Never one to miss a business opportunity, Deion Sanders handed out pairs of Blenders brand sunglasses to the hosts of ESPN’s First Take and the Pat McAfee Show on Friday morning.
And, of course, the head coach of the 18th-ranked Colorado Buffaloes handed out glasses to each player on the football team.
“I just wanted to see how you look in them. You look good,” said Sanders, who endorses Blenders.
The gifts were, of course, in response to a comment made by Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell earlier this week, when he took a shot at Sanders, who often wears sunglasses and hats in public appearances.
“When I talk to grownups, I take my hat and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me,” Norvell said on his radio show Wednesday.
Sanders said he and the Buffs have taken Norvell’s comments and run with them this week in preparation for Saturday’s Rocky Mountain Showdown at Folsom Field.
“They don’t realize not only are we gonna kick their butts because it’s personal, but it’s gonna be business; but it’s also pleasure,” Sanders told his team in a video posted by Well Off Media. “They don’t realize they just helped me with business. But it’s also gonna be personal.”
Sanders admitted earlier this week he doesn’t know too much about CSU or the Rocky Mountain Showdown. The current Buffs, most of whom have never been a part of the rivalry, aren’t too familiar with the history, either.
That doesn’t matter, though, because the Buffs are ready to write their own chapter in this long-time rivalry, which dates back to 1893 – long before modern sunglasses were invented.
“You could tell by the air around here and the way people are lining up for tickets, trying to get in, definitely it’s a rivalry game,” defensive end Jordan Domineck said. “It’s gonna be a big game and I feel like I’m just learning more and more as I go.”
The Buffs certainly didn’t need Norvell’s comments for motivation, but it didn’t hurt.
Fueled by outside criticism all offseason, the Buffs are off to a surprisingly hot start, one that has led to ESPN essentially taking over CU’s Business Field for live shows on Friday. The Buffs are at the center of the college football world and aiming to prove people wrong every time they step on the field – rivalry game or not.
“I feel like for us, we just prepare the same whether it’s a rivalry game, whether it’s a regular game,” Domineck said. “All of them are not regular games. It’s basically our championship from week to week. We’re always trying to go 1-0, so the preparation never changes. We always prepare the same way, whether it’s going in for extra film, focusing on what we need to focus on throughout the week. The preparation is always going to stay the same.”
So is the spotlight, which has shined on CU every week this season and will continue to do so. The players have not only embraced it, but thrived.
“We always got to come out with that type of edge on our shoulder,” receiver Xavier Weaver said. “Everybody’s coming out looking at us, regardless if we coming out for warm-ups, we coming out for the game. Everybody wants to see something. We got cameras on us 24/7, so we got to come out with that type of energy or else we’re gonna play flat.”
Given the energy and hype around the program, and the extra motivation provided by Norvell, it’s not likely the Buffs will come out flat against the Rams. Their goals go well beyond the 2-0 start and well beyond this matchup against their in-state rivals.
“We still grinding,” defensive ends coach Nick Williams said. “Still got so much to prove.”
Asked on First Take what fans can expect Saturday night, CU quarterback Shedeur Sanders smiled and said, “It’s gonna be legendary. Let’s just say that.”
Game at a Glance
Matchup: Colorado State Rams at No. 18 Colorado Buffaloes
Kickoff: 8:15 p.m. MT
Where: Folsom Field in Boulder
Capacity: 50,183. Playing surface: Grass
Radio: KOA (850 AM)
Odds: Colorado by 23.5
Series: CU leads 67-22-2
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