Nov 3, 2023 - Sports

A beloved Ralphie tradition could return to Boulder this season

Ralphie runs across the field. Photo: Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

Ralphie the Buffalo's first run of the season broke with one major tradition for the Colorado Buffaloes: The live mascot didn't lead the football team onto Folsom Field.

  • She still ran out, but the team wasn't following in her footsteps.

State of play: The reason for the change was simply due to scheduling, University of Colorado spokesperson Steve Hurlbert tells us, and not a specific decision not to have players run behind her.

The intrigue: He says it's possible Ralphie will lead the team onto the field for the remaining two home games, and during games next season.

Catch up quick: The tradition started in 1967. But after her first run under head coach Deion Sanders during the team's home opener against Nebraska, some sports journalists noticed the change.

Between the lines: Her runs this year have been shorter than usual. Her handlers often guided her nearly the length of the entire football field.

  • Hurlbert said that's partly due to Ralphie — who's only 3 1/2 years old but at 850 pounds "wants to do what she wants to do" — though her handlers are working to get her to run longer distances.

What's next: Ralphie will be at Folsom Field as the Buffs play Oregon State Saturday at 8pm.

Go deeper: Axios Local names Colorado's Ralphie best college game day tradition

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