Photo: Kevin Kamper

Boise State Football: Of Brats, Wigs, and First Downs

“One of the best atmospheres in college football. I hope we set the bar high as it can possibly be. I hope it’s better than it’s ever been, and I hope we’re doing things better than they’ve ever been done.” -Boise State head coach Bryan Harsin at his weekly press conference (8/30/15).

There is an energy in the Treasure Valley that has been rapidly collecting into a ball over the last few days. An energy that will boil over and erupt when the Boise State Broncos meet the Washington Huskies at 8:15 pm (MST) Friday night at Albertsons Stadium.

ESPN. A Pac-12 opponent. Boise State starting the season at home for the first time since 2009. The return of a decorated ex-head coach. To top it all off, the arrival of the 2015 Boise State season comes under the lights on a Friday night, the perfect setting for any fan, young or old.

Big home games like this, whether it be versus Oregon on ’09 or TCU in ’11, always bring a palpitating excitement to the City of Trees. Though the Treasure Valley is growing, Boise State home games (the big ones) still have that small town, high school football on a Friday night feel to them. The games you see in movies or on t.v. in which a billboard reads, “Will the last person in [insert town here] turn off the lights?”


The marquees of businesses in the Treasure Valley are ready. “Five Days Until Game Day”, “BSU vs Washington in 3 Days”, “Beat the Huskies”, and the ever popular “Go Broncos” are all prominently displayed. It’s hard not to get excited when driving around and seeing these messages every mile or so.

Boise State football, during the week of a big home game, brings complete strangers together. An employee and customer have something to discuss besides the weather. All fans have their opinion and, with a home game like this, aren’t afraid to state it.

They call in to radio shows. They leave comments on message boards. They tweet, they post on Facebook, they call their friends. Boise State football is on the mind and rarely does anything else matter.

Blue and orange Boise State shirts and wigs are being dragged out of boxes, pulled from drawers and closets, gaining steam until culminating in a sea of Boise State pride come Friday.

The Boise State flags are proudly displayed on vehicles once again. The RV’s roll into town, claiming their spots on campus.

Over 36,000 fans will converge on Albertsons Stadium on Friday night. Countless others will gather around television sets at bars, restaurants, and homes of their family and friends. There will be screaming, yelling, maybe some booing, and cheering that will not only fill the stadium but will also echo throughout the Treasure Valley (and beyond, to those fans in far away places).

The grilles will be fired up, emitting the odor of brats and burgers, wafting into the noses of those that populate the parking lot. Laughs will be had, taunts will be heard.

Kids will throw around a football, dreaming of one day setting foot on the blue turf, emulating their heroes and having aspirations of being the next Ian Johnson, the next Kellen Moore, the next Jay Ajayi.

Debates will wage on. How will Ryan Finley hold up? Should he even be playing? Should we boo or applaud Coach Pete? Why can’t we bring noisemakers into the stadium? We’d be so much louder if we could…

Tailgate friends will meet up again. Alumni, former players and fans alike, will converse, their camaraderie joining forces in support of the Boise State Broncos. Their team. Their school.


The cleats will be laced up. Pads will be strapped on. The blue Boise State uniforms will be put on. The players will emerge from the tunnel, a player with a hammer leading the way as the cheers rain down.

The Boise State fight song blares in the background. Images of ecstatic fans flash on the big screen. The cool September air breezes through the stadium.

This is football under the lights. Boise State vs. Washington. Nothing on the line except for pride. And bragging rights. And the first step to perhaps another magical season at Boise State.

As the sun disappears in the western sky, Boise State football will finally begin their 2015 campaign. All that’s left to make it official, after the kickoff is said and done, is to hear those words we’ve waited nine months to hear:

“And that’s another Bronco…”

Boise State football. It’s good to have you back.


About Jason Haskins

Jason Haskins
Jason is a 2001 graduate of Boise State and has been an avid fan of Boise State Athletics since the late 90's. Originally from Spring Creek, NV, Jason grew up a fan of the Fred Gatlin era Nevada Wolf Pack, but immediately switched his allegiances while attending school at Boise State. He hasn't looked back since and remains a loyal supporter of Boise State. For more:

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