU, because it just doesn’t happen (here). It hasn’t happened in so long.”
Meanwhile, back at Farrand, Scully remained a skeptical optimist. The Rams were 23-point underdogs, after all, the largest pregame point spread for a Rocky Mountain Showdown this century.
“(CU students) were trying to say something, that we ain’t got no fans, and nobody’s here to support us,” he shrugged. “And you know, sometimes, maybe we can believe that. But I’m not. Not today. I’m optimistic.”
To a point.
Remember that green Lil Wayne sign? Scully turned it over so we could see the other side. The text, also in giant letters:
LET’S GO BUFFS
“Chirping yourself is also a quality way to roll with the punches,’ Scully explained.
“I was thinking, ‘Buffs by 50.’ But I just went with something simple.”
You think they’re gonna win by 50?
“No, not a shot,” Scully said. “Not a shot. I think (the Rams are) gonna keep it close.”
“I hope we’re gonna keep it close.”
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