Turns out a rivalry game trophy involving a very heavy boot representation isn’t the sole domain of Arkansas and LSU, who have clashed for the above-pictured piece of hardware since 1996. Border rivals Wyoming and Colorado State have been battling for a bronze boot all their own since 1968.
That, of course, was at the height of the Vietnam war and unsurprisingly this Bronze Boot has martial origins:
In 1968, the ROTC detachments of the respective schools initiated the Bronze Boot, a traveling trophy awarded to the winner of the “Border War” each year. The boot was worn in the Vietnam War by Cpt. Dan J. Romero, an Adams State College graduate and Army ROTC instructor at CSU between 1967 and 1969. Each year leading up to the Wyoming–Colorado State game, the game ball is carried in a running shuttle relay by the ROTC detachment of the visiting team down US 287 to the Wyoming-Colorado state border, where the home team’s ROTC detachment receives it and runs the game ball to the stadium hosting the game. The trophy is guarded by the ROTC unit of the past year’s winning school during the game.
I have to admit, if what wikipedia is telling me is true, this ritual sounds pretty sweet.
Still, my guess is very few people outside of Wyoming and a slice of Colorado ever get short of breath talking about this rivalry. A far cry from the national implications of today’s No. 3 Arkansas vs. No. 1 LSU game.