His desk is adorned with enough Boise State gear to make football coach Bryan Harsin envious. His truck has custom Broncos’ metal work on it. And on Matt Durham himself, his love of the team could not be more clear.
Durham, 42, is a Treasure Valley native. Soon after Harsin began his tenure three years ago, Durham was entering a new phase of his life after a divorce. He wanted to do something he’d always wanted to, but just never quite took the leap.
“I always wanted to get a tattoo, so two weeks after my divorce, I walked into a shop here in Caldwell,” Durham said. “I wanted to get something with Boise State, and there were a lot of ideas I had related to that.”
This was no ordinary tattoo. As far as leaps go, this was headfirst into the deep end.
All those different things Durham wanted on a tattoo, he got them all. A sleeve on his right arm from his shoulder to the elbow features the blue turf as the backdrop. Also on it are the Boise State “B” logo, the horse head logo, a Nike football, a white helmet, the Hammer and two of Harsin’s favorite phrases: “Relentless” and “ATF (Attack The Future).”
“It’s not simple, but I figured I might as well go big,” Durham said.
To complete it, Durham sat under the needle for four, three-hour sessions. It cost approximately $1,400. He also is contemplating another, recreating a photo of a pair of A-10 military jets flying over then-Bronco Stadium in 2010.
“What can I say? I literally bleed blue,” Durham said.
Durham’s ink is not the only display of full fan commitment.
Kristi Berringer-Edwards got this tattoo of the Boise State logo on her wrist during the 2008 season opener, which was quarterback Kellen Moore’s debut. She was watching the game at the parlor in Jackson Hole, Wyo., where she lived at the time.
“I never missed watching a BSU game, even living in Wyoming,” she said. “I even visited Idaho and attended a few live games on the blue turf just to watch him play. He was the reason and inspiration for this piece.”
Bret Hansen’s is certainly unique. He had seen a similar tattoo of a ninja with a different school’s logo, but thought getting one with the Broncos’ logo was what he was looking for. The 35-year-old from Nampa said it took four hours to complete when he got it in 2013.
“I wanted something you don’t see often and it’s definitely one that people have not seen,” Hansen said. “When I start talking to people and they see my arm, they ask, ‘Is that a BSU ninja? I have never seen that before.’ Also, ninjas always win the fights, just like how our Boise State Broncos do: They win.”
Justin Rasmusen is a longtime Boise State fan who lives in Salt Lake City. He said he got a BSU tattoo on his calf last year when he was in town for a Boise State scrimmage.
On game days, Jared Casperson is more like Anakin Skywalker, save for the Boise State tattoo on his left arm. He is known as Bronco Vader, one of the most noticeable fans at Albertsons Stadium. He started dressing up that way for games in 2011. A few years ago, he thought to himself, “Why don’t I get a BSU tattoo?” So, he designed it himself, including the lettering, and got it done.
“I know it’s not one of the better ones but at least I can say I have my own work tattooed on me,” he said.