Friday, September 20, 2013
BYU vs. Utah: I Hate the Holy War More Each Day
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I don't hate the University of Utah. But I do strongly dislike "fans" of the University of Utah who hate BYU more than they like the University of Utah (and in my experience, that encompasses the majority of Ute "fans"). They are much more concerned with bashing BYU, the honor code, and the LDS Church than they are with cheering for the Utes. It seems like it's impossible for Utah fans to be civil (and that's true for a few BYU fans, too, but not nearly the percentage as it is with Utah), and that makes the rivalry not fun anymore. In fact, it never was much fun.
The last few weeks, some very strange things have been going on related to this football game that kicks off in a little over 24 hours.
First, a video emerged that apparently depicted a Utah football player with a towel over his head, pretending to baptize Utah linebacker Brian Blechen. I haven't seen the video, and I don't intend to watch it, but that's exhibit A of Utah's completely disrespectful attitude toward BYU. And then Kyle Whittingham made it even worse by saying no disciplinary action would be taken: "We have addressed this issue with our players. And although it was poor judgment on their part, there was absolutely no malice or disrespect intended towards any particular religion or rite."
What if the tables were turned and it was BYU players making fun of something that's sacred to the majority of Utah players and fans? Bronco would have suspended them and kicked them out of the university before you could say "Cosmo". But what does dear old Kyle do? Make excuses and brush it off. If there really wasn't any "malice or disrespect intended", then why did the guy have a towel over his head? He knew very well what he was doing and what the reaction would be, and he didn't want to take responsibility for it.
Then Spencer Hadley got suspended for 5 games. As usual, BYU didn't reveal the reasoning behind it (only saying it was an Honor Code violation), but the Deseret News reported late last night that it was because he was allegedly caught "partying in Vegas with [a] booster". Ok, that is a dumb move by Hadley, and he deserved to be suspended if that is what happened. However, the way the situation apparently came to light is what makes me angry.
Apparently a self-proclaimed "die hard Utah Utes fan" took photos and a video of the party Hadley attended and emailed them (mostly likely under a pseudonym because they haven't been able to figure out who this guy really is) to Utah’s assistant athletics director of compliance, who was then obligated to send it on to BYU. Really? REALLY? The intentions were obvious-- if this "fan" was just trying to be a good person and report a violation, he wouldn't have mentioned that he was a "die hard Utah Utes fan". That is exactly the kind of Utah "fan" I can't stand. You are so concerned about making BYU look bad that you decided to tattle-tale on one of their players? Are you still in freaking Kindergarten? And did he send it to BYU, the people who ultimately should have known about it? No, he sent it to Utah, proving that he wanted to make sure they knew about it first. Really? REALLY? I'm not upset that Hadley got caught,. What he did was wrong, and while I'm disappointed with the suspension, it's totally justified. I'm just upset with the WAY he got caught, and that it was because of someone who had absolutely no business whatsoever in the matter-- a Cougar-hater masquerading as a "Ute fan".
I hate to say it, but I saw a reader comment on one of the news articles I read this week (I think it was one about the mock baptism) that said, "Proving Max Hall right, one day at at time..." I've always believed Max was a little out of line, but man, this week has made me side with his infamous comments more than I ever have before. I don't hate all Ute fans, or "everything about them", but there definitely are some real *class acts* out there who make those Utah fans who actually are Utah fans (instead of BYU haters) and are capable of being civil and respectful fall into obscurity.
The game that will happen tomorrow is arguably the most important Holy War EVER, or at least in my memory. After this, they will take a 2-year hiatus, so the stakes are huge. Not only is it the last chance seniors like Kyle Van Noy and Cody Hoffman have to beat Utah, but it's also the last chance of everyone who's not a freshman -- including Taysom Hill, Jamaal Williams, Bronson Kaufusi, and pretty much the rest of the team.
Oh man, I've never meant this more than I do right now. BYU HAS TO WIN TOMORROW. I seriously don't know what I'm going to do if they lose. It's been 4 years since BYU won the Holy War, and it will be another 3 years before they get another shot at it, and by then, both teams will be completely different. I can't handle 3 years of Ute arrogance. However, I guess whatever happens, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I won't have to endure this stress again for at least 3 years.
I shall now begin my preparations to lock my doors, turn on the TV, and start praying . . . Heaven help us all.