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No ‘Ralphie’ for a second straight game leaves CU fans concerned

One of the most iconic mascots in sports misses a pregame run for the second time in three weeks

NCAA Football: Southern California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Many people who were in attendance for Colorado’s win over Stanford on Saturday noticed a huge part CU tradition missing. For a second straight home game Ralphie’s handlers made the decision to keep her on the sidelines due to safety concerns with her temperament.

In an official statement prior to the game, Ralphie’s program manager John Graves addressed the concerns of fans saying, “The decision for (Ralphie) to run each game is made with the utmost of caution, with Ralphie’s well-being always being our number one priority, along with the safety of her handlers.”

He went on to slightly elaborate, but didn’t get into specifics. “Based on her temperament at Friday’s practice last night, we are just not comfortable with Ralphie running today. However, she will still be at Ralphie’s Corral today for fans to come see her,” Graves said.

Even though Ralphie has been “out of the lineup,” the rumors of the 13-year-old American Bison facing health issues was denied by Graves. “Ralphie’s health is totally fine. She is doing well. Each week we make the decision about her running based on what she wants. Last game she was very eager to run and we felt it wasn’t a safe situation.”

‘Ralphie V’ came to Boulder from Ted Turner’s ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico in 2007. The American media mogul donated the bison to the University of Colorado and she made her debut on Sept. 6, 2008 vs. Eastern Washington tipping the scales at 450 pounds. The growth of Ralphie has been tremendous now weighing in at 1,200 pounds and standing five feet tall.

University of Colorado

The original Ralphie was introduced as a running buffalo on Sept. 16, 1967 when Colorado faced Baylor. Now 52 years later, one of the most prestigious traditions in all of sports is still a sight to behold live. None of the Buffaloes have served as long as ‘Ralphie V’ or lived past the age of 20.

Ralphie’s status for Senior Day vs. Washington on Nov. 23 is undefined as of now.