I love the “life lessons learned” as a participant in athletics. There are so many things one experiences when competing.
Handling the highs and lows, and moving forward. The value of teamwork and dedication, to name just a few. And, of course, the support of others who are dear to you, is so important.
And how about when It becomes, very literally, a family affair. Like when brothers play with brothers, or sisters play with sisters. It’s a deep connection with tradition and history when a son or daughter ends up playing where their father or mother played.
We have seen this wonderful show of tradition and sheer affection for the programs at the University of Wyoming for years. I just think it is so interesting, and a great show of respect, when a next-generation of Cowboys and Cowgirls end up representing Old U-Dub in competition. It’s the same feeling a Wyoming alum gets when a son or daughter attends UW. We see it in all sports at Wyoming, and it’s especially out front and a common occurrence for Wyoming football.
Just last season we enjoyed the senior year of an outstanding Cowboy linebacker, Ty Muma’s son, Chad Muma. Chad would go to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the third round of this year’s NFL Draft.
Cowboy Offensive Tackle, Frank Crum, returns this season for the Cowboys. Frank is a third-generation Wyoming Cowboy. Father Gary and grandfather Earl both wore the Brown and Gold. Jack Walsh, the son of former Cowboy, John Walsh, will suit up for the Pokes this season. Nic Talich enters his first season for the Pokes, the redshirt-freshman linebacker carries on the Talich name. Cory Talich and Jim Talich were outstanding Wyoming linebackers a generation ago.
Many seasons ago, when I first went into the Wyoming Radio Network broadcast booth, a Cowboy linebacker by the name of Tim Gosar was making plays for the Pokes. Gosar was a Pinedale native, a junior that year, and would play his senior season in 1985. The very next season Tim’s younger brother, Gaston, would become a Cowboy, and the next season, in 1987, Pete Gosar would become a Wyoming football player.
Tim was the first of three Gosar brothers to play for the Cowboys. Gaston and Pete would play together on the same Cowboy football teams for two years. It was back then when the Gosars performed so well for the Cowboys, and Pinedale became “Linebacker City”.
About that same time, in the mid-1980’s, the Earl brothers, Craig and Sam, from Rawlins were playing for the Cowboys. Jim and Marty Eliopulos, brothers from Cheyenne, were Cowboy linebackers in the 1980s Jim and Marty’s Dad, Alex, wrestled at Wyoming.
About a decade later, right at the turn of the century and the new millennium, a pair of Wyoming locals, who happened to be brothers, were playing Cowboy football together. They, like the Gosar brothers, played the same position. The two brothers from Wheatland played quarterback, and played it well.
First came Casey in the year 2000. His younger brother, Corey, would letter for the Pokes in 2002, and would serve as Casey’s back-up for two seasons.
And a Bramlet would hold down the starting quarterback job through the 2005 season. Casey and Corey Bramlet would both be named “captains” their junior and senior seasons. Casey Bramlet still holds Cowboy career passing records for yards, attempts, and completions. He threw for 9,684 yards, was a sixth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2004 NFL Draft and would play four seasons in the NFL with the Bengals, the Atlanta Falcons and the Miami Dolphins.
Of course, this display of tradition and loyalty within families has been going on for as long as Cowboy Football has been played. The renowned Simpson family has been represented. Father Milward Simpson was a senior on the Cowboy Football team in 1920. The former Wyoming governor’s son, Alan, lettered for the Pokes in 1952.
Over the years there has been a so-called “passing of the torch” by many. I suppose it’s somewhat natural to become a fan as a youngster of the school and team that your mother or father or sister or brother attended and played for. And it’s very natural to want to compete for the Cowboys and Cowgirls if your mom or dad or sister or brother did.
It’s very much a team effort, a family effort, when it comes to carrying on the family name in the Brown and Gold.