RALPHIE THE BUFFALO is the name of the live mascot of the University of Colorado Buffaloes . Ralphie has been called one of the best live mascots in sports, and she is often erroneously labeled male.
The team of "Ralphie Handlers," who are varsity student-athletes, run
* 1 History
* 1.1 Ralphie I * 1.2 Ralphie II * 1.3 Ralphie III * 1.4 Ralphie IV * 1.5 Ralphie V
* 2 Traditions * 3 Gallery * 4 See also * 5 References * 6 External links
The tradition began in 1934, three weeks after the selection of Buffaloes as a nickname for the University in a contest by the school newspaper, the Silver "> Ralphie I served 1966–78
Ralphie I (1966–1978) was donated to the school in 1966 by John
Lowery, the father of a CU freshman from
The tradition of running Ralphie around in a loop on the field started October 28, 1967 during CU's homecoming game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys which CU lost 10–7.
Ralphie attended all football home games and bowl games until her retirement in 1978, a 13-year career. Her final game was on November 4, 1978 against Oklahoma, CU lost 7-28. She achieved national celebrity status and was kidnapped in 1970 by Air Force Academy cadets. She was also voted the homecoming queen in 1971.
Ralphie II served 1978–87
Ralphie II (1975–September 19, 1987), originally named "Moon"
Ralphie III served 1987–97
Ralphie III was pressed into service with only five weeks of training
due to the sudden and unexpected death of Ralphie II (1987). She was
being trained to replace Ralphie II, who was due to retire at the end
of the 1987 season. Ralphie III made her first appearance on November
7, 1987 in a 27–10 win against the
At the 1993
After Ralphie's death, the Colorado State Senate passed State Resolution 98–10 by Senator Elsie Lacy —concerning a tribute to Ralphie III the University of Colorado bison mascot, stating: "That the University of Colorado and fans alike have lost a most beloved mascot and are saddened by the occasion of Ralphie III's death."
The first Division I female athlete to run Ralphie was Anne C. Griggs, who first ran Ralphie III in 1994.
Joshua Lawton, photographer for the Boulder Daily Camera, gets a rare look at the secret home of Ralphie IV as her handlers prepare her before the Montana State game in 2006.
Ralphie IV (born April 1997-March 19th,2017) was born at Ted Turner 's Flying D Ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana and donated to the University in response to an article in Bison World magazine. John Parker retired as Ralphie's caretaker in May 2000. At the end of the 2009 Football season Kevin Priola retired as one of the Directors of the program and was replaced by John Graves, a former Ralphie Handler and CU graduate.
Ralphie IV made her debut at Mile High Stadium on September 5, 1998 against Colorado State. Colorado won 42-14.
Her home is now in nearby Henderson, Colorado . Her exact location remains a secret because of previous attempts by rival schools to kidnap Ralphie, or otherwise render her unable to run.
Ralphie IV has only refused to run twice. She got spooked November
21, 2003 as she charged out of her pen for her routine run across
In November 2002 Violet Stromberg, a 96-year-old lifelong CU football
fan, left her life savings of $40,730 to create the Ralphie Fund which
helps pay for Ralphie's care. Ralphie IV ran in her final
regular-season football against Colorado State on August 31, 2008, CU
won 38-17. Her final post-season game appearance before Colorado's
loss to the
Alabama Crimson Tide
Ralphie IV passed away on March 19, 2017.
Ralphie V at her public introduction on November 17, 2007. She was 13 months old and weighed 450 lbs.
Ralphie V (born October 2006) was introduced to the public on November 17, 2007 in a major public event called "Ralphie's Salute to a New Era." According to CU officials, Ralphie V will not take over all Ralphie duties immediately; both Ralphie IV and V will share duties as long as Ralphie IV remains healthy. Ralphie IV will retain duties that require a relatively sedate and experienced bison while Ralphie V will take over the most physically strenuous duties.
Like her predecessor, Ralphie V was donated to Colorado by Ted
Turner. She was born in October 2006 at the
Vermejo Park Ranch in
Ralphie V took the field with the football team for the first time at the spring game on April 19, 2008. In her pre-game run Ralphie ran perfectly, but slipped out of her harness at the very start of the halftime run, bumping, but not trampling, one handler and shedding all but one of her other handlers. Zeb Kopasz was the only handler to hold on to her. They were able to get her under control on the far 25-yard line and return her to her trailer.
Ralphie IV in her pen at the Georgia game on September 23, 2006 . Also seen is the trailer in which she travels.
She rarely travels to away games—bowl games excluded—and only
when permitted by the rules of the host stadium. Ralphie IV traveled
to the September 23, 2006 game against the
Georgia Bulldogs along with
She wears a custom-made banner that reads "GO CU" on one side, and "Beat " on the other side with the CU Logo, such as "Beat CSU." Ralphie travels to games and appearances in a black custom stock trailer emblazoned with her name in gold. Ralphie and her trailer are pulled though the University Hill neighborhood before games on her way to the stadium.
Ralphie is held in a secret location so that she will not be harassed or harmed by the public, keeping her and the public safe from harm.
A tradition of the Ralphie Handler Team is to eat a large team breakfast or lunch at a local diner prior to game-day events.
Ralphie IV running at Colorado's first win of the 2006 season, and head coach Dan Hawkins ' first win at Colorado on October 14, 2006 against the Texas Tech Red Raiders . Notice the "BEAT TECH" on Ralphie's outfit. *
Ralphie IV running at the game against the
Kansas State Wildcats
Ralphie IV is made available to the public during football season so they can take pictures and touch her. This picture taken on October 6, 2006 , the day before she made her appearance at the game against the Baylor Bears which CU lost, 31–34 in triple overtime. *
Ralphie IV making her run in the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 25, 2005 . Notice the football team following her out.
* ^ Kevin Donahue (2005-12-27). "Let the firings begin: Hawkins cans Ralphie?". fanblogs.com. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ Nathan (2006-06-14). "The Only Analysis That Matters - Part 4". goldentornado.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ Pete Fiutak (2007-08-25). "College Football\'s Top 25 Mascots". CollegeFootballNews.com. Archived from the original on 2007-09-01. Retrieved 2007-08-28. * ^ Kyle Ringo (2007-11-28). "Ralphie best college mascot". DailyCamera.com. Archived from the original on December 18, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-28. * ^ Joe Walljasper (2005-11-06). "On field, Colorado steady as they come in Big 12 North". Columbia Tribune. Archived from the original on August 18, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ Gigantino, Artie (2003-09-22). "Buffaloes have traveled a rough road to Florida State". Accessmylibrary.com. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ Drew (2006-09-16). "Blushing buffs". Rocky Mountain News. Archived from the original on 2006-10-19. Retrieved 2007-01-24. (The author states lower on the page the "him" was done on purpose.) * ^ A B Zac Reicks (2002-11-22). "Colorado\'s mascot handlers get workout with Ralphie". Iowa State Daily. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ A B C D Jake Schaller (2006-08-30). "What Ralphie wants, 1,300-pounder gets". The Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO). Archived from the original on 2008-04-27. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ "Ralphie I". CUBuffs.com. 2003-08-23. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ A B C Mary Jarrett (2005). "Sugar and Spice: CU\'s "Little Girl"". GetBoulder.com. Archived from the original on January 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ A B C "Ralphie II". CUBuffs.com. 2003-08-23. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ A B "SENATE JOURNAL, Sixty-first General Assembly, STATE OF COLORADO, Second Regular Session". State of Colorado. 100th Legislative Day, Thursday, April 16, 1998. Retrieved 2007-01-24. Check date values in: date= (help ) * ^ "Ralphie III". CUBuffs.com. 2003-08-23. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ "All about Ralphie". DailyCamera.com. 1998. Archived from the original on December 30, 2006. Retrieved 2007-01-24. * ^ Christine Reid (November 23, 2003). "BAD DAY FOR BUFFALOES Ralphie's runs stops short". Boulder Daily Camera. * ^ Adam Klinker (1999-11-29). "CU\'s comeback a \'small victory\' against Huskers". Daily Nebraskan. Retrieved 2007-11-24. * ^ https://www.facebook.com/CUBuffsRalphie/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED&fref=nf * ^ Brian Howell (2017-03-20). "Ralphie IV, CU Buffs\' retired mascot, passes away". Daily Camera. Retrieved 2017-03-20. * ^ A B C D E F Alyssa Urish (2007-11-18). "Fans welcome new Ralphie". Dailycamera.com. Archived from the original on November 20, 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-05. * ^ A B C D Neill Woelk (2008-04-19). "Woelk: Ralphie V steals show at spring finale". DailyCamera.com. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved 2008-04-20. * ^ David Plati (2006-09-19). "2006 Colorado Football: Game 4 – Georgia". CUBuffs.com. Archived from the original on 2009-09-06. Retrieved 2006-09-22. * ^ Wire services (2006-09-23). "Watch out, Uga - here comes Ralphie". Retrieved 2007-01-24.