Cougar Kickoff Countdown: 53 Days

Douglas C. Pizac-US PRESSWIRE

Cosmo has been as much a part of BYU football and basketball as some of the players have been

Cosmo became involved with BYU football October 15, 1953 and has been a mainstay in the athletic department ever since. The idea came from pep chairman Dwayne Stevenson with his roommate Daniel T. Gallego to be the first to don the tawny costume. Why the name Cosmo? Because, as Gallego put it, "BYU is a very international, cosmopolitan school, and that is where we got the name Cosmo."

One time at a pep rally President Ernest Wilkinson wore the Cosmo costume unbeknownst to the crowd. Since there was no drop off in his performance, "when he took the mask off, everyone was shocked," said Gallego. Although Cougar fans love Cosmo, opposing teams' fans have been known to try to "skin the cat."

Brian Larney, Cosmo in 1981, talked about being the mascot at Wyoming, "In Wyoming, I had to walk around the entire game with my tail in my hand so someone wouldn't pull it off. On the other hand, I was protected from all the flying crowd debris by the cougar head."

In 2001, courtesy of the Brick Oven, a pizzeria in Provo, Utah, Cosmo got a serious upgrade with a new van dubbed the Cosmobile. It is fully equipped with a 1600-watt 12 speaker sound system, remote PA, a dance floor on the roof, a basketball hoop, fog machine, and lighting system.

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