Press Pass: Bitterly cold Border War
LARAMIE — Hey fans, DJ Johnson here with this week’s version of “Press Pass.”
“It sucks to be a CSU Ram. I said it sucks to be a CSU Ram!” Hey, Logan Wilson said it first. So did Josh Adams. Oh, and Josh Allen.
Well, that was fun! OK, I’m not going to lie … taking pictures in the cold is not fun, it’s not easy on the equipment, either. And having been diagnosed with Raynaud’s syndrome, it takes a toll on the ol’ fingers and toes. This year, I did invest in some new cold-weather gear that has provided great dividends for the cold-weather games.
Battery operated, coil heated gloves and vest have made shooting in the cold a little more bearable. But, that’s beside the point … how about sweet victory No. 7 for the Pokes, which pretty much guarantees a bowl game (fingers crossed), and hopefully one south of Laramie, not north (Boise’s not a state, Boise’s not a state).
I’m excited to be headed into the final game of the season with seven under the belt, and I’m confident that we can take down Air Force on Saturday and win a bowl game, which would take us to a nine-win season. That, my friend’s, would be an incredible season!
Let’s take a look at some of the adventures we had herding the sheep in Laramie last Friday.
First off, hat’s off (pun intended) to the suppliers of the UW lumberjack hat giveaway on Friday night. Social media has blown up with folks wanting to purchase these fine pieces of Cowboy apparel, and as far as I know, they aren’t for sale anywhere … yet. If you were lucky enough to be one of the first 5,000 through the gates, I’d hold onto that sought-after brain bucket and wear it proudly to all weather-permitting Cowboy games. Oh, and I thought it was quite fitting that our UW Spirit Squad donned the lids on the sidelines, as they kept the 21,152 fans cheering late into the night.
I really wished that someone in the stands would have thrown a pacifier on the field for this crybaby. Was it just me or was CSU tight end, Trey McBride, constantly crying to the officials, asking for infractions that only existed in his own mind? Here’s a shot of the sophomore from Ft Morgan, Colorado, pleading for a call.
So, for all of you on the west side of the stadium, I have to ask … does the mobile television camera dude get in your way of the game? I’ve always thought that he’d be a hindrance and block the view of the game if in the right place, at the right time. Also, if you think about it, these guys travel to new locations every week and cover different teams all the time. Have you ever wondered how they know who to shoot and exactly how to find the players? Here’s a shot I took of the elevated camera mans "cockpit" and this answered a lot of my questions. If you can make it out, you’ll see he has an entire depth chart of both teams clipped to his viewfinder, along with pictures of more notable players. If you can make it out, on the bottom right, those are pictures of Tyler Vander Waal, Levi Williams, Josh Harshman, Xazavian Valladay and Logan Wilson.
There’s no denying the future of our quarterback situation is bright. During this year’s Border War, true freshman Levi Williams made his college debut by rushing 13 times for 51 yards, including the eventual game-winning touchdown in the third quarter. The unfortunate season-ending injury to Sean Chambers has left the reins of the offense in the hands of Tyler Vander Waal and Williams. I really liked what I saw on Friday night, swapping the two QB's in and out, keeping the defense on their toes. While on the sideline, I have one earbud in, listening to the live call on KFBC radio. Even the announcers were struggling to keep up with which quarterback was in at any given time. Here’s a snap of Williams first career collegiate touchdown.
There’s only one person that I’ll never get mad at for stepping into my shot … my man, Pistol Pete!
I was pleasantly impressed with the student body that showed up and withstood the chilly temperatures of the night. I truly believe that our undefeated record at home is a direct reflection of our student body who has showed up at every game and really made a difference. And not only was it just the students, but Wyoming fans in general really made this season a success with their attendance. So, go ahead fans, take a pose in the frost-laden end zone at War Memorial and capture a memory that will last a lifetime!
For those that didn’t hear the announcement at the game, Hawk, the Dark Tobiano Paint that leads the Cowboys onto the field has run his last stint at War Memorial Stadium. The 22-year old will be hangin’ up his horseshoes after the season; however, Lane Romsa will continue to lead the charge onto the field next year, just with a different horse. But be aware … although we’ve had our last home game, the likelihood of seeing Hawk one more time this year is a favorable bet. If/when the Cowboys are selected for a bowl game, Hawk and Lane will most likely hit the road and head for the bowl destination for one last ride. Back in 2017, Lane and his crew not only loaded up Hawk, but also took his little sidekick, Cowboy Joe. They made a 19-hour road trip out to San Diego and Hawk once again led the team onto the field at Qualcomm Stadium.
I’m sure that not many noticed the taped left forearm of linebacker, Logan Wilson, on Friday night. I did. Inked in black sharpie, on white athletic tape, was the word “WIZ." As one could probably guess, the name was written to pay respect to his teammate, and fellow linebacker, Ben Wisdorf. Wisdorf was injured in the Boise State game and underwent season-ending surgery on his knee a few days before Friday’s Border War. Here’s a few things you might not know about the duo: they are both Wyoming grown; they were foes in high school – Wilson at Natrona County and Wisdorf at Cheyenne East; they both were selected to Wyoming’s Super 25 in 2014, which identifies the best football players in the state…oh, and one other kid on that same roster was another kid from Natrona County, Josh Harshman. Also, Wisdorf's Thunderbirds knocked off Wilson and Harshman's Mustangs in the state championship game at War Memorial Stadium. Sorry, NC.
This young man right here (Garrett Crall, not me) has grown into a formidable force on Wyoming’s defense. It was good to catch up with him after the game on Friday night, and I’m looking forward to watching the Hicksville, Ohio, native finish off the season strong at Air Force. I also have a gut feeling that he’s going to be a game-changer in this year's bowl game.
No caption needed. #bronzeboot
Alright sports fans, it’s time to close the season out right with a win at Air Force. 7220sports.com is headed down the Interstate-25 corridor on Friday and will have all the action from Saturday’s game. The game is especially exciting for me, as high school football season is now over, and for the first time this year my son actually gets to accompany me to a game. It’s a noon kickoff so for those traveling get down to Colorado Springs early and let’s add one more "dubya" to the resume. Go Pokes!