Students and fans rush the field after the Cowboys beat the Rams 16 to 13 in Saturday’s Border War, a long college rivalry between University of Wyoming and Colorado State University. The stadium appeared more like a snow globe in one of the most memorable Border Wars in five decades. (Samantha Case/WyoFile)

Despite chattering teeth and numb hands, University of Wyoming fans stormed the field after the Cowboys beat Colorado State University’s Rams 16 to 13 on Saturday. Snow fell like confetti as fans cheered “C-O-W-B-O-Y-S. Cowboys! Cowboys! Cowboys!”

The game will be memorable for players and fans who endured Laramie’s blanket of snow to witness Wyoming come from behind with seven minutes remaining in the game.

Ranked eighth on the NFL’s list of best college football rivalry trophies, the bronze boot represents more than the enduring rivalry between UW and CSU. The trophy is one of the battle-worn boots of Captain Dan Romero — a Vietnam veteran and assistant professor of military science at CSU — and exemplifies the strong ROTC backgrounds of both schools.

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The connection between the boot and military service is so strong that each year, ROTC cadets from both schools participate in a relay to carry the football to the stadium hosting the game that year.

This year, the CSU ROTC battalion ran 42 miles from CSU’s stadium to the state line where they passed the ball to Wyoming Army ROTC cadets. They then carried the football the remaining 27 miles to War Memorial Stadium.

The significance of the Bronze Boot extends beyond the rivalry. Regardless of which team takes the trophy home, its history brings both teams together to remember those who serve in the U.S. Armed Forces.  

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