By Michael Abeyta

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – It’s a rivalry straight out of Colorado’s past. The football game between the Air Force Academy and the University of Colorado on Saturday was 46 years in the making.

“This is for those of us who grew up in Colorado a real rivalry,” says Roy Palmer.

(credit: CBS)

He lives in Littleton and is a lifelong CU fan. He remembers watching the Air Force Academy from Colorado Springs battle it out on the gridiron with his Buffs.

Roy Palmer (credit: CBS)

“I remember the cadets. How excited they were, and how difficult it was to beat Air Force.”

His neighbor David Wagner came to the game with him on Saturday, but remembers it a little differently.

David Wagner (left) and Roy Palmer (right) (credit: CBS)

“Unfortunately I think a lot of them (the games) were very personal,” Wagner said.

He graduated from the Academy in 1969 and remembers coming to Boulder to watch those games in the 60s and 70s. He didn’t exactly feel like the CU fans were good hosts.

(credit: CBS)

“The Vietnam War effected the tenor of the game,” he said. “We were not welcome. I was actually turned away from a couple of bars showing a military I.D.”

That was nearly half a century ago, and fans at Saturday’s game seemed to understand it’s just about football.

“The atmosphere here seems to be very friendly which is something I find unusual,” said Wagner.

While the two friends might not be rooting for the same team, there is one thing they can agree on. They want to see this Colorado classic played more often.

(credit: CBS)

“I’d love to see them play every year,” Wagner said.

Palmer added, “I think it’s good for Colorado. I think it’s a great game.”

Air Force beat CU 30-23 on Saturday. The Buffs and the Falcons will play again in 2022 in Colorado Springs.

Michael Abeyta


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