The expected sea of black and gold filled up the stands on Saturday at the University of Colorado's annual spring football game, but an unexpected addition of four legs and fur made an appearance near the top of the stadium.
Although animals are not typically permitted inside Folsom Field, 3-year-old Aidyn Ehnstrom's two stuffed horses and two stuffed buffaloes made it past security just fine.
Young Ehnstrom lined her pals up on the bleachers in front of her for a direct view of the action.
"I want them to be able to see Ralphie when he comes out and runs around," she said.
Her father, Steve Ehnstrom, said he was proud to be raising a Buffs fan. He said his family has had Buffs season tickets since 1974, and he was looking forward to a good game.
When asked if he thought the Buffs were going to have a good season, he cracked a smile and said, "Hopefully."
It was a cloudy afternoon, but the forecast surrounding the Buff's upcoming season seemed positive, or at the very least, hopeful, for many fans. With a piece of pizza in one hand and lemonade in the other, the day's game had to be good. It was announced during the game that 6,350 people showed up to cheer on the team, and some for the first time.
CU senior Jena Parnes wanted to show her friend, freshman Mindy Lieberman, what it meant to be a Buff.
"This is actually my first game at Folsom Field even though I'm a senior, which is sad," Parnes said.
The two said they heard that the game would be free, so they figured they'd show some school spirit. As a freshman, Lieberman's knowledge of the Buffs is mostly based off of rumors, but she hopes to see them do well this season.
"So far I've heard we don't have the best team, but I hope we do better than what I've heard," Lieberman said.
On the other end of the spectrum, some long-time fans came out to show their loyalty, as well.
Bill Saleh graduated from CU in 1954 and said he's been a Buffs fan for 55 years or more.
"I think it'll be better this season. I don't know how much better. It depends on whether the two offensive linemen heal in time for August," Saleh said.
The intrasquad Black and Gold game caused a good deal of cheering and resulted in the Black beating the Gold 21-17.
CU alum Joseph Schmidt said this team looked a little better than last year's team.
"I'd like to think it can't get much worse," he said.