Attention college football fans: do you live in Honolulu, Hawaii, or Laramie, Wyoming? Have you seen a trophy that looks like this?
If so, please contact the athletic departments at either Hawaii or Wyoming. That's the "Paniolo Trophy," created by a group of Hawaii fans with Wyoming roots in 1979, when the then-Rainbows-now-Warriors joined the WAC and began playing Wyoming on an annual basis. Informally known as "the Cowboy," the trophy was awarded to the winner of the Hawaii-Wyoming game for nearly 20 years until the WAC-Mountain West split in the late '90s.
With the Cowboys and Warriors due to be reunited under the MWC banner in 2012, the two teams would like to start playing for the Cowboy again.
There's just one little problem: no one knows where it is:
Wyoming, which won the last five meetings, was thought to have had it. But Wyoming associate athletic director Kevin McKinney said, "We have looked everywhere for it here and it is not to be found. (We) were talking about it and we seem to remember that it had been damaged and was in a shop over there for repairs."
But, McKinney added, "(we're) not totally sure about that."
Neither is UH, which said it has conducted its own search without success.
This is the sort of thing that has sometimes happened in the annals of college football. But usually it's back in the early 20th-century when 112-year-old equipment manager Adolphus Buttlifson got confused and threw the trophy in the river and put the dead cat in the trophy case, or something similar. Was it that hard to keep track of a heavy, sculpted cowboy used as an award for winning a college football game in 1997?
Apparently, it was. Since Hawaii seems committed to finding trophies for its resumed series (the "Kuter Trophy," given to the winner of the annual meetings between the Rainbows and Air Force, has been located and seems on its way to being returned to service), though, maybe "the Cowboy" will turn up.
To the pawn shops!