Just returned from Wyomania VII — “It’s a whole new rodeo” the slogan for this year — the annual pilgrimmage to Laramie for a Wyoming football game organized by baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby for writers and others in the business of baseball.
This is my fourth Wyomania, and it is one of those sort of guy trips that become more valuable with the passage of time. It’s particularly fun to have a raucous time with a group of writers that you have worked with over the years, but in a different setting — that of a fan, this year at the Wyoming-TCU football game. Tracy is a huge Wyoming supporter, and, next to Dick Cheney, the most famous person in the state.
Twenty-one writers and others in the business gathered Thursday night in Denver for dinner at the Buckhorn Exchange, one of the oldest restaurants in the city. We rent a bus with a driver for the entire weekend, and take the bus up to Laramie Friday for more dinner and drinks and stories that again, with the passage of time, seem more valuable because there is no generation of writers following who will likely have the same times and tales to share.
Wyoming basketball coach Heath Schroyer stopped by Friday night for a visit. He is a local guy who played at DeMatha. His team did well the following night with a win over Boise State. The football team didn’t fare at well on Saturday, losing 45-10 to fourth-ranked TCU at the highest elevation Division I stadium — 7,220 feet above sea level. But TCU was not very impressive, and didn’t look like a team that could hang with the likes of a Florida, Alabama or Texas. And this notion that conferences protect their sacred cow schools for the bowl payments coming their way certainly gained some credibility on Saturday in Wyoming, where TCU did not have one single penalty called against them by Mountain West officials.
This year marked our second trip to the emergency room for a Wyomaniac, but no one has been seriously injured yet. Last year a member got lost from the crowd after the game and went into diabetic shock. As he was being tended to by paramedics, he could only utter one word — “Wyomania” — and that is how the paramedics figured out who he was and where he was supposed to be. The local Laramie paper usually does a story about our trip every year, and the paramedics had read about Wyomania in the paper that morning.
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