Air Force Falcon on the loose: 5 Colorado mascots' escape plans

Before the Independence Bowl last week in Shreveport, the Air Force falcon was released for a bit of pre-game wing stretching. But the mascot had bigger things than a stadium circuit in mind -- namely, a tour of downtown, where he was found hours later thanks to a tracking device. We smelled a conspiracy on our hands and have uncovered plans by four other Colorado mascots to make a bid for freedom.

5. Thunder of the Denver Broncos Embarrassed by his team's woeful record, Thunder is planning a defection to state champion Mullen High School, where he hopes to find work as a backup mustang.

4. The Bird of Air Force Well, we saw what he had in mind:

3. Cam of CSU Cam smelled open air and tasty late-season grasses up in the Poudre Canyon and decided he wanted to be part of a herd. He felt his head-butt skills were being underutilized in the football program and was hoping to find some hot female bighorn sheep action to preen for.

2. Ralphie of CU Ralphie doesn't feel as though this year's 24-3 shellacking of in-state rival CSU was enough to make up for recent years' losses. He had something a bit more...permanent in mind. So when he heard about Cam's bid for freedom, he did a terrible, terrible thing, and there is now a reward out for his capture. He was last seen fleeing for the Pacific.

1. Edson the Eagle of the Colorado Rapids It started out innocently enough: Can't have a waterfall getting people amped up at games, so he was brought in. Eagles are great for all kinds of symbolism. But then, when the team added Marco Van Bison, then Jorge El Mapache and Franz the Fox, Edson couldn't take it anymore. He didn't want to play the sister-wife game with a bunch of stuffed woodland creatures, so he's planning to run away. Not permanently or anything, just enough to make people understand that he's hurting.

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Kiernan Maletsky is Westword's music editor. His writing has appeared in alt-weeklies around the country as well as Miley Cyrus's mom's Twitter feed.
Contact: Kiernan Maletsky