CSU’s 100-year-old cannon off to the beauty shop

CSU cannon
CSU's historic cannon Comatose was loaded for transport to Denver, where it will be refurbished.

CSU’s storied cannon is celebrating its 100th birthday by getting a facelift.

The 1918 French cannon – nicknamed Comatose – has been fired by members of CSU’s Army ROTC at Rams football games since 1920. But after 100 years in action – including a stint in World War II when it was recalled into service by the U.S. Army – the beloved howitzer was starting to show its age.

“I don’t think it has been sanded down to the metal in a long time, and the paint that had been used was starting to come off,” said Master Sgt. Wesley Gipson, an ROTC instructor who works with the cannon crew at CSU football games. “We’re going to get it back to where it’s supposed to be.”

Complete overhaul

The cannon was transported last week from the on-campus stadium to Mile High Powder Coating in Denver. It will be completely disassembled, stripped of all paint and powder coated before being reassembled.

The project is expected to take six to eight weeks.

A new home for Comatose

Comatose has spent the offseason exposed to the elements – most recently at Hughes Stadium and, starting last fall, the on-campus stadium – for decades. But once the 2018 season concludes the cannon will get a much warmer, drier home inside the Iris & Michael Smith Alumni Center.

“Firing the cannon is one of our oldest traditions, and it really means a lot to the campus and the ROTC program,” Gipson said. “It’s been firing for a long time, and it was due for this.”

You can help pay for the project by supporting the Cannon Tradition fund.