Hopefully everyone had an enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend. 99 Things is back and we are officially down to 89 days until our first college football game of the 2022 season. Today’s topic focuses on one of the great traditions in college football and one which is commonly overlooked. The University of Colorado is the home to Ralphie’s Run where fans get to see a 1,200 buffalo lead the football team onto the field.
The tradition of Ralphie’s Run dates back to 1966 when the University of Colorado obtained their first buffalo. The father of a Colorado freshman, John Lowery, purchased the first American Bison to be named Ralphie for $150. Ralphie stood on the sidelines her first game on October 1, 1966 when the Buffalos hosted Kansas State. Colorado would win the game by a score of 10-0. Ralphie would not have her first official run until the next season in 1967.
Ralphie would lead the Colorado football team onto the field on September 16, 1967 when the Buffalos hosted Baylor. Colorado dominated Baylor by a score of 27-7. Since then, Ralphie has led the Colorado football team onto the field for every home game. She has made appearances at away games, bowl games, and neutral site games but she is a staple at Folsom Field. As of 2019, Ralphie has appeared at 355 games. The Buffalos are 214-139-2 when Ralphie runs at one of their games.
The current buffalo named Ralphie is the sixth to call the University of Colorado home. Each Ralphie has been a female due the size and temperament. Ralphie has 15 handlers who spend 20-30 hours a week training and working with her. Tryouts are held in the spring each year for new handlers.
Watching Ralphie’s Run on television always looks amazing and has me wanting to attend a Colorado football game. I have a soft spot for Colorado ever since I watched ESPN’s “The Gospel According to Mac”. A trip to the state of Colorado is also on my to-do list so if I am there to watch Ralphie’s Run one day, I may as well explore the rest of the state.