Just the Facts: UW Doubles Down on Live Mascots
LARAMIE -- The Mountain West has Aztecs, Spartans, Rebels and Rainbow Warriors, but some mascots do involve animals -- live ones.
Wyoming has "Cowboy Joe," a fourth generation Wyoming pony that trots through the end zone at War Memorial Stadium after every Pokes touchdown. That tradition started in the 1950s thanks to a donation from the Farthing Family of Cheyenne.
The school also utilizes a real horse and rider, which leads the team out of the tunnel on Saturdays during the fall.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl got up close and personal with the newest horse, "War Paint," this spring.
"The other guy we had one time backed up and about ran into me, so we got a new guy," Bohl joked. "That is a true story ... Damn, I come to Wyoming and get run over by a horse."
The, of course, there's Pistol Pete, the guy in the furry outfit with the chaps, hat, boots and the whole nine yards.
So, what other mascots around the league actually hail from the animal kingdom?
The Academy actually employs five live Falcon mascots, according to its official website. There's Ace, Apollo, Karena, Nova and Ziva. Air Force has other live birds, too. They serve as ambassadors. Flying in halftime shows is a thing of the past for these pampered raptors: Zeus, Oblio and Cairo.
"Cam the Ram," named after Colorado A&M, is always present on the sidelines at Canvas Stadium in Fort Collins on game day. After changing their nickname from Aggies to Rams in 1945, "Buck" made his debut before a basketball game against Denver. The name changed to "Cam" before a basketball game against Wyoming in 1954.
The story goes, in 1921 a white bulldog greeted students on the California campus each day at lunch time. So, why not bring him to games? Seriously, read about that right HERE. Ever since, FSU has gone by the Bulldogs, led by its live mascot "Victor E." In 1981, the school went to a human in a dog outfit and named him "Timeout."
Boise State has stuck with a human in a furry horse costume named "Buster Bronco." "Louie" and "Lucy" the Lobo are always fixtures inside Albuquerque's famous hoops arena, The Pit. Luckily, those aren't real wolves. I'd imagine they'd be a tad scary -- and loud. Same goes for "Alphie" and "Wolfie Jr." out in Reno.
Utah State's "Big Blue" is a bull. Also, not live.
Who are some of your favorite live mascots?
There's "Ralphie" down in Boulder, "Bill the Goat" at Navy and the Army mules. Who could forget "Bevo" the Longhorn in Austin, "Tusk" the Arkansas Razorback, "Traveler" at USC or Auburn's infamous "War Eagle." How about "UGA" in Athens, "Mike" in Baton Rouge or "Sir Big Spur" at South Carolina?
There are plenty more to choose from.