This year’s “Border War” pits Colorado State against the University of Wyoming for the 101st time and extends the battle for the Bronze Boot trophy into its forth decade.
On Nov 19, the Colorado State University Army ROTC cadets will run the game ball from Hughes Stadium in Fort Collins 39 miles to the Colorado-Wyoming border on U.S. highway 287. The University of Wyoming Army ROTC cadets will run the ball the remaining 26 miles to War Memorial Stadium in Laramie.
“The run displays the endurance and physical stamina needed for warriors going into battle, not unlike what is required of our ‘gridiron warriors,’” said Lt. Col. Channing Moose, Colorado State University ROTC. “CSU Army ROTC cadets remain very involved in this tradition and rivalry.”
Along with the Bronze Boot Run, CSU Army ROTC and CSU Athletics will conduct two ceremonies: the ceremony of the ROTC cadets receiving the game ball from the CSU football team at Hughes Stadium at 6:20 a.m. and the border ceremony at the Colorado-Wyoming border at 1 p.m. The ceremony at Hughes Stadium will be full of Army ROTC tradition including a formation with the Ram Battalion cadets, reading the history of the Bronze Boot and the handoff of the game ball from the CSU football team to the Army cadets.
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, and nothing was more fitting for the “Border War” than an authentic battle tested combat boot. CSU Army ROTC graduate and cadre member Capt. Dan Romero, Sr., donated a combat boot he wore during his 1966-1967 tour in the Vietnam War. Capt. 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.
The battle for the Bronze Boot has become more than just a regional event. The “Border War” and the battle for the Bronze Boot is one of the longest running traveling trophy football games in college football and is on the list of the nation’s best rivalries. Currently CSU is tied in the trophy series 21-21 and leads the all-time series 54-41-5.