High Points: Prime Time in Boulder | AspenTimes.com

High Points: Prime Time in Boulder

Paul E. Anna
High Points
Folsom Field in Boulder, Colorado.
Denver Post file photo

The thing about being a fan of football is that you never know what is going to happen next.

In September, just as the NFL season was beginning, this space featured a column titled “DangeRuss” extolling the virtues of the Broncos new starting quarterback, Russell Carrington Wilson. Wilson had, before taking his first snap, fueled a fan frenzy throughout the state of Colorado. “My goal is to play 10 or 12 more years and win three or four more Super Bowls,” he told Broncos fans when he first took to the podium in Denver after signing a $245-million contract that was perhaps most notable for its guaranteed amount of $165 million.

Well, those three or four more Super Bowls are currently on hold as the Broncos have bonked, losing eight of the 11 games that Wilson has started this season. He has thrown just 8 TD passes in those games, and the internet buzz has been about the comparison of that number to the number of bathrooms in Wilson’s palatial Cherry Hills Village home. Bathrooms: 12. TDs: 8.

This week, he will start against a Kansas City Chiefs team that is arguably the best in football, and a team that has beaten the Broncos, get this, 13 straight times. “Let’s ride,” the prepackaged theme of the Broncos season, has become a running joke, and nobody is quite sure what is next for the team that not only has a new quarterback, but also a new coach and a new ownership group.

And then, just as things were at their bleakest for the Broncos, the Buffalos from Boulder rumbled in and stole their thunder. On Sunday, literally as the Broncos were blowing another game, the Buffalos held a press conference to introduce Deion Sanders as the University of Colorado’s new football coach. “Whaaaat!!” was the collective response.

And, just like that, no one in Colorado wanted to talk about the Broncos and their travails. It was suddenly all Deion, all the time.

No, if you are a football fan in this state, the fun now is in Boulder, as the Buffalos welcome “Coach Prime” to Folsom Field for what promises to be a wild ride. One of the great athletes and one of the great personalities of a generation gone by, Sanders is bringing his skills and his inspiring personality to the Pac-12 and a football program that has been down and out for even longer than the Broncos. This past season, the Buffs finished with a 1-11 record.

Coach Prime — as he is known in the AFLAC commercials he does with Alabama coach Nick Saban, the dean of all college football coaches — has never coached a single game in the FBS, the top rung of college football. But, for the last three seasons, he has done a stellar job as the coach of Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. In his coaching debut, he has led the Tigers to a 27-5 record, including a spotless 12-0 mark this season. Coach Prime will be bringing his son Shedeur Sanders, a standout quarterback at Jackson State, with him to Boulder.

As the landscape of Colorado football evolves, it will be interesting to watch both Wilson and Sanders as they meet their new challenges in the 2023 football season. Because, if you are a fan of football, you never know what is going to happen next.

The one question I would want to ask each of them? “Ski or board?”

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