This week we congratulate the Boise State Broncos for making it into the semi-big time and their move to join the Mountain West Conference by featuring their mascot, Buster Bronco. In the last couple of years, the major winning by this minor program is starting to finally pay off. We’ll take a look a the original Bronco and how this guy went from tiny to massive mascot muscle. Change may will be quiet for a while, thanks to some Big 12 (10) maneuvering. Until the next big wind of expansion blows into a tornado, let’s mosey on up to Idaho and check out Buster.
Back in 1932, a couple of students around the basketball court decided that Boise Junior College needed to have a mascot. They ended up choosing a Bronco because that’s about the only animal they had around there. Around 1936, students begun the tradition of building a paper-mache bronco called Elmer and then burning him after every homecoming game. Since 1965 a live horse would lap the field after every score. We couldn’t find out when the stuffed mascot made an appearance, but judging from his garb we’re guessing he was around in the late 80’s or 90’s.
Let’s take a closer look at Buster. Buster is all Bronco from head to toe. Granted the hoofs turn into hands the higher up you go, but you can tell that this dude is a horse. The giant head comes back in full force with a true horse face. The tuft of hair up top and the half-smile makes Buster friends to all humankind, moving him away from the scary mascot profile. Buster also seems to sport a full football uniform, complete with shoulder pads and shin pads. If the school only made a helmet big enough, Buster might be able to cover kick offs.
Has Buster made it to the big time? For us, the jury is still out. He was named in the final twelve for the Capital One Mascot of the Year in 2008, but he didn’t win it. He seems like a nice enough mascot, but we wish he more of a scowl than a goofy smile. The football uniform is the best we’ve seen on a mascot, but some cleats or better hand representation could make him look more complete. Much like his team on the field, Buster Bronco is up and coming in terms of mascotdom and may be on his way to stardom. He just needs to work on it some more.
So Buster Bronco is a decent mascot and will get his props in the future, just not right now. Stationed in a small town up in Idaho and the settled minds of his uncreative progenitors, Buster has come a long way. He brings an edge that almost puts him over the top. The Mountain West should be ready for a stampede when Boise State and Buster romp through their conference. But before they take on that schedule, will they stomp their way through the BCS first? Tune in this year.