| March 18, 2018

Column: Waiting for compromise

August 17, 2017

Nasty. Inebriated.

Those were the colorful adjectives uttered by Boise State president Bob Kustra back in 2010.

The statement preluded Boise State and Idaho’s final meeting on the gridiron. The Broncos would be leaving the Western Athletic Conference for the Mountain West. Idaho would remain in the WAC before going independent and eventually joining the Sun Belt.

Kustra’s remarks referred to what he believed to be a poisoned culture in Moscow.

“It’s a culture that is nasty, inebriated and civilly doesn’t give our fans the respect that any fan should expect when visiting an away team,” Kustra said in an interview with the Idaho Stateman.

That was the last anybody ever saw of a Boise State – Idaho football rivalry, a loss that still hurts to this day.

Seven years later, the future looks bleak for the rebirth of that beloved rivalry. Some students may not even call it a rivalry at all, seeing as no main stream sport has seen a Bronco vs. Vandal matchup in a number of years.

The rivalry also seems to be dead on the basketball court, where the two haven’t met since 2014. In that last contest, the Broncos edged out the Vandals 86-75 in Boise. With Idaho’s schedule filled to the brim with Big Sky opponents, it also seems unlikely that fans will ever be treated to a game of hoops between the black and the blue.

Luckily, there are other sports that the two hated teams regularly compete in. Even though they might not be the most mainstream of athletic events, they still can tide fans over until that glorious day when the Broncos and Vandals meet once again on the turf.

One place fans of both camps can turn to is the other, more globally accepted, football: soccer.

The Vandals and Broncos have played each other yearly in soccer since 2014. Boise State currently holds the lead in this rather young series 2-1-1.

The Broncos gained an early 2-0 lead in the series, defeating the Vandals twice in 2014 and 2015.

Idaho caught its first glimpse of a victory a year later, beating Boise State 1-0.  The lone tie in the series came in a deadlocked 2016 spring season game, where neither team succeeded in scoring a goal.

In 2017, Idaho will look to even the score as the Broncos travel up to Moscow. The game will be the second Idaho game held at the Kibbie Dome, where the Vandals will play out all home games in 2017.

For now, soccer and less-watched sports like tennis and track may have to hold fans over until anyone with authority can give new life to this old rivalry. Needless to say, there will have to be cooperation between both schools and egos will have to be laid aside for the betterment of the competition. However, seeing how many memories were made for fans young and old during the golden days of Idaho vs. Boise State, saying there may be a chance doesn’t sound all that far-fetched after all.

Brandon Hill can be reached at arg-sports@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @brandonmtnhill

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