On Saturday, I managed to tick another item of our US to do list, namely see an American Football game and tailgate.

My university team the CSU Rams (Colorado State University) played against the Northern Colorado bears, who are a slightly weaker team in the same league. But as good as the game was (I will come to that), the pre-game was even better.

Before the football game, lots of people tailgate, whereby they park up outside the stadium early and setup a grill on the back of a pickup tailgate (hence the name), drink some beer, play some music and play pretend quarterback (I now know how to throw a football properly). Basically, it’s an informal hype up party and is somewhat of an American tradition.

This was a special game for three reasons:

  1. It was celebrating Ag day, when the team and fans all wear orange to celebrate the school’s original colors of pumpkin and alfalfa. So the stadium was awash with orange.
  1. The current stadium is on outskirts of Fort Collins (between the town and the reservoir / foothills) in a beautiful location, but the facilities are quite basic. Over the coming months the team will moving to their new 36,000 capacity stadium right next to the Chemistry Department on main campus (260 meters / 0.2 miles away):

Hopefully this won’t disrupt campus too much and won’t mess up our experiments. Here is an artists representation of the new one:

  1. The Rams had a starting quarterback who is a freshman (1st year undergraduate) who had a great game (QB Collin Hill was 21-of-27 for 315 yards and four touchdown passes – to four different receivers – plus a 51-yard touchdown run!)

    15 (Collin hill) is practicing his squats, whilst 59 just wants to hug and be friends

It really is quite some experience seeing a live match. Even though this was just a university match, 27,000 people turned up. This is about the same average home turn out for Southampton or Crystal Palace in the English Premiership. We ended up sat right behind the CSU marching band who had different songs for every different event (e.g. one for 1st down, one for 3rd down, one for time outs etc.).

The touchdown song was really quite something up close behind the Euphoniums, especially when accompanied by an artillery cannon and cam the ram (our team mascot) doing a lap of the pitch.

Colorado State v Colorado
(Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

The final excellent bit of trivia is that how popular football in the US is and how the system works. The students get great scholarships and get their tuition free, but do not get paid. The coach however earns more than the head of the University, such is the love of sports here. And his name is coach bobo!

“Hey, you’re running the wrong way”

All that remains is to thank Mike for taking me, and for those who want to see a very funny, quite biased, British comedians view on student athletes and coaches; I recommend John Oliver’s show ‘last week tonight’ on HBO.



Fatty Week!

Hi All!

Sorry for the delay in blogging, we’ve had an excellent time on holiday with family to distract us so we’re quite behind!

We got back two weeks ago, and since then we’ve been trying to get back into well-behaved grown up mode… Except for last week, which I’m pleased to announce turned out to be an unexpected Fatty Week! We were invited out to lots of tasty meals with lovely friends, and it would’ve been just rude to resist 😉 So, you get to be treated to a short and unexpected food tour of Fort Collins while I write the next blog. Enjoy, and no judgement please!

So, Monday. We eased in gently with Sandwiches from Choice City Deli, still maintaining a moderate facade of healthiness. This is more convincing if you haven’t seen the Choice City Deli sandwiches:

This was almost the same size as my whole head…

Choice City is famous for selling an exciting selection of local meats, including things like Bison, Rattlesnake and Elk. I tried none of these and settled for tasty Italian Salami, with a side of crisps 🙂 It was very tasty, and I got a great workout trying to fit my big mouth around the sandwich. So far, so good!

Tuesday, we were back at work after the three day weekend due to the Labor Day bank holiday. Boo! We worked long, and we worked hard. We both got back around 6:30 and had no food in the house, so we took the easy way out. Tasty Chinese Takeaway from East Moon! It was fabulous. Not feeling too guilty yet, so life is good.

Plus we plated up the food, so that it felt more classy! #protip 😉

On Wednesday we really meant to do a food shop. We really meant to, at this point the week was still salvageable and no major fatness had occurred. Alas, some great friends of ours from England were visiting Denver and invited us to eat with them at the SaltGrass Steak House, so we had no choice. It was a really warm evening and a beautiful sunset, although the camera struggled to capture it:

I tried. Anyway, my goodness the steak was amazing. Just perfectly rare, with some little shrimp on the side 🙂

How am I supposed to resist this?

This was a little indulgent (especially when accompanied with a 22oz beer, Mmmm ❤ ) but also real high quality stuff. No regrets.

By Thursday, things had admittedly gone a little off the rails. We helped our friends Jaclyn and Willie move house in July, so they invited us out for an unexpected but very pleasant thank you meal! I did almost no lifting and instead spent most of the time playing with the Chihuahua, but Rob worked like a trooper in the 37oC heat, bless him 🙂

First we went to the Chocolate Cafe, which we actually hadn’t visited before despite it being highly recommended. We decided that we probably couldn’t handle a pre-dinner dessert, so instead had a Mexican Hot Chocolate each. It was absolute heaven:

I’m salivating like a beast just looking at it again

Seriously, there are no words. Anyway, after the hot chocolate we walked over to the Melting Pot, which is a Fondue Restaurant in Fort Collins. It’s super tasty – you usually have a cheese fondue followed by a chocolate fondue, both of which they make in front of you. I think it goes without saying that both are accompanied by wine.

The wine adds some challenge to the ‘Don’t burn yourself on the hotplate or drop your bread in the cheese’ game

We had both an Alpine cheese mix fondue and a Chili cheese mix. Om nom nom. Then, after a quick heavy breathing break, on to the chocolate course!

A.k.a The fire course!! Woo hoo hoo 🙂

Really awesome evening, we’re extemely grateful to Willie and Jaclyn for showing us such a good time!

By Friday, we had pretty much given up any attempt at health. It was the end of the week, we were sleepy. We went to McDonalds and then ate it while watching Original Star Trek on the couch 🙂

So admittedly, this all looks pretty bad. OR DOES IT? The good news is that we felt guilty enough after Fatty Week that we went out first thing Saturday and did a big food shop with plenty of vegetables. Side salads are being served with every meal, and we will be making ourselves little packed lunches every day to keep us from temptation. I even felt guilty enough that I went to the gym for the first time in over a month, oh my poor little legs!

Now that we don’t have delicious meals out to distract us so much we will be much more on it with the blogging, so look forward to Grand Teton Part Two shortly!

Much love! ❤