Before Wyoming and Colorado State clash on the gridiron for the 104th time, one of the most unique traditions in college sports has to take place. The running of the game ball.
27.3 miles. That's how far members of Wyoming's Army ROTC Cowboy Battalion must run along US-287 to carry the game ball from the Colorado border back to War Memorial Stadium.
"It's vitally important to the ROTC programs because the ROTC started the tradition," said Major Rory Williams, Executive Officer for Army ROTC Cowboy Battalion.
The distance they must run through the whipping wind is longer than a marathon and what it represents is more than just carrying a football.
"Americans are fighters by nature and the Army and well all of the armed forces represent that fighting spirit of Americans and we like to carry on that tradition," Williams said.
The Bronze Boot Trophy, once worn by a Vietnam Veteran, and the running of the game ball are steeped in military tradition. Current ROTC members say this is about doing something that's bigger than any one of them.
"First year in the Army ROTC, so to get a chance to do something like this where it's been going on for 45 years links me back to former cadets as well as ones that have commissioned all our past brothers and future ones. Just absolutely love doing it," said ROTC Cadet Joshua Baker.
"My dad was in Vietnam back in the day, he was drafted. It's a great thing to do something that serves what he represented too one day. It's a great way to show the school spirit, be a part of something," said ROTC Cadet Charles Schull.
But these cadets haven't forgotten there is a football game tomorrow and nothing would be sweeter for senior Charles Schull, than to make it four in a row over the Rams.
"I graduated from St. Mary's High School in Colorado Springs and almost everyone I went to school with goes to CSU and it's a great way to rub something in their face," Schull said.