HOME ~ College Football History
The nickname "Cowboys" was applied to Wyoming athletic teams as early as
1891 - two years before the first official football game. The story is
that the Wyoming pick-up football team appealed to a 220 pound
cowpuncher, Fred Bush, for help in a game against the Cheyenne Soldiers.
Bush signed up for a course or two and came
out for the team. When he
trotted onto the field decked out in a checkered shirt and Cowboy hat,
someone yelled, "Hey, look at the Cowboy!" Since many of the members of
the team were also ex-cowboys, the name stuck.
Cowboy Joe IV, a fourth generation Wyoming mascot, trots around War
Memorial Stadium after each Cowboy touchdown, a tradition which started
in 1950 when the Farthing Family of Cheyenne made a generous donation of
a young pony to become Wyoming's mascot. This beautiful little pony is
very popular with Cowboy fans of all ages.
The logo on the Wyoming football helmet depicts a Cowboy riding a
bucking horse. This symbol has been a part of the University of Wyoming
Athletics Department since the early 1920’s, when UW Equipment Manger
Deane Hunton obtained a photograph of a cowboy, Guy Holt, riding the
world famous bucking horse Steamboat. The photo was taken at the Albany
County Fairgrounds in 1903. Steamboat was born on a ranch between
Laramie and Bosler in 1901, and is regarded as one of the greatest
bucking horses ever. The photo was made into the logo used by UW
athletic teams. In later years the symbol more closely resembled the
logo on the state’s automobile license plates which depicts another
horse and rider. Also world famous, that bucking horse was called “Deadman”.
While there are differing opinions on exactly which horse and rider is
depicted on UW’s athletic uniforms today, it is the symbol that is
important. The bucking horse and rider represents the toughness, and the
never-say-die spirit that is Wyoming. To that end, a statue called
“Fanning a Twister” was erected at the entrance to War Memorial Stadium
in 1991. The statue is of a bucking horse and rider. It honors the
symbolism of the Wyoming football logo and the proud history of the
Wyoming football team.
Brown and Gold
The story behind the colors of the University of Wyoming dates back to
1895. In the Spring of that year, the first ever UW Alumni Banquet was
held. Decorations for the banquet included Brown-Eyed Susans, a flower
native of Southeastern Wyoming. The Alumni were so impressed with the
colors (brown and yellow) and the beauty of the flowers that they
decided to select these colors as the official school colors at UW. In
recent years the colors have been modified to brown and gold.
The Bronze Boot
The annual Wyoming-Colorado State football game has evolved into one of
the most bitterly contested rivalries in college football. The teams
have waged the "Border War" every year but six since the schools began
playing in 1899. In fact, this is the oldest interstate rivalry west of
the Mississippi River. In 1968, the ROTC detachments of the respective
schools initiated the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy awarded to the
winner of the contest each year. The Boot was originally worn in Vietnam
by a CSU graduate. The boot has rested in UW's Fieldhouse in 19 of the
36 years since its inception. The Bronze Boot has become one of the most
famous traveling trophies in college football.
Ragtime Cowboy Joe
"He always sings
Raggy music to the cattle
as he swings
back and forward in the saddle,
on a horse - a pretty good horse!
He's got a syncopated gaiter,
and you ought to hear the meter
to the roar of his repeater;
how they run - yes run! -
when they hear him 'a-comin',
cause the western folks all know,
he's a high-falootin', rootin, tootin',
son of a gun from ol' Wyoming,
Talk about your Cowboy,
Ragtime Cowboy Joe.