Bricks and Brides

Kyle Griffin and Laura Krause

BRICKS AND BRIDES

MARRIAGE PROPOSAL SET IN STONE ALONG WITH OTHER RAM FAN TRIBUTES

by Tony Phifer

When Kyle Griffin was a senior at Colorado State University, football helped him find the love of his life.

And now, four years later, CSU’s new on-campus football stadium has helped make Laura Krause his wife.

“We’ll have been together for four years in October, and I knew I wanted my proposal to somehow include the stadium,” Griffin said. “The bricks campaign gave me the perfect platform.”

The stadium bricks campaign was launched shortly after CSU got the go-ahead from the Board of Governors in 2015 to begin construction. The idea was to pave a plaza with bricks bearing messages from fans, similar to the west entrance to Coors Field in Denver.

The campaign was a huge success, with more than 4,700 bricks sold. Many people bought more than one brick, taking advantage of the opportunity to add their own piece of history to the stadium.

No message, however, was quite like Griffin’s. It reads, “We met at CSU and I knew you were the one. Laura, will you marry me? Kyle.”

NOT A TYPICAL LOVE STORY

The Griffin-Krause journey to this point certainly isn’t your typical love story. Griffin worked for the football program, helping then-coach Jim McElwain keep practices on schedule while providing support to the equipment staff.

One frigid day in October changed his life.

“I got yelled at a lot that day in practice, and coach Mac (McElwain) was really mad at me,” he said. “It was a pretty terrible day. I went to a coffee shop near campus for some hot chocolate to warm up and just sit for a while.

“I saw this girl sitting there, studying and wearing a pink sweatshirt. You’ve heard of love at first sight? Well, I took one look at her and she was everything I ever imagined my future wife to look like. I decided to go for it.

“I bought two hot chocolates, offered her one and introduced myself. We’ve been together ever since. We kind of bonded over CSU football — she’s probably a bigger football fan than me.”

When the bricks campaign launched, Griffin (B.S. Health and Exercise Science, ’14) started making plans. He and Krause (B.S. Environmental Health, ’14, M.S. Environmental Health, ’16) drove from southern Colorado – he works in Colorado Springs, she works for CSU Extension in Pueblo – in July to check out the installation. Once they spotted the special brick, he dropped to one knee and proposed.

She said yes.

“CSU has been a big part of our lives, and I really wanted to weave that part of our lives into our story,” Griffin said. “I couldn’t be happier that it worked out. Hopefully, our love lasts even longer than the stadium.”

Donor Bricks being installed at CSU stadium

LASTING MEMORIES

FLETCH FOREVER

SIX HIGH SCHOOL buddies from Aurora, Colo., went their separate ways to college before finding themselves together again at CSU. They rented a house across from campus on Shields Street in the 1990s and became passionate Rams fans. It’s worth noting that a seventh member of the group, Fletch, died a few years ago. “There was a puppy giveaway at King Soopers in Fort Collins, and that’s how Fletch became our dog,” said Zach Gravinsky. “Fletch lived on the same diet we had: beer and pizza. He lived to be 15, and he was the best dog any of us have ever had.”


Gianna Bertana plays soccer for CSU

FATHERLY PRIDE

PAUL BERTANA wanted to honor his daughter’s special place in Rams athletics history: Gianna Bertana scored the winning goal in CSU’s first-ever home soccer victory in 2014. “None of us had ever been to Colorado before Briana came to meet the coach,” Paul said. “She immediately fell in love with the place, and so did we. Briana had a great experience at CSU, and this was a way to capture it.”


FAMILY HISTORY

GREG ROMBERG wanted to pay tribute to his family’s unique CSU story. “My father (Bud) came to CSU in 1953 from White Plains, N.Y.,” he said. “A car dropped him and his luggage at the corner of Shields and Laurel, and that was his introduction to Fort Collins.” Bud Romberg fell in love with CSU and passed on that love to his family. Greg, a former sports editor for the Rocky Mountain Collegian, met his wife, Laurie, at CSU, and their three kids went here, too. “CSU is part of our family history, so we had to get a brick,” Greg said.

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