One of my goals as a fan of San Diego State basketball is to travel to all of the arenas in the Mountain West Conference. Long before the season started, probably just about as soon as the MW schedule was released, I booked a flight to Colorado to check out Moby Arena. I originally didn’t have too much of a plan, just knew I was going. As we got closer and closer to the travel date, it seemed as if I was going by myself, until about a month before game day I had finally convinced my Dad to accompany me, making my life much easier. Thanks Dad.
I wanted to make the most out of the weekend, so we took off early Friday morning and arrived in Denver around 9:30am mountain time. We got settled with our rental car and headed on over to Golden, Colorado; a cute little town near the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. On just about every street corner there was a statue of some sort, giving numerous opportunities to mount one. The biggest attraction in Golden is the Coors Brewery, which is the single largest brewing facility in the world. With Coors Light being one of the key players in the best tailgate in college football, b2, we had to check out the tour. The tour itself was really pretty neat, and I learned quite a bit about the brewing process. It was a self-guided tour, about 30 minutes through the brewery; that is until you get to the lounge, where you can stay for about another couple hours or so, enjoying three free 10 ounce tasters. Being a cheap beer, Coors Light has a bit of a reputation for well, not being very good. Though I must admit, drinking it fresh out of production, it wasn’t half bad. After the tour, we grabbed a much needed burger before heading up to our next activity.
We drove up to Lookout Mountain, which is the resting place for the legendary showman Buffalo Bill. The top of the mountain had absolutely spectacular views of Golden and downtown Denver. Soon enough it was time to check into our hotel, so we headed back on over to Denver. We then spent rest of the night walking around Downtown. I thought their downtown was pretty neat, didn’t seem too busy for a Friday night, but there was definitely a lot to do. One thing I noticed about Colorado is that they seem to be a month behind. I first noticed this in Golden, but didn’t think too much of it with it being such a small town and all. But Colorado is still very much in the Christmas spirit. One of the government buildings in Denver was all decorated with lights, trees, signs that read, “Peace On Earth 2014.” Just thought it was funny everything was still all decorated, I thought maybe because of the legalization of a certain plant, maybe they just move a little slower out there.
The next morning we decided to hang around Denver a little more, checking out the homes of the Denver Broncos and the Colorado Rockies, Sports Authority Field and Coors Field. The outside of Mile high stadium was awesome, just a ton of different plaques and displays showing off the history of the Broncos. The Rockies happened to be having their FanFest that day, so we got to see a bit more of that stadium, and it was cool seeing a bunch of fans around. Finally we decided it was time to head on up to Colorado State University. Fort Collins itself was a pretty neat town, but I wasn’t too impressed with the campus. To be fair, I probably didn’t walk through most of it, but it just didn’t seem to have that college feel to it. We found the ram statue just outside Moby Arena, proceeded to mount it. A few cars drove by and saw us, and began honking and booing us. I had one guy come up to me and say, “Well you’re just looking for trouble aren’t you?” to which I responded, “Absolutely.” No one likes us, we don’t care. The team happened to have just finished their shoot around, so we got to see them, and spent a few moments talking with Coach and Uncle Teddy. We wished the team luck, and moved onto Old Town Fort Collins. I enjoyed their downtown, had a nice small town feel about it. Center of the square had some live music and other entertainment. We grabbed lunch at Cooper Smiths Pub, and enjoyed some good local brew before game time.
We arrived at Moby a few minutes before the doors opened, where we received a warm welcome from members of the Ram Ruckus who waited in line. All of their fans (with the exception of the one right behind us), students included were all real kind to us. All the trash talk was in good spirits. The game was advertised as a ‘White Out,’ and they sure had it look good. The place was filled to capacity and it was LOUD. One feature of the arena I really liked was having two separate student sections on opposing sides of the court right behind the basket. I can imagine that isn’t very fun for opposing teams to deal with. Though the game didn’t go as planned, I thought we played well. Even to start the game I didn’t think we were bad; the rams just couldn’t miss from deep-from anywhere really. I love the character that this team shows in their efforts to battle back; we just couldn’t quite get over the hump. I’m convinced had we taken the lead, we would’ve pulled away, just as we did when we went down big against unlv. Overall, this is probably the best I’ve felt after a loss. Our offense has definitely shown improvement, and I’m more confident than ever that we are going to win this conference. One thing the rest of the conference learned from us is that Malik Pope is GOOD. I thought it was funny how many CSU fans were in shock about his performance, he completely took them by surprise. Us Aztec fans knew it was only a matter of time before he had a game like that. We met the team by the bus after the game, and told them we’d be there to see us bounce back and get some revenge against Fresno. They understandably weren’t happy with the result, but I could tell they appreciated us coming out there to support them.
Like I said earlier, I wanted to make the most out of the weekend, so the flight back to San Diego wasn’t until 9:15pm, so we essentially had another full day ahead of us. We decided to spend the day in Boulder. That’s one thing that was pretty neat about Colorado, the cities are all fairly close to one another, so in just a weekend we were able to see a good portion of the state. We walked around downtown Boulder, which had a calming feel to it. The people of Boulder are very free spirited, which made me like the town even more. Just up the hill from downtown was the University of Colorado Boulder campus. I liked their campus better than CSU’s, mainly because it just felt like a college town. We stumbled upon their football stadium, which in front stood a buffalo statue. Of course we took the time to mount it. I decided to make the CU student section aware that Aztec Nation was asserting themselves over their school; we had a fun little back and forth on Twitter. I’d like to play them soon, I think it would be a fun game, and I’d like to spend more time in Boulder, beautiful part of the state. After giving ourselves a self-tour of the campus, soon enough it was time to head on to the airport, and make our way back to America’s Finest.
I’m definitely glad I went on this trip, as I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Wasn’t quite the result I was hoping for, but like I said before, I’m feeling very confident in our team moving forward. Can’t wait for the next trip.
Until next time,