Update: According to the Lets Go DU Facebook page, the Denver Boone banner that went missing during the February 20 game between the University of Denver and Colorado College at Coors Field has been returned. Continue for our previous coverage.
On Saturday, the University of Denver and Colorado College played a historic outdoor hockey game at Coors Field.
And while DU came out on top, 4-1, the news coming out of the contest isn't entirely positive.
Boosters were victimized by disrespect to DU's unofficial mascot, Denver Boone, who was escorted out of the stadium, apparently for violating an obscure Coors Field policy.
And that's not to mention the disappearance of what Nick Temaroli, editor of the Lets Go DU sports blog, describes as a "Mega-Boone" banner.
Here's a look at it:
As Temaroli writes in a post headlined "The First 48 — No Time for Grief," "Mega-Boone is more than a ‘banner’ for athletic events.
"At the University of Kansas, they wave the wheat when the Jayhawks are going to win.The Iowa Hawkeyes do the Victory Polka (In Heaven There is no Beer) when they vanquish a foe. At DU, Mega-Boone signals the turning point when a Denver victory is all but assured. Yet, victory is certain to be less sweet for PioNation without Mega-Boone."
Why is Denver Boone DU's unofficial mascot?
Our Patricia Calhoun has documented the saga.
Here's an excerpt from an April 2013 article, "Denver Boone Is Dead. Long Live Denver Boone!"
Decades ago, the school commissioned a Walt Disney artist to create an image to go with the Pioneers name — and a goofy, bearded, coonskin-cap-wearing cartoon character named Denver Boone represented DU through Vietnam protests and school strikes, from 1968 all the way to the late '90s. But in 1998, DU administrators decided to do away with Boone after some students pointed out that the character was modeled after Daniel Boone and represented a way of life that had resulted in the death of thousands and the destruction of many Native American tribes. And so Boone was sent off alone into the wilderness, and a red-tailed hawk was brought in as a new mascot.
The hawk never flew, though, and a decade later, students and alumni petitioned to bring back Boone, citing the boost the mascot might give to school spirit. Chancellor Robert Coombe created a committee to examine the idea, and although it was rejected in 2008, DU administrators did agree that groups could continue to use the character's likeness as a "celebration of the past" to push events on campus. And Boone was back as an unofficial mascot, cheering at games; slurping down the Boone margarita at the Pioneer bar; inspiring the founding of Boone's, the restaurant on East Evans that just won our Best Green Chile award in the Best of Denver 2013; and even snagging a Readers' Choice award for Best Mascot in that same issue.
Nearly three years later, DU still lacks an official mascot.
But Denver Boone continues to be a presence at big games — and none has been bigger of late than the DU-CC match-up this weekend.
During the face-off, however, Denver Boone was bounced from the stadium.
Temaroli believes the reason has to do with a Coors Field rule against anyone attending with his or her face covered.
And while Colorado College's mascot, Prowler, was allowed to stay, Denver Boone was given the heave-ho, presumably because of his aforementioned "unofficial" status.
The Lets Go DU blog dramatized the contradiction with this graphic:
To compound the ignominy, the Mega-Boone banner went missing.
It was left unattended during the expulsion drama, and when DU reps returned to the scene, it was gone — and in a post earlier this morning, the Lets Go DU Facebook page made it clear the banner's whereabouts remain unknown.
That can't make Denver Boone lovers happy.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.