Game notes: CSU, Wyoming meet for Border War

Bronze Boot

Bronze Boot

Nov. 28, 2011

Complete Release l  Supplemental Stats l  Depth Chart l  Updated Bios

This week's notable storylines...

  • CSU closes its season with the Border War vs. Wyoming, CSU's latest regular-season game ever played in Fort Collins, two days more than the Dec. 1, 1928, regular-season finale against Colorado College at old Colorado Field, on the east side of campus. It's CSU's latest regular-season game since a Dec. 4, 1987, trip to Melbourne, Australia, where the Rams met BYU. CSU also closed the 2006 regular season at San Diego State (Dec. 2), the 1964 regular season at Hawaii (Dec. 4), the 1956 regular season at New Mexico (Dec. 1), the 1940 regular season at Fresno State (Dec. 5), the 1931 regular season against Nebraska in Denver (Dec. 5) and the 1925 regular season at Hawaii (Dec. 12).
  • Prior to 2011, the latest CSU-Wyoming battle was Nov. 30, 1911, in Fort Collins.
  • Saturday is Senior Day, the final college football game for 15 CSU players, including four current starters (Nuku Latu, Ivory Herd, Jake Gdowski and Paul Madsen) and team captain Mychal Sisson.
  • CSU and Wyoming share the longest continuous rivalry west of the Mississippi, with an unofficial 103rd Border War meeting on tap this week. The teams' first meeting in 1899 was a CSU forfeit win, making this week officially the 102nd meeting. CSU does not recognize forfeits in all-time won-loss records.
  • Head Coach Steve Fairchild is 8-5 with the Rams against Wyoming, 1-1 as a starting QB and 7-4 on the staff.

The setting...

Date: Saturday, Dec. 3
Kickoff: 12:06 p.m. MST
Location: Fort Collins, Colo.
Site: Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
Capacity/Surface: 32,500/FieldTurf
Series: CSU leads, 54-42-5

Broadcast information

Television -- The Mtn.
DirecTV: Ch. 616
DirecTV: Ch. 616-1 (HD)
Comcast Digital
Cable: Ch. 411
Comcast HD: Ch. 948
DISH Network: Unavailable
Play-by-play: Todd Harris
Color Analyst: Todd Christiansen
Sideline Reporter: Roger Bailey
Producer: Mike Helling
Colorado State Sports Network
Flagship station: KLZ, 560-AM, Denver
Internet: CSURams.com/allaccess
Voice of the Rams: Brian Roth
Color Analyst: Kevin McGlue
Engineer: Bob Greenfield

The Colorado State radio broadcast begins with a pregame show two hours prior to kickoff.

LiveStats: CSURams.com (GameTracker)

The Bronze Boot (courtesy John Hirn): Since 1968, the Bronze Boot has become possibly the most famous piece of footwear in college football history. This U.S. Army combat boot, gilded in bronze, is the traveling trophy that goes to the winning football team every year when Wyoming and CSU square off.

In the 43 years the boot has been exchanged, Wyoming owns a 22-21 advantage, making the Border War the most balanced rivalry in terms of wins and losses over the period since the boot was first introduced.

Few fans of both schools realize the history behind this famous boot before it became the trophy both schools live for each and every football season. It started as a United States-issued Army combat boot to Captain Dan Romero. Romero, a native of Colorado and 1955 graduate of Pueblo Central High School, attended Pueblo Junior College for two years before he graduated from Adams State College. While at Adams State, he met his wife and played varsity basketball and baseball.

As the war in Vietnam heated up and a draft was imminent, Romero joined the Army before he was drafted. He then attended Officer Candidate School (OCS), where he received his commission to become an officer. Romero was then sent to Vietnam for a tour of duty and in the spring of 1968 he returned to the United States, where he was assigned to the Colorado State University ROTC Military Science Department as an assistant professor. Since he was at CSU as an assistant professor, Romero enrolled as a graduate student as expected when officers are assigned to ROTC duty.

Romero's son, Jeff, is a Rocky Mountain High School graduate and walked onto the CSU football team in 1982 before following in his dad's footsteps in the Army. Jeff now is an FBI agent.

Tradition starts with Bronze Boot Run Friday: This year's Border War pits Colorado State against Wyoming for the 102nd meeting (CSU doesn't recognize the 1899 forfeit, or any forfeit in its all-time records), and extends the battle for the Bronze Boot into its fourth decade. 

On Friday, the Wyoming ROTC cadets will run the ball 26 miles from War Memorial Stadium in Laramie to the Colorado-Wyoming border on U.S. Highway 287. Colorado State Army ROTC cadets will then run the game ball the remaining 39 miles to Hughes Stadium.

In 1968, CSU Army ROTC cadre member Maj. Vic Fernandez came up with the idea of having a trophy fitting of the rivalry between CSU and UW, an authentic, battle-tested combat boot. CSU Army ROTC graduate and cadre member Capt. Dan Romero donated a combat boot he wore during his 1966-67 tour in the Vietnam conflict. Romero had the boot bronzed and mounted on a walnut base in 1968. The base bears a plaque that holds the history of the Bronze Boot series. Close inspection of the boot will reveal small tears and cuts, scars of battle that have remained on the 48-year-old boot through the bronzing process and 42 years of travel between the rival universities.

Every year Army ROTC cadets from CSU and UW run the game ball from the visiting team's stadium to the site of the Border War game and guard the trophy until the game is over.

Series history: The first meeting between CSU and Wyoming was Thanksgiving Day 1899 and ended in a dispute over the rules. The Cowboys forfeited and the game never counted in the official record. The bad blood of 1899 spilled over into 1900 and again the two schools had a disagreement, this time over the eligibility of players. Although the rivalry continued to be cordial until after WWII, the first two meetings between the border schools signaled the beginning of the Border War.

The 1924 game never occurred because Wyoming Governor William Ross died the week of the contest. Out of respect, both schools decided not to play that Saturday and due to scheduling conflicts were not able to make up the game. Since 1929, CSU and Wyoming have only missed playing one another three times, all during WWII.

In 1949 and 1958, Colorado Field was the site of two near riots between fans from Fort Collins and Laramie. When the 1949 game ended, Wyoming fans tried to tear down the goalposts mainly because Colorado A&M fans had done so after the 1948 game in Laramie. When Aggie fans tried to prevent the posts from coming down, fights broke out and tear gas was unleashed on the crowd. In 1958, fans from both schools poured onto the field as they disputed a non-touchdown call that made the difference in the game. Again, tear gas had to be used to disperse the crowd.

CSU Coach Sark Arslanian vowed to his Rams after the 1973 Wyoming game that they (the players in the room that day) would never lose to the Cowboys again. The Rams beat Wyoming in 1974, `75 and `76, winning the Bronze Boot for the first times since the traveling trophy was established in 1968.

Regular-season finales: The Rams have won three of their last six regular-season finales, defeating Wyoming in 2007 and 2008, and topping UNLV in 2005. Their losses in that stretch were at San Diego State in 2006 and against Wyoming in 2009 and `10.

 


 

 

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