Thursday, December 3, 2009

BYU vs. Utah (fans)

I went to the University of Utah but grew up a BYU fan. My dad's dad started taking me to games in Provo before I could reliably maintain clean underpants, so I guess you could say in a way I imprinted and really had no other choice. I actually don't even like Provo. I lived in an apartment down the street from Lavell Edwards Stadium for 6 months on a yearlong lease. That's as long as I could stand it there. Nothing personal against anyone who lives in Utah Valley, but you all seriously freak me out. Not that Salt Lake is much better, what with the overcompensating for the southern crazy. But at least from about Lehi north I can rent Saving Private Ryan and not get a lecture from a friend's girlfriend about how I should start heeding the word of the Lord because, like, seriously, I should know better.

Lifelong BYU fan. I get crap for it--"You graduated from the U but you're a BYU fan? What's wrong with you?!" Nothing is wrong with me. Okay, that's not true. Several things are wrong with me but I just looked at the list and that's not on it. But really, what are you suggesting? That everyone become a fan of whatever university they attended over the university they cheered for for their entire life? That seems unfair. That's kind of like me moving to New Jersey and becoming a Nets fan over the Jazz. Ouch. Isn't it enough that I'm moving to New Jersey?

So BYU beat Utah, and being that I'm one of those who can be legitimately both a Ute fan and a BYU fan at the same time (except when they play each other), I can see this thing from both sides. The rivalry got kind of ugly around this year's game. Five thoughts:

1. Max Hall is a mediocre quarterback. He excels against crap teams and folds against good teams. He made one excellent pass during the game last Saturday which essentially saved his career from being summarized forever as "how did THAT guy break Detmer's records?" accompanied by a dismayed shake of the head and that sound people make when they're disgusted or just voted a turd sandwich into the presidency.

2. Max Hall needs to think before he speaks. I'm not going to sit here and pretend that fans on both sides don't say awful, mean, ugly things about each other all the time. They do. Everyone does, except me. And we're going to demonize him for doing what everyone does? I don't think he lied; I'm sure Ute fans did some crappy stuff to his family. He may have exaggerated, but you can't honestly believe he made the whole thing up. The problem was that he vented about it a year after it happened, during an interview. He's allowed to vent and it's obvious he doesn't LITERALLY hate half the state since it's been scientifically proven that you can only hate 150 people at a time, but to do it when and where he did it was dumb.

3. Ute fans are paranoid*. Right now a bunch of them going ballistic about something that happened in the stands immediately after the game. Apparently a BYU fan was using his phone to take pictures of despondent, sobbing Ute fans and a certain Ute fan (rumors say Coach Whit's son) grabbed the phone and wouldn't return it. So people got punchy and Whit's wife got involved and ended up with a fat lip. So of course Ute fans get whipped up into a frenzy and start claiming that Whit's wife was viciously attacked and Ute fans were spit on and dogs were forced to fight each other and fair maidens were raped and so on. And then the same people that complained endlessly about Max Hall's comments take this incident to mean the entire BYU organization and its fans and Mormons are bullies and defilers of decency. But really, we don't have the facts. We don't know what actually happened. It looks like just an unfortunate incident with a few people losing their tempers and being stupid, and I'm fairly sure hardly anyone got raped. So maybe let's calm down. I'm just saying.

4. Ute fans are insecure*. Another group of Ute fans who can't stomach the loss are pretending that the loss was meaningless because BYU had a senior QB in Max Hall and a healthy backfield meanwhile Utah had a freshman QB and were missing their "star" RB Matt Asiata. So clearly if Utah had a senior QB and Asiata wasn't hurt, they would have won. Right? No. That's just idiotic. That's not how anything in the history of the world has ever worked, ever.

5. Ute fans are irritating*. Discontent that BYU fans don't come out of the womb with a degree of self-loathing that would bother Kurt Cobain, we're going to hear for the next year all about how BYU is going to get demolished next November because all the pieces will be in place. Fine. Talk about it when it happens. For now, shhhhhhhhhhhh. We're trying to enjoy our 3 out of the last 4 and a PG movie.

 * Not all of them, just the ones who do or are these things. Sadly, BYU fans are the same when they lose. And in Max Hall's case, when they win.

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