BOULDER, Colo. -- A little more than three weeks after the flood soaked Boulder and the University of Colorado campus, the community welcomed back the football team for its first home game since the disaster.
For many in attendance, it was a day to celebrate the return of traditions, at a time when they are still trying to return to normal.
"It's been hard," said Sonia Geis, a Boulder resident and victim of the flood. "We feel displaced."
Sonia Geis and her husband, Gary Geis, said they were thrilled to attend the Buff's first home game since the flooding hit three weeks ago, even though they haven't been able to return home themselves.
"We had our bags packed and then the sheriff knocked on the door and said, 'You need to evacuate,'" Sonia Geis said, describing the morning the flood hit.
"We had about three and a half feet of water come through the house," Gary Geis explained.
There were similar stories throughout the stadium, and before kickoff there was a special tribute and moment of silence to remember the victims who died.
As the game began, the silence gave way to cheers. Some in attendance said the campus and community made a similar transformation in recent weeks, from devastation to recovery.
"It's great that we can regroup so well," said CU student Paige Leuschner. "It's like life's back to normal after such a crazy event."
On this day it was the crowd that went crazy, thanks to a fast start from the team.
"We've scored. We've scored against Oregon," Leuschner said, as the Buffs took an early 10-8 lead. "That's fantastic."
Though No.2 Oregon eventually ran away with the game, beating Colorado 57-16, fans said the battle against the Ducks still offered some welcome relief from all the real-life battles that will continue soon enough.
"On a day-to-day basis you're battling with FEMA, the contractors, the mitigation people, and it's just one thing after another," Gary Geis said. "So it's just great to get your mind off of that and come out here and be with friends and enjoy a little college football."