alexandra sieh

E very year, around this time, two of my closest friends place a bet: One that involves trash talk and stubborn pride. True blue fighting spirits. Drunken arguments that wind around in liquor-induced circles.

The game in question?

Only the most important match-up of any Colorado college student.

CU vs. CSU.

Green and gold vs., well, black and gold.

The stakes? A six-pack and, more importantly, bragging rights for the next year.

Friends since high school, their paths diverged fall of 2006, when they donned their Ram gear and Buff colors, forming a heated rivalry that they -- along with thousands of other students -- look forward to each year.

Now, I tend to watch this from the sidelines, enjoying the absurdities with a cool beer in hand, laughing and interjecting only the most unhelpful comments when I feel it will spur on the anger.

I'm nothing if not constructive.

And this year is no different. With two new-ish coaches, stakes are high. Especially since we're all graduates who can ill-afford the nicer brews the bet entails.

This Saturday, the Rocky Mountain Showdown is back.

And while I'll be decked out head to toe in my glorious green and gold, watching from a bar somewhere, I'm shouldering my school pride to make sure you Buffs know where to go this weekend, and each weekend after for football revelry.

First place up?

Pearl Street.


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You never would've guessed, would you?

Well, the Pear Street Stampede is back, and raring to go. A rush of CU pride, this tradition is celebrating its 8th year, flooding the town with black and gold at 7 p.m. this Friday starting at the Boulder County Courthouse.

It all ends at the parking lot at 1048 Pearl St., free and full of CU excitement.

So make those vocal chords hoarse while strutting with the Golden Buffalo Marching Band. Call it a practice round for cheers and anti-CSU slander the next day.

And once the parade is over, the Boulder bars are ready to take you in, serve up some fun and keep the party going 'til last call.

Everyone deserves a pre-pre-game party, right?

Tune in next week for even more Buffalo pride. West End Tavern's got your home game celebrations all ready for the fight against Sacramento State.

But for those less football-enthused, never fear.

There's plenty of beer to go around, and at the Boulder Brew Festival, it's going to have a heck of a lot more flavor than the Keystone cups abounding at tailgate parties everywhere.

A two-staged celebration of all things music and beer, Boulder Theater will have its doors open at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. for general admission. And once inside, it's nothing but live music -- The Last Thoughts of Ezra Pound, Chain Station Mountain Music and Lost Caravan will be on stage -- and more than 60 different beer samples, including drafts from your local Avery and Twisted Pine breweries.

Nary a football in sight, and still a raging Boulder-based party.

No way you can go wrong this weekend.

So cheer on, my friends, and make your alma mater proud.

You know I will be.