Boone: DU mascot's biggest online backer, LetsGoDU, pulls the plug

boonestick205.jpg
Lacrosse stick blessed by Boone.
Is it bye-bye for Boone? The once-official, now unofficial University of Denver mascot was all over the news at the end of May, when DU's lacrosse team made it to the semi-finals in Philadelphia and ESPN2 showed many closeups of the Disney-designed character adopted by the school in 1968, booted in 1998, then allowed back at games as an unofficial cheerleader in 2008. But the team lost, and now it looks like any efforts to revive Boone as a mascot are, too. Yesterday, LetsGoDU, the blog devoted to boosting DU and Boone, published its last entry.

Back in the '60s, a student in a buckskin suit played Boone at sporting events. After DU allowed Boone to reappear at sporting events five years ago, a supporter wearing a more sophisticated outfit played Boone -- and that costume got a lot of coverage during the lacrosse playoffs.

Ultimately, Boone backers collected 1,131 signatures in support of Boone -- but despite making every effort to resurrect Boone as the official university mascot, those efforts failed, LetsGoDU reports.

Here's the post that LetsGoDU founder Damien Goddard shared yesterday:

After eight years, 1.5 million visits, 5755 posts, 32,596 reader comments and countless laughs; LetsGoDU is ceasing operations today. LetsGoDU averaged 30 visits a day in 2005 to almost a thousand visits per day in recent years and its been a wonderful journey. We launched a mascot, built school spirit to unprecedented heights, covered many epic victories and more than a few heartbreaking DU losses. To those who supported DU through this Blog [du78 & many others] and helped PioNation fight the good fight, we say thank you. To the many DU students who shared our vision and supported school spirit and Boone, you helped change the culture at the University of Denver for the better. Like Boone, LetsGoDU is leaving on top.
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Boone captured by ESPN at the men's semi-finals.
In earlier posts, LetsGoDU had noted Boone's many appearances around Philadelpha before the game, then concluded that "Denver Boone's last game on Saturday [DU lost to Syracuse on May 25] was a success on all levels except for the final score of the lacrosse game."

Meanwhile, DU administrators are continuing with their campaign to come up with a new mascot, which the Undergraduate Student Government authorized in February. The process started with focus groups and other research work (which came in for criticism from Boone backers). According to Kevin Carroll, DU's chief marketing officer, the Mascot Steering Committee is still finishing up phase 2.5 of the project, which will be concluded next week. Here's the breakdown of the mascot-search project phases on the DU website:

PHASE 1, April 3-26: Exploratory Research and Concept Development
PHASE 2, April 28-May 7: Concept Refinement
PHASE 2.5, Mid-May to Mid-June: Imagery, Sketch and Story Refinement

As this process as developed we are recognizing the need to truly enrich the imagery and stories proposed more. Therefore further work will continue during this stage to bring on new artists, hold focused discussions of back stories, and determine the future of the Mascot Steering Committee.

PHASE 3, Mid-June: Quantitative Testing, Refinement and Recommendations
PHASE 4, Fall quarter 2013: "Evolution of DU's mascot" event

Just don't expect Boone to make an appearance at the evolution event. Goddard reports that the Boone costume that made so many appearances at DU sporting events -- not to mention a Harlem Shake video stunt last February -- "has arrived in Houston, where it will be cleaned, repaired and stored."

More from the Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Denver Boone is dead! Long live Denver Boone!"


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9 comments
lateeda
lateeda

This is SO fucking ridiculous!  I want to know who it is that is offended by Boone.  The administration keeps saying this, but I have yet to hear from those so offended.  So who is it and why do they have SO much power?

No more money from alumni!


NativePride
NativePride

I won’t miss the old racist who posted regularly on DG’s blog.

David Kotzebue
David Kotzebue

Should be Kit, as Boone never came anywhere near Denver.

BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@lateeda It's the Native American Student Association or something like that.  You know, the ones who get free tuition and job preference for something whitey did to their great-great-great grandparents?

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@lateeda Thanks for the post, lateeda. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Much appreciated.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@David Kotzebue Interesting point, David. Thanks.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@michael.roberts ... says the geographically challenged reporter who erroneously posts a pirated photo of Wisconsin's Capitol Building -- sans gold dome -- in lieu of Colorado's Capitol.

LOL!



BackOffImStarving
BackOffImStarving topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Well, show me a current Native American DU student who was given a blanket that was infected with smallpox, and I'll show you a white DU student who shoots Tatanka from horseback in order to trade the pelts/hide for whiskey on the prairie.  

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