By Eric Christensen

BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) – After months of training, Ralphie VI is set to debut on Friday night at Folsom Field when the Colorado Buffaloes host the UNC Bears to kick off the 2021 college football season. Ralphie VI is a 15-month-old bison and weighs just under 500 pounds. Her predecessor weighed nearly 1,300 pounds when she retired.

(credit: University of Colorado)

Ralphie Program Manager Taylor Stratton has been training and evaluating the Buffalo who hails from western Nebraska for several months and over the summer made the decision that she was a prime candidate to become Ralphie VI.

“I couldn’t be more excited to introduce Ralphie VI this Friday night,” athletic director Rick George said. “This will be a really special moment in our Ralphie history. Colorado football is synonymous with Ralphie and I’m ecstatic to continue this tradition with Ralphie VI as the best tradition in college athletics.”

“It will be cool to run behind a first year Ralphie,” said tight end Brady Russell. “She’s a little smaller and it will be fun to see her mature during the year and I’m sure her first run won’t look like her last.”

Don’t be alarmed that the new Ralphie hails from Cornhusker country. She grew up on ranch outside Chadron, Nebraska, owned by CU alumn Will Isham.  Five members of the Isham family have attended CU.

The first Ralphie debuted in 1967 and the 5 previous Ralphies have led the Buffaloes onto the field for 355 games including 24 bowl games. Ralphie I made the most appearances with 78 while Ralphie VI was only 2 shy of the record with 76 appearances.

Eric Christensen