Bronzed Net Another Trophy Traded During Annual UW-CSU Border War
Sure, there is the Bronze Boot that is run back and forth by Army ROTC cadets from stadium to stadium between the University of Wyoming and Colorado State University before the yearly Border War.
But, have you heard of the Bronzed Net? Traded back and forth between UW and CSU entomologists after each Border War?
Didn't think so.
"It is a real net," said Alex Latchininsky, extension entomologist in the UW College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. "The plaque reads, ‘The Bronzed Net presented annually to the winner of the UW-CSU football game to celebrate Colorado and Wyoming entomology.'"
The boot has the somber origins of being worn in Vietnam by CSU ROTC graduate Jeff Romero. The entomological symbol of victory was made by CSU entomologists Frank Peairs and Whitney Cranshaw.
"The idea was obviously a take-off on the Bronze Boot for bug folks," Cranshaw says. "And it was to try and get the bug folks from our two states together more often. For many years, we would have contingents that attended the CSU-UW football games, during which the trophy would be displayed."
The Bronzed Net is mounted on a wooden plaque with each game marked by a toy insect attached to the net along with a piece of paper and score.
Cranshaw made the plaque and Peairs spray-painted a real sweep net bronze.
"The first insect is a rhinoceros beetle with a note ‘Inaugural game. Wyoming 25 CSU 24, Hughes Stadium, 16 November 1996.' I guess that's when it started," Latchininsky says.
The Bronzed Net has resided at UW this past year. A toy praying mantis and a piece of paper with UW 17 CSU 16, 27 November 2009 is pinned on the plaque. Fourteen insects and results are now "caught" in the Bronzed Net.
The Bronze Boot is hand-carried across the border, but the Bronzed Net is usually just handed over.
"We usually use an occasion of some meeting to hand it to the opposite side -- if they won, although we also entertained an idea to hand it to the losing side -- as a consolation prize," quipped Latchininsky.
Will the net stay at UW after the Nov. 20 Border War?
"At least it would be consolation after an otherwise disappointing season," Latchininsky adds.
Associate Professor Alex Latchininsky holds the Bronzed Net that has collected results of the Border War since 1996.