Favorite Border War moment

Hard to put this on the blog as a poll question, but I want to hear your favorite moment or memory from the Wyoming-Colorado State Border War series.

I know there’s a lot of them out there, whether you’re in your 70s or in your teens.

I am going to cheat a little bit and give you two:

1. The 1998 game in Fort Collins. It was a night game and at the start of the second half, the fog blew in over Hughes Stadium. That didn’t stop UW as it won 27-19 — the only win over CSU in coach Dana Dimel’s three years.

2. The 1996 game in Fort Collins and “The Drive” led by quarterback Josh Wallwork deep in CSU territory and capped by a Marques Brigham touchdown run to give UW a 25-24 win. The game was snowy and cold. The only reason I didn’t put this one first is I wasn’t there. I was working in the office that day.

15 thoughts on “Favorite Border War moment

    • I’ve been involved in two fan brawls at the Border War. Both at Hughes. Got caught on the field when fans rushed the field in the mid 90s and barely made it out alive.


  1. Robert,
    I’ve already recalled this once before, but my favorite memory and what changed me into a Poke fan was the 2006 Border War in Laramie, the Pokes won 24-0.
    A little lead up to the game:
    -I was a test engineer at the time and was working swing shifts for a major event on my project over on the east coast and I got off work at 1am, got to the airport at 5am, flew back to Denver, drove to Cheyenne on 2hrs of sleep.
    -Had just enough time to visit my grandfather, a Poke fan of something like 40 years, who was in hospice care. He had a stroke but managed to put both hands in the air and chant “Go Pokes”.
    -My parents and I wore a mix of CSU & Wyoming gear and the tailgating Poke fans we had to pass by gave us some friendly ribbing. One even said, “Hey you gotta choose and it should be a pretty clear cut choice!” That guy didn’t know how right he was! So I ditched my CSU hat and purchased a Wyoming Cap and Sweatshirt.

    The game was awesome, 24-0! Total domination by the Pokes… Got back to Cheyenne, told grandpa the score and again he managed to pump both hands in the air and chanted “W – Y – O !” Grandpa died a few days later… Growing up, Grandpa always wore a Cowboys hat & windbreaker jacket, went to the Cowboy Joe club meetings on a weeknight, went to games… Grandma even got into the fray as she never liked BYU and would say “The darn refs make me so mad, I could just spit!” Pretty scathing if you knew my Grandma! I never realized how much the Pokes were embedded with my memories of my Grandparents & my early years growing up around my family until that 2006 game.

    That game forever changed me to the point that I literally tear up when I hear the “W-Y-O” cheer. I hope I will return to Wyoming someday, buy season tickets, buy an RV to follow the Pokes to the away games and be the ultimate fan! That’s my retirement dream.
    W – Y – O! Go Pokes!

    • Great story and memory Brian. Sounds like a lot of my family members who have been long-time Wyoming fans. I hope someday soon you get that RV and travel around with the Pokes. Thanks for sharing.


  2. Hey Robert, here’s the story I put on Cowboy Altitude’s Panel of Pokes:

    As a wee lad growing up in the badlands of Worland my first Wyoming football game was in 1993 and it happened to be a sold out Border War.. and that game was frigging cold! I remember being really irritated (I was 11 at the time) because my Mom was making me put on snow pants and snow boots.. I didn’t want to because I was 11 and I didn’t want to look like a tool. I remember the whole family went, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents.. we made it a weekend in Laramie. The Pokes were blown out that weekend, but we had a blast. I remember waiting behind the War trying to get an autograph from my favorite player, Joe Hughes… Joe never ventured out of the locker room, but to my surprise someone else did, Wyoming’s biggest star, Ryan Yarborough. He autographed my hat.. with my Mom’s hot pink pen. So if I didn’t feel like a tool in snow pants, I just got Wyoming’s biggest star’s autograph with a pink pen. FML. To this day I still have the ticket stub locked up and a commemorative coin from the season in my pants pocket every day.

    • Great story, Brad. I was at that game, too. Cool you still have the ticket stub and coin, but what about the pen? LOL
      I liked Hughes, too. Pretty good QB. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Gigs believe this or knot our family has had season tickets for 40 years and I’ve never been to Laramie and watched a CSU game .Been to the war and seen alot of games but never a CSU game.Thats sad, Listened to alot on the radio. I would say also the one in 1996 and can’t rememder the year but the one we beat cocky Bradley Van Pelt in laramie I believe he might of been a senior that year. Seemed to me they allways played the CSU game during hunting season in laramie.Maybe next year,hunting not such big of deal any more.Plus they play latter in the season now.

  4. There is NO contest. 66/67 Pokes win 67 on a field goal 13 to 10 going undefeatedin regular season play. With a 20 and 2 record during 66/67 seasons loosing only to the sheep and LSU We had lost to the sheep in 66 year 10 to 12. That two years combined score was Pokes 23 sheep 22. Its never been better than that nor closer in it’s three century relationship!!

  5. Final thought I prtomise!! For us fans over 55 its still fun to see the sheep/Poke contest. Hope coaches and player alike understand it goes way beyond the “BOOT” I’m sure it has lost some Mo in Ft Collins as it is understandable that the sheep are more interested in not being stampeded by the bison than avoiding being sheared by a cowboy. Being the favorite is not a blessing in this contest Go pokes

  6. 1988, when I was 16 and a designated driver for my alchie neighbors. I was happy to be driving a brand new Cadillac. We went into CSU 8-0, and stomped the sheep 48-14, setting up for the UTEP (8-1) game on ABC TV for the WAC Championship (which we won 51-6…no contest!)

    I offered to drive my neighbors to San Diego for the Holiday Bowl, but they flew. 🙁

  7. The 1996 game is a favorite. Tons of snow and a 96-yd Wallwork drive for the win. 2003 in Laramie was good, beatting BVP, also in the snow. The worst game was in 1994, when the Rams were nationally ranked and the Pokes had a good lead only to blow it in the 4th. Their lousy fans stormed the field early, ripped a helmet off a Wyo player. It was awful. But my favorite just might be my first: a Ram shellacking in the Fort in 1988. The W-Y-O echo chant when back and forth from the north and south sides of the west stands at Hughes. There were as many, if not more, Poke fans in attendance than Rammies. It was a beautiful thing. I’ve probably seen close to 20 Border Wars in person and they’re almost always worth it.

    • Great stuff, Dan. I was on the field at Hughes in 1994 and have never been more afraid for my life. A security person had a heart attack during that mess, and I don’t think I was that far off. LOL

      Hope all is well and thanks for the commment.


  8. Mine would have to be 2003. It was Joe Glenn’s first year and he didn’t promise anything but this: we’re gonna beat BYU and the SHEEP. He had already made good on his first promise, but coming into the season finale against the sheep it didn’t seem like we had much of a chance. But then Bradlee Van Pelt opened his mouth and spouted all sorts of degrading things about our program. Bulletin board material, for sure. I believe one of his comments was ” we can’t even consider Wyoming a rival anymore, they’re just terrible”. Bring it, Van Pelt.
    During the game the pokes played, and the crowd cheered, as though our collective hair was on fire. And when it became apparent that we were gonna win late in the fourth, the snow started falling. We stormed that snow covered field and uprooted the goal post for the second time that season. Beautiful.

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