Hi. My name is Tex and I live in Colorado Springs. As you can imagine, with a name like “Tex” you can probably guess where I’m from. That’s right – Texas. I was born and raised in College Station, TX – home of Texas A&M. If you don’t know already, us Aggies are everywhere (just look for the ring).
If you know anything about Texas, we love our sports. But I found my way to Colorado Springs and I’m finding out that the sports fanatics out here are not too shabby. Of course you have the big 3: Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies and Colorado Avalanche. But I was not aware of the other great sports teams that call the Front Range home. Now it wouldn’t be quite fair to compare the sports teams in Texas to the sports teams in Colorado (football is almost a religion in Texas) but I will give Colorado athletics its due. After all, the city that hosts the US Olympic Committee and US Olympic Training Center can’t be all that bad, right?
I was an athlete growing up myself. I played the typical baseball, basketball, football elementary through high school, but was never good enough to earn any scholarships. I also did a little Taekwondo and the obligatory rodeo stuff once in a while. But I was one of those guys that who was a solid team player, but not a star, which was fine by me. I was happy to be able to contribute to my team and had fun hanging out with the guys.
To many of us in Texas, Colorado is our playground. That is why you will see and hear so many of us – complete with southern accents and all – at the ski slopes and in the lodges during the winter. Texas and Colorado both have pretty good opportunity for outdoor activities. We got you with the ocean, but you definitely got us with the mountains. The thin air sucks (literally) but once you get used to it, it’s all right. Colorado has blizzards, Texas has tornados. Both are hot, but Colorado is a “dry heat”. Driving 2 hours in Texas is nothing, but driving 2 hours in Colorado will get you to the Wyoming or New Mexico state line. But aside from those things, we both have fun loving residents that know how to have fun – and support our sports teams!
You’re probably wondering how a country boy ended up in Colorado Springs. Well that’s a good question. Once I graduated from high school, I ended up getting my degree from The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS). I loved it so much out here that I decided to call it home. I considered going back to Texas, but I realized that I would have much more opportunities to snowboard (my winter passion) if I lived out here, so I stayed. I’ve been here 5 years so far and I don’t regret it one bit. Of course I do get to visit family back in College Station a couple of time a year, but College Station is so small I end up getting “cabin fever” just after a couple of days.
Houston was a 2 hour drive away from where I grew up, and Denver is about an hour from where I live now. Although Colorado Springs is like a big city to me, if I ever have an itch for the “Big” big city then we make a short road trip up to Denver. We always have the option of driving back to the Springs if we need to, but we have enjoyed ourselves and indulged in a hotel room up in Denver on some special occasions as well.
So everyone knows how big football is in Texas. There have been several movies and TV shows with Texas football as the theme. We have the Houston Texans, and America’s Team, the Dallas Cowboys (although I’m not sure how much of America still like the Cowboys). Growing up in College Station, our team of course was the Texas A&M Aggies. Now that I’m a Colorado resident, I enjoy cheering on the Denver Broncos. With the NFL’s best defense, hey looked pretty good with Peyton Manning’s (possible) last season out of the gate, but then he got injured and had to rely on Brock Osweiler to drive the ship. He won his first 3, but then stumbled in the last 2 games. But our defense is still strong and I still have high hopes we will be one of the top 2 teams when the playoffs come around.
I have always been impressed with the Denver Broncos as an organization. I always like how much of a competitor John Elway was. Pat Bowlen seems like a great boss to work for and the professionalism of the organization shows through all its representatives. The stadium is state of the art, and you can never underestimate home field advantage. Maybe it doesn’t matter as much towards the end of the season, but the thin air can definitely have an effect on the visiting team. Although Colorado is famous for the snow in the mountains, the average temperature in December is 43 degrees. When the sun is shining, it is perfect football weather – even in the winter. The challenge for both teams however, is when it does get to the single digits (winter night games), or when we do have a big snow storm, or high winds. Since the NFL’s Super bowl was held in an outdoor stadium in New York, I know the Denver Broncos organization is lobbying hard to have the Super bowl in Denver.
One notch below the NFL is Division 1 NCAA Football. Texas A&M has been known for a very strong football program. In Colorado Springs, the college football fix is with the Air Force Falcons. We all know the service academies (Air Force, NAVY, and ARMY) will never have a chance to contend for a National Championship – that is not why the students enroll at these academies. The students who attend these academies will serve their country proudly once their college career concludes. They will be the future leaders of the Unites States and the world. Having said that, it is amazing how well these coaches get their players ready to compete with the other teams.
Since 1972, the big prize for the service academies is the Commander in Chief (CIC) Trophy. The CIC Trophy goes to the school that has the winningest record among the 3 academies. If there is tie, then the school who won it the previous year gets the honor to keep it another year. Navy has won the CIC Trophy for the 2015 season, but it has been evenly won by Air Force and Navy for the last 6 years (3 years each).
But don’t forget about the National Champion Football Team we do have in the region. The Colorado State University – Pueblo Thunder Wolves were the NCAA Division II National Football Champions in 2014. Although they play in Division II and are down in Pueblo, we were very proud of their accomplishment just the same.