Better to pour than red.
“I’m sick of Folsom Field,” Jodi Summers Bunn told me, “it feels like we’re in Lincoln.”
Would you be willing to pay a month’s rent to keep the Nebraska Cornhuskers from invading Colorado Avenue on Saturday for the Coach Prime CU Buffs’ home debut?
Bunn and her husband, Chris, shelled out more than $1,980 for six extra tickets to Buffs-Huskers, giving the Pagosa Springs couple and their family a block of 10 to the National College Football Week game. According to ApartmentList.com, the median monthly rent in Boulder is $1,927.
The kicker? Over Labor Day weekend, Jodi and Chris were still trying to move four of those seats.
But not just anyone.
“I’d rather pay the price of the tickets than sell them to someone in red (Huskers),” Jodi pointed out.
“A few people have asked us for information. And if that fails, I’ll take those four tickets with me to the game. And I will only sell them to people in CU gear. We’re not going to try to make money at all. We will not try to raise the price. We just want to see that they are physically wearing CU gear.
Four tickets, bought at $330 each, cost $1,320. It’s a terribly expensive breakfast tab on a Saturday. Same for Boulder.
“We’re not messing around,” she said.
Jodi’s side of the family has been neck and neck for five generations, with subscriptions dating back to 1952. Her parents bought theirs in 1966. The Deion Sanders Effect has plenty of newcomers to the breathing PRIME 21 shirts CU gold right now, but Bunn is bleeding it.
“(Buffs athletic director) Rick George makes sure he comes over and gives my dad a big hug before every game,” Jodi said proudly.
It’s the kind of loving, heartfelt legacy that would rather waste two grand than repeat 2019, when the Bugeaters celebrated their first trip to BoCo in 10 years by taking over the venue.
Fortunately, they also brought in former Huskers coach Scott Frost. Frosty showed up for a road rivalry match without an experienced kicker. It bit him in the back. Nebraska punter Isaac Armstrong missed a 48-yard field goal to end overtime, giving the Buffs a 34-31 win from behind. Jodi and Chris said goodbye to the Big Red show. Assholes.
“I’ve had a lot of heartbreak with this rivalry in my (life),” she said. “CU is part of our family culture. I mean: “Better dead than red”. And the “N” (on the helmet) stands for “knowledge”.
She also knows that a caravan is coming, heading west from Council Bluffs to Carpenter Park. She knows that when some of her Buff peers see an RV full of Huskers coming, they don’t see the enemy. They see desperate buyers who are about to turn their CU seats into a free winter vacation in Cancun.
“If I was sitting next to a Nebraska fan (Saturday), I would know that was a season ticket holder (from my section),” Jodi said. “And they wouldn’t like to hear what I had to say.”
Even though the Huskers football team doesn’t really show up anymore, the Big Red faithful still are. Especially when challenged.
“That’s what they do. They’ve been doing it all my life,” Jodi sighed. “Hopefully Rick and his team have done a good enough job of preventing this from happening as much as it has in the past.”
This is the other way The Prime Effect helps – if Front Range casuals, neutrals, and skeptical buffs weren’t on board before CU shocked TCU in Fort Worth, they certainly are now.
The average ticket price to enter Buffs-Huskers through TicketCity.com over the holiday weekend was $521; the lowest “entry” seat, with fees, was $295. That’s the highest average markup for this rivalry, Jim Howard, TicketCity’s vice president of ticketing operations, told me in at least 15 years.
“Really, it all comes down to winning games,” Jodi said. “If Deion comes out, honestly, and even has one season (.500)…you’re just going to keep getting more and more fans. This is what we must try to do.
Jodi and Chris aren’t kidding either. If you want to try your luck on Saturday, you better know your stuff. No Google searches are allowed. Big Red spies abound. The four questions of the Bunn test:
1. Can you sing CU’s fight song?
2. What are the actual CU school colors?
3. When was the UC created?
4. In what year did Ralphie first run?
“I want real fans,” Jodi said.
Yeah, but what if one of those real fans shows up with a CU sweater, half Venmos’ payment for the house, waits until you’re out of sight, only to reveal they were wearing everything time a red Orange Bowl t-shirt from 1995?
“No, no, no,” laughs Jodi. “I’ll ask what they’re wearing underneath.”
Bunn was born buff. But she was not born yesterday.