Brooks: Video Helped Joyous Buffs Break Into Song
PULLMAN, Wash. - After a week of Buffs bashing nationally, locally and, some suggested, even internally, the only real antidote was to answer on the field. Colorado football had become Bottom Ten fodder, a sad punchline after maybe as bad an oh-no-and-three start as the school has suffered through.
The suffering stopped Saturday afternoon. Down 17 points in the fourth quarter, CU stormed back with three touchdowns in the final 7:06, tied the score on quarterback Jordan Webb's 4-yard middle draw and won on Will Oliver's extra point with 9 seconds showing.
It was a savory afternoon for CU, with big-playmakers sprinkled throughout the 66 available players who traveled. Webb, the Kansas transfer, ran for a pair of scores and threw for another pair. Tailback Tony Jones had a career-best 84-yard TD run and tight end Nick Kasa a career-best 70-yard TD reception. Both were part of the near-miraculous fourth-quarter.
But when it came time to award game balls, a pair went to Jamie Guy and John Snelson. No, they're not on the roster, but you can find them on the CU staff directory.
Here's their back-story and why coach Jon Embree believed they were worthy:
Early last week, Guy, CU's director of sports video, woke up with the idea of using former players to tell a roster full of young players "what it means to be a Buff" and "what singing the fight song means to them." Guy approached Embree, who immediately got on board and told Guy and his guys to get to work.
With help from Snelson, his top assistant, and student assistant Connor Cassidy, Guy got in touch with about a dozen former players, explained the project and asked for their help. Needless to say, Guy only had to ask once.
It wasn't meant as an in-house answer to anyone on the outside, not an attempt to silence any critics. What it turned out to be was a meticulously edited, powerfully presented 15-minute video that Embree showed to his team on Friday night. (You'll be able to see it in its entirety at the Parade of Buffs rally on Thursday night at the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield. Snippets will run on CUBuffs.com in the four-day run-up to the event.)
With such a young team and with a recent resume so short on success, Embree and his staff had believed the Buffs' past was being lost. One assistant coach told me early in the week of arriving in Boulder a couple of decades ago and having "the torch" passed on to him and his freshman class by former players such as Mickey Pruitt, David Tate and Eric McCarty.
When the current crop of freshmen arrived, not only was there no one to pass the torch, the flame had all but gone out. Guy sensed that, too. From about 9 a.m. Thursday to 6:30 a.m. Friday - in time for the team's early afternoon departure to Spokane - he had contacted and interviewed former CU players from the 1960s (Estes Banks), the '70s (Brian Cabral), the '80s (Mike Marquez, Embree) and the '90s (Eric Bieniemy, James Hill, Kanavis McGhee, Alfred Williams, Chad Brown, Charles Johnson, among others)...more