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gunn family blog » A Utah Man am I?

A Utah Man am I?

This is a long, sports related rambling – don’t read on if you don’t care about college football. (Yes Anissa, this means you)

The college football season is coming to an end. This has been an interesting season for me as a fan of college football. While I grew up a BYU fan through the Ty Detmer era and even enjoyed several seasons as the father of a season ticket holder and got to attend a fair share of games, what I remember most are the deflating bowl game losses like the Holiday Bowl Loss to A&M. Perhaps even more powerful are the memories of really bad traffic to and from Provo and it taking hours in the car to go to games. Back then we didn’t have iPods and DVD players to entertain us. It was just me, my brother, my dad and his Linda Rondstat tape.

In the years since I was a young BYU fan, I have lived outside of Utah for about eight years and since moved bak. This time away from the state distanced me from the rivalry that is BYU and Utah. Since I have not attended either University, I can’t really claim udder “fanhood” for either school. This year, above others, I have really felt the urge to align myself as a true fan of on of the two teams. Both were looking like they were going to have good seasons so rooting for either team would not be too dificult. whenthe season started, all signs would have pointed to the obvious choice being BYU. While BYU has a great program and is starting again to reemble the dominant teams of the 80’s and 90’s there is still that distance issue with BYU. How can I consider myself a true fan of a team that is a good hour away on any given day and about four hours away with traffic on a game day? How can I really be a fan when I really have no interest in taking a whole saturday just to travel to and from a game.

The decision became even cloudier when a friend of mine started inviting Jami and I to attend UofU games with them. We were about the only people that would go with them to watch a depleted Utah team play then 16th ranked UCLA. The things that stick out most from that experience were the ease in which we were able to get in and out of the stadium, The amazing Pizza at The Pie prior to the game, The loyalty of the fans despite the circumstances, The interaction of the fans with the other fans around them and dispite the stereotypes thrown out there the fans were very reasonable and fun to be with. Maybe it is different when the Utes are loosing but in this game they stunned UCLA with smashmouth football and it was literally like watching thousands of people fall in love with their team all over again. We also were invited to see Utah play Wyoming a little later in the season and again we watched them dominate their opponent in embarassing fashion. I’ll never forget when in the UCLA game the student section started chanting “Overrated”. The fans around us were very dissapointed and quickly did everything they could to stop the chant reminding everyone that chanting “overrated” only discounted the validity of Utah’s performance.

CollieReception.jpg

It was with this experience heavy on my mind that I entered “rivalry week”. I must admit that dispite all my experiences this season it is very hard for me to root against BYU. As the game rolled on I found myself rooting sporadically for both teams. I was excited for the Utes when Brian Johnson drove the Utes down the field in the fourth quarter to take the lead and at the same time I was dissapointed that BYU would drop from the national rankings. I found myself quietly smiling when it looked like the Utes would actually win after sacking Max Hall and leaving BYU with a fourth and 18th and then I admit I jumped with elation when Collie pulled in that the pass that left even Collie wondering if their was truly some sort of divine intervention. While many may mock me I must admit that I am quiet possibly the worlds best fence-sitter on this one. I have truley enjoyed attending UofU games this year and look forward to attending a few more next year. At the same time, the kid in me is still a BYU fan and I don’t know if I will ever truly be able to root against the Cougars.

2 Responses to “A Utah Man am I?”

  1. I got it!

    Go JAZZ!

  2. Hey now… I love football. I’m the commissioner of a fantasy football league that I put together, thank you very much! I just don’t write about it on my blog (cause I aint no nerd).