Ryan Thorburn, Camera Sports Writer
Ryan Thorburn, Camera Sports Writer ( PAUL AIKEN )

It's time for the guys behind the camera to take a bow.

After Colorado's inspired comeback victory at Washington State last Saturday, head coach Jon Embree presented Jamie Guy and John Snelson with game balls in the exultant visiting locker room.

Neither man played a down or even suited up.

Guy is CU's award-winning director of sports video. Snelson is his dedicated and tireless assistant.

These behind-the-scenes guys love what they do as much as Embree loves coaching.

After painfully searching for highlights to edit from the unsightly non-conference losses to Colorado State, Sacramento State and Fresno State, a brilliant idea came into focus for Guy.

"Last Wednesday morning I was kind of frustrated and trying to figure out how to help in any way possible," Guy said. "I wanted to go above and beyond to do something."

Guy's vision was to put together a video package where legendary Buffs would talk about what the program and singing the fight song after a road victory meant to them.

Embree and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, two passionate former Buffs players, gave the video team two thumb's up. Guy and Snelson began contacting former players and conducting interviews.

Chad Brown, Charles Johnson and Alfred Williams are among the many familiar CU faces who appear in the video.

A project that would normally take two or three weeks was painstakingly produced in about 48 hours.


"I couldn't have done it without (Snelson). We're very proud of it. It was a crazy thing to do in two days," Guy said. "John pulled an all-nighter to finish it before we left. All that time and effort, for us, was well worth it."

Embree debuted the video last Friday night at the team hotel in Spokane, Wash., to rave reviews.

"When that was all said in done, I think it put a lot of things in perspective for them," Embree said. "Hearing from the former players, how they believe in them and they're behind them, that's what they needed to hear at that time.

"And they responded."

CU rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to stun the Cougars in Pullman. It was the largest fourth-quarter deficit the Buffs have ever overcome on the road.

Not even the sports video staff could have scripted such a wild turn of events a week after the same team lost 69-14 at Fresno State.

"I could tell on the sideline that there was something different about the guys than the previous two games," Guy said. "I didn't know exactly what that was, but I could tell they were focused and there were a lot of emotions going on with the players and the coaches."

Jordan Webb's 70-yard touchdown pass to Nick Kasa changed the momentum of the game. The much-maligned defense taking a stand and forcing Mike Leach's offense into punts and field goals down the stretch kept CU within reach on the scoreboard. Tony Jones' 84-yard touchdown run and Webb's final touchdown scamper made the comeback a reality.

But the players say it all started with an extra (special) film session on the eve of the game.

"I kind of grew up watching CU football and seeing all those guys that were in the video, it gives you shivers a little bit," said senior defensive end Will Pericak. "Seeing Chad Brown in there and all these other guys ... knowing that they've got your back is good to know."

All of the players interviewed provided some affecting words for the Buffs. Guy said the raw emotion from Brown, a 15-year NFL veteran who was a member of CU's 1990 national championship team, was the most powerful and moving piece of footage, which made for a perfect ending to the video.

"I think it's kind of risky when you do that because there's a difference between rah, rah, and then real, true emotions and feelings," Brown said. "If it's false, even though a lot of these kids have only been on campus for two months now, they can see that. But when it's real, honest, true feelings ... I got emotional talking about it because my time here was so special.

"The players can sense that and that helps make an impact and helps penetrate."

Brown had to coach in a Pop Warner football game on Saturday afternoon and missed the end of CU's memorable Pac-12 opener.

But he already knew the ending.

"I saw the comeback starting to mount. I could feel it and my last words to my wife before I left out the door were: 'Buffs are going to win, Buffs are going to win,'" Brown said.

CU fans can view an encore performance of the video at the "Parade of Buffs" rally this Thursday night at Broomfield's 1st Bank Center.

Bill McCartney, Gary Barnett, Cliff Branch, Deon Figures, Matt Russell, Kordell Stewart, Michael Westbrook and other former coaches and players will be in attendance at the rally ahead of Saturday's game against UCLA at Folsom Field.

Perhaps Guy and Snelson will be asked to take a bow.

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanThorburn.