By Dave Walsh, columnist
Here comes the crossover season for College Football and Basketball. Here comes the overlap that occurs at precisely this time each year.
Once upon a time, actually just a few decades ago, you just wouldn’t see this much. The College Basketball seasons wouldn’t begin until late November, even early December. And the regular season College Football schedules ended in early November, at the very latest. There was no overlap.
Only bowl games were played during the hoops season back then.
Well, not now, not in these days of crossover college sports.
These days bring back memories of doing two game broadcasts in the same day. There were many times back in the ’90’s, and right on through present day, when a Cowboy Football game and a Cowboy Basketball game, somehow got scheduled on the same day. And there were times when we would do both broadcasts, in the same day.
Most of the time both games were played in Laramie. There have been a few Saturdays when the Cowboy Football team played at noon or one o’clock in War Memorial Stadium, and the Cowboy Basketball team would play that same evening in the Arena Auditorium.
There has even been a time or two when we would get in two Cowboy broadcasts in the same day, from two different locations. As in two different towns, and even states!
The last time I remember that happening was in 2011. That season Wyoming Football played their final regular season game in Ft. Collins, against their arch-rival, the Colorado State Rams.
The Cowboys and Rams kicked-off at noon, and Wyoming would get a big Border War win, on the road, 22-19. Brett Smith tossed two touchdown passes to Josh Doctson, Alvester Alexander scored on a 36-yard touchdown run, and Cowboy defensive lineman, Mike Purcell, now a Denver Bronco, sacked CSU quarterback Garrett Grayson in the end zone for a safety.
Later that night, in the Arena-Auditorium, in Laramie, Wyoming, the Cowboy Basketball took on Bradley. That game tipped-off at 7 pm.
And we did both broadcasts. The football game in Ft. Collins ended at 3:15 pm. We left Ft. Collins and headed for Laramie at 4:30. Plenty of time to get to the Double A for 6:30 pre-game show.
But the one “two-games-in-one-day” event that stands out over those 36 years of doing Cowboy Football and Basketball broadcasts happened back in 2001. And this was a day that actually featured a “re-scheduled” football game and a pre-conference basketball game.
The re-scheduled Cowboy Football game was one that was originally to be played on Saturday, September 15th. That game, at Kansas, was postponed on September 11th. The terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers postponed all College Football games scheduled that weekend.
The Wyoming/Kansas game was pushed back to November 24th, the first Saturday after Wyoming’s final regular season game in Laramie against San Diego State.
There was already a Cowboy Basketball game slated for the same night in Laramie. The Pokes would play Eastern Kentucky in the Arena-Auditorium.
So there we were, in Lawrence, Kansas, for the Cowboys and Jayhawks. The football game kicked-off at 1 pm, noon Mountain Time. It would rain throughout the game, and the Cowboys took a tough loss, 27-14. The end of the season finally came for a Cowboy team that would finish with their 8th straight loss, and a 2-9 final overall record.
That football game ended at 3 o’clock Mountain Time. And the radio crew was on a university airplane taking off for Laramie at 4:30 pm. We bucked a bit of a headwind on the way home, and it was 6 pm when we landed at Brees Field in Laramie.
We had left a car at the Laramie Airport, and it was a mad dash to the Double A for Kevin McKinney and me. We ran down the ramp in the west end of the Arena, sat down and put on our headphones as the pre-game intro music was playing. We went on the air just seconds later.
I’ll never forget that day, some 21 years ago, when we broadcast a Cowboy Football game in Lawrence, Kansas, and a Cowboy Basketball game in Laramie, Wyoming., in the same day!
I suppose you could call that an overlap!