Running With Ralphie
DFM Connection To The CU MascotRobert | Family Medicine Sep 28, 2023
Now, this is a fun story!Believe it or not, all of us in the Department of Family Medicine have a direct line to the University of Colorado’s mascot, Ralphie.
That connection begins in Academic Office Building 1 with our IT guru Rob Mesec.
Rob’s son, Alec, is a member of the team of handlers who care for and run Ralphie into Folsom Field on football game days.
“I am so proud that Alec accomplished his goal of being a Ralphie Handler. It's an impressive feat because tryouts are very competitive,” says (dad) Rob Mesec. “As a parent though it is just heartwarming to know that your college kid is having a great college experience, directly involved with the school, and doing great academically.”
Alec, Rob’s son, is 20-years-old and a junior studying economics at CU in Boulder. So, how did he end up wrangling Ralphie?
"I have been involved I athletics all of my life,” says Alec. “And, when I learned that you could actually apply to be part of the Ralphie team, I gave it a shot.”
He didn’t make it the first time, but the second try was the charm. Alec was accepted and became part of the elite team of men and women who care for and run with Ralphie at CU football games.
“First off, you need to know that Ralphie is actually a she,” says Alec. “And, her real name is Ember. Ralphie is her stage name.”
Mesec also says that there is a misconception that Ralphie (Ember) is a buffalo. As it turns out, she is a North American Bison.
“She is a 900-pound puppy,” he says. “But, when she is running, she is powerful and it is a pure adrenaline rush to run with her.”
Mesec says that the Ralphie team of humans currently consists of 14 members – three women and 11 men. And, he says, once on the team, they can serve no more than four seasons before they must step down and hand over the reins.
Alec says that he is in no hurry, though. And, his dad, Rob, says he is happy to hear that he and the rest of the Mesec family can continue to look forward to watching his son and Ralphie run at Folsom Field.
“Wow, buffalos can run fast! It is exhilarating to watch and see the team members be able to keep up. On game day, the excitement in the stands is palpable. The Ralphie team is the embodiment of school spirit and the CU football program.”
**Editor’s Note: Ralphie’s Wranglers are a donor supported group. If you’d like to learn more about how you can add your support to the efforts of Alec and his team – and, help continue the Ralphie legacy well into the future, CLICK HERE.**