Colorado State Still Denies Defeat In First Border War Game
This weekend, Wyoming and Colorado State will renew one of the longest running rivalries in college football. Nearly 119 years after Wyoming won the first Border War, Colorado State still refuses to officially acknowledge defeat.
It all began on Thanksgiving Day in 1899, when the Colorado Agricultural College Aggies traveled to Laramie. In those days, there were two referees; one representing each team. Wyoming had the ball late in the game and was driving for a go-ahead touchdown when the Aggies-appointed umpire Edward House called a penalty on the Pokes.
Several Fort Collins newspapers reported that belligerent Wyoming fans had verbally abused and threatened House during the game. Wyoming's appointed referee E.D. McArthur overruled the call and the two officials began to argue. As House and McArther quarreled, several fans stormed onto the field and, allegedly, struck an Aggies player in the head with a cane.
Eventually, the game was called off, with both sides declaring victory.
Following the game, the newly named "Border War" escalated in the press. The Laramie Republican reported Wyoming's win the following day. In response, CAC President Barton Aylesworth vowed that the two schools would never play again unless he received a public apology from Unversity of Wyoming President Elmer Smiley.
The apology never came, but the rivalry continued the following year. To this day, Colorado State does not officially recognize the first Border War game.