The final days of Buster Bronco.

Buster Bronco.<br><br>All BSU fans know him, all BSU opponents respect him, all Vandals fear him.<br>As the end of our beloved Buster draws near, there are many long faces at BSU, some nearly as long as Buster's. The familiar face of BSU athletics has become old and worn, and Buster's time to retire to the mascot stud farm has sadly (for us) arrived.<br>As we look forward to the days with a young new Buster, we should also reflect on the life and career of BSU's legendary imitation biped horse.

Buster: the early years.

This is a story of promise.

Buster Bronco was born on April 1, 1973 in Star, Idaho. His father was a tough but loveable stuffed bear; his mother, a sexy carpet sample with impeccable stitching.

Throughout his youth, Buster's parents gave him everything a young fake colt could desire: the nicest threads, the softest hay stuffing and, naturally, horse sense. Alas, his good fortune caused Buster to be envied, even hated by the other mini mascots like Bengal Benny, Brutus Buckeye and Bucky Badger.

A horse is a horse, of course, unless it's Buster, and he was above such pettiness and envy. He knew he was destined to fame, if not fortune. He realized that just a few miles east of his home in Star, deep in the heart of Boise, was a school that would one day desperately require a fuzzy fabricated biped equine to whip the fans into a frenzy.

As a young foal, Buster dutifully participated in the usual equestrian sports, but in his imaginary heart he knew that his place was on the sidelines, not on the field, court or gym mat. He longed for the day he could trot along the sidelines at BSU football, basketball, wrestling, gymnastic, tennis and other athletic contests. It was his dream, his goal, his destiny.

Coming of age.

This is a story of will.

Before Buster could make it to the big leagues of BSU, he had to pay his dues in the minors. He got his first break when he received a desperate call from Vallivue High School, asking him to replace their Falcon mascot who was on injured reserve with a bruised ego. He performed splendidly, bringing the capacity crowd of eleven to its feet throughout the match, despite complaints from the opposing chess team.

Thereafter, Buster tried to fit in wherever he could, exhibiting unparalleled enthusiasm and remarkable range as the Borah High Lion, the Mountain View Maverick and the Caldwell Cougar.

Through these trying times, Buster never lost his head, nor his lower half. Even during the most arduous moments on the sidelines of elementary, middle and high school events, he knew that one day, with continued hard work, he would get that cherished call from Boise State.

That call happened on July 15th, 1975.

A dream fulfilled.

This is a story of triumph.

At the tender age of two (or 2 in horse years), Buster got his chance: Boise State needed a mascot, preferably a bronco, and Buster fit the bill perfectly. He easily beat out three other mascot hopefuls, including a handsome and talented Viking, a charming Stanford Tree, and a sexually-repressed Vandal, who was incarcerated immediately following the tryouts for larceny and criminal insanity.

Then, in the autumn of 1975, Buster made his debut at the newly-expanded Bronco Stadium in front of 20,000 screaming fans, cheering the team to victory. And so his destiny was becoming fulfilled; Buster was on his way to recruiting whole new generations of lifelong, diehard Broncos with his good natured antics, humor, enthusiasm and horse play.

For the next 30 years, Buster would play a critical part of the Bronco's athletic success, cheering each of Boise State's athletic teams, plus participating in numerous fundraising affairs, charity events and even the occasional birthday party.

Though he himself hardly uttered a word, nobody could make a crowd roar like Buster; quite simply, when Buster would whiney, BSU would win.

Sadly, Buster's hectic schedule and dedication never enabled him to enjoy a personal life. For a brief time Buster dated the BSU gymnastic team's pommel horse, but in the end his work and dedication to other BSU teams proved to be his true and only love.

Years of rooting for the Broncos through thick and thick has solidified his place as BSU's most treasured icon. He is, indeed, the glue that holds the BSU family together; or, at least, he will be.

A time to retire.

This is a story of melancholy.

Nobody wanted Buster to retire except Buster himself. In fact, in a recent gallop poll inquiring whether or not Buster should be retired, 100% of Broncos replied "neigh."

Yet the time has come. His fur is frayed, his hooves are worn, and even his tail is turning gray (unusual for an inorganic mascot).

Just as a young Buster longed for the day of working at BSU, today he longs for the stud farm, where he can stretch his legs and spread his thread. He leaves behind a legacy of cheers, of laughter, of shedding phony pony fur on the court, of dancing with the BSU marching band, of leaving fake horsepoo in the shower of the opposing teams.

Buster is a legend--a Bronco for all time, whose time has unhappily reached an end.

A new beginning.

This is a story of hope.

Within Buster Bronco is the heart and soul of every BSU fan, and the body of one BSU fan. Likewise, within each BSU fan is the heart and soul of Buster.

But who will take up the reigns once this Buster is gone?

With the support of BSU's faithful, there is hope. A new, improved Buster Bronco can be cloned, but only with the generous monetary donations of BSU fans like you.

Time is of the essence: artificial insewmination must be performed in the weeks to come in order for the new, improved Buster to make his debut in time for the BSU/Vandal football game.

Thankfully, it won't take much to produce a new Buster Bronco; costs of the procedure are only $1,500, and we've already received nearly half that amount. Your donation, whether ten dollars, fifty dollars, or $900, is appreciated, and will continue the Buster Bronco tradition, so please send what you can, and soon.

To donate to the Buster Fund, send your check or money order to:

Buster Bronco

6035 E. Gateway

Boise, Idaho 83716

If you like to do things in person, you can also bring your donation to the Blue & Orange game on April 16th and hand it over to Booger or AttackTheWac.

For more information, click here.

Buster would thank you, if only he could speak.

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