Before we begin, let's get one thing straight: College football fans do not have a lot of respect for their livers.
I've seen guys stay out all night drinking and then scarf down an Egg McMuffin the next morning before going to the game still completely hungover.
Others will forego getting hammered on Friday night so that they can pregame on Saturday, and some will even do both. It depends both on the person and the amount of alcohol in their closet.
While the common sense of a college football fan is in question, especially when it comes to these morning games, the dedication is not. No matter how bad their weeks were, how crappy the weather may be, or awful they may feel about every facet of their lives, they will still show up to the game on Saturdays. They just do.
Really, that's the sad thing about CU football these days. The passion just isn't there. None of the fans feel that excited about the way things are going, and in general everyone is just really pissed off.
Take this past Saturday's game against Texas A&M, for instance. My friends Ryan, Jason, and I got to Folsom Field around 11:45 (a morning game, of course), and the south stands were almost entirely empty. You could have run sprints across the bleachers and only knocked over a couple of fans and the guy selling lemonade.
Gradually, as the game went on more people showed up, but the stands were never full.
I was able to sit down for almost the entire game. Most times I have no choice but to stand on the bleachers just so I can see the action on the field, making sitting down a luxury.
Not only that, but I couldn't help noticing a fair number of fans in powder blue shirts, a tribute to the horrible jerseys worn by the horrible CU team in the '80s meant as a protest to the current regime. To say people are feeling blue in Boulder these days would be an understatement.
This was all before CU went through their predictable routine of doing just enough to lose the game. When the defense was forcing A&M to punt, the offense couldn't move the ball. When Tyler Hanson and co. finally tied it, the defense gave up a quick touchdown. It seemed like they were headed for their seventh loss and their fourth in conference play.
However, in the fourth quarter, the Buffs found some momentum. They finally took the lead after tight end Patrick Devenny's one-handed touchdown grab, and then they forced two turnovers with time running out.
In those final moments, the slightly sparse crowd came alive and cheered like they once did. They supported the team and even rushed the field after the game. Everything was all good again, right?
Unfortunately, no. To even have a shot at a bowl game, and a very small one at that, CU would have to win all three of their remaining games. This includes contests against No. 17 Oklahoma State and arch-rival Nebraska. No one in the media believes this can happen, but more importantly, the fans don't believe it either.
While it was nice to get a win, it doesn't erase the pain of losing at home to CSU or getting beat down on national television by Toledo, West Virginia, and Texas.
Dan Hawkins may keep his job when the season is over, or he may not. No matter who is roaming the sidelines next year, it may not be enough to change CU's fortunes, or to renew the passion and loyalty of a fanbase that is becoming accustomed to failure—and to Egg McMuffins.