Long live Ralphie: Colorado football will wear special stickers to commemorate 50 years of the live buffalo run

Last year, the NCAA named Ralphie’s pre-game run “the best entrance in college football.”

This marks the 50th year Colorado football will have a live buffalo run around its field before a game. (Screen shot via CU Buffs)
This marks the 50th year Colorado football will have a live buffalo run around its field before a game. (Screen shot via CU Buffs)
This marks the 50th year Colorado football will have a live buffalo run around its field before a game. (Screen shot via CU Buffs)

The first time Ralphie galloped around a football field prior to a University of Colorado game was October 28, 1967. It was homecoming, and the Buffaloes were playing Oklahoma State. They wound up losing 10-7, but the tradition to trot out a live buffalo before football games stuck.

Fifty years later, Ralphie’s pre-game jaunt before CU football games lives on. To celebrate, CU players will wear a special sticker on the back of their helmets this season.

Last year, the NCAA named Ralphie’s pre-game run “the best entrance in college football.” Kevin and I got the chance to go check it out for ourselves, and well, it was pretty dang cool.

We got to hang out with Ralphie IV, who last fall measured in at 5 feet tall and 1,200 pounds. We learned Ralphie IV is a she. In fact, all the Ralphies have been shes.

On Friday, Ralphie IV will make her first pre-game run of the 2017 season. The Buffaloes play Colorado State University at 6 p.m. at Mile High Stadium. If you’re going, I recommend being in your seat when Ralphie gets released. Few things get you in the mood to take in some football like a 1,200-pound mammal running 25 mph.

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Christian Clark

Author: Christian Clark

Christian Clark covers sports. He's worked for outlets that include the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, The Oklahoman, Columbia Missourian and Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine. He likes music and Mexican food. Lots and lots of Mexican food. Got questions? Tips? You can reach him at cclark@denverite.com.