Dirt Bags, né Cabbage, is sponsored by Aspen State Teachers College, a strictly "nolo accreditare" institution. One day Marc Demmon and Al Pendorf (a.k.a. Cabbage and Begley) decided that what Aspen lacked was team spirit, which couldn't very well exist unless there was a team. So they invented the college and a football team for the sake of the homecoming game—the Aspen Brooms now play imaginary opponents every fall, and last year they only lost two games. Demmon and Pendorf soon found themselves in business, printing a campus newspaper and selling college gee-gaws from the ASTC "bookstore," as well as sponsoring all sorts of whimsical activities. They also found themselves on To Tell the Truth. "Those characters are good for Aspen," says one 30-year resident. "Aspen needs more of a sense of humor. This is the way it used to be."
Aspen's reputation as Jock City is self-perpetuating. It not only draws jocks, but also makes jocks, and it will likely continue to do so. Bruce Gordon's theory, which he suggests is "slightly weird," is that Aspen's altitude stimulates people's brain cells and in some way makes them want to keep active. But chances are the explanation is simpler than that. It was the environment and physical potential of the town that drew the athletes, and now, as well as that, it is the opportunities and attitude that keep and will continue to keep them.