Am I not a Ute fan?

Me thinking about my place in Utedom

The last 18 months or so have been a fairly rough time for me as it relates to being a Ute fan.  Honestly, it has a times left me questioning if I have a place among this fan base.  And for my haters out there, no I’m not whining or threatening to leave or any other way you’ll interpret this to go off on me.  Just some thoughts I’ve been having for awhile and I think its time to get them out.

A good place to start is with the Utes name and the drum and feather.  Now I don’t have a problem with the Utes name really, but I think its time has come and gone.  Brad Rock and Gordon Monson have written both very good columns on reasons behind this, especially Rock.  I think the drum and feather is stupid and always have.  It is a rip off of the Redskin’s logo and the University did it because it was cheaper at the time than getting their own logo.  That is what high schools do.

But is it really a reason for vitriolic hatred?  Is it really reason to send me emails and tweets and post on message boards that I’m not a Ute fan.

I think the greatest question in my mind is for the bitter anger that people feel for Jim Boylen.  Boylen is extremely well thought of by nearly everyone in college and pro basketball, except by Utah high school coaches and Utah fans.  And what for exactly?

When Jim came to Utah he had a unique situation to deal with.  The APR was so low we were in danger of losing a scholarship.  So Jim couldn’t make wholesale changes, he had to play the hand he was dealt.  A hand that included several players that Ute fans claimed sucked and weren’t D-1 material.  Jim made them MWC champions.

Then somehow fans wanted him fired the next year.  Yeah he made some mistakes, but who the hell wants to fire a coach the year after he won a championship.  Especially a coach who lost almost all his scoring and rebounding.  Then he tries to fix the mistake and Ute fans are pissed about that.  Not to mention ignoring a shocking rash of injuries (Foster didn’t practice, Jay Watkins missed most of the year, JJ O’Brien missed half the year, Clyburn was hurt half the season and missed several games at the end) not to mention a personal tragedy for Jim and his family.

I don’t think Jim was ever going to be Rick Majerus.  Hell even I said I could deal with someone new if there was a clear plan and the coach was a clear upgrade.  But at worse Ute fans should have treated Jim Boylen like Lynn Archibald, a very nice guy who wasn’t a great head coach (although I’d argue this but that’s for another blog post).  Instead the hatred for him is just vile.  I think the worst of it is, the absolute lie being told about Jim telling players to leave.

Turns out many feel defending Jim Boylen makes you not a Ute fan.

Next if you point out some of the awful stupid idiotic things Larry has done since he became head coach, it makes you not a Ute fan.  Not working your ass off to keep talent in the program is inexcusable.  Running a guy like Dom Lee in August when you don’t have better options is inexcusable.  Even running Chris Kupets when you don’t have a better option is inexcusable.  These things aren’t on Jim they are Larry, but pointing them out makes you not a Ute fan.

Pointing out, that of the 973 things that got Utah into the Pac 12, 967 of them had nothing to do with Chris Hill makes you not a Ute fan.  Pointing out the idea that we had to let basketball die in order to get into the Pac-12 is really stupid makes you not a Ute fan.

I think Crazy Lady sucks.  This makes me not a Ute fan.

I suppose the whole point of this is, if you get told enough times that you’re not a Ute fan, it’s only human nature to wonder, maybe I’m not really a Ute fan.

I’m not really sure I have an answer here, but I know I’m at a crossroads and sometimes it helps just to write some things out to find an answer.

So thanks for listening.

Tags: Chris Hill Jim Boylen Larry Krystkowiak Utah Utes

  • Colt

    This drives me nuts when this mentality shows up in Ute fan circles. We’re not the school that discourages free thought and dissent, that is what Provo is for. It’s the same mentality that says if I question the leaders of our country I am no longer a “real” American.

    I am a Ute fan and part of being a fan is riding the highs and lows of the Utes and bitching/armchair quaterbacking them as much as I want/

    • Crimson

      Thanks for that, maybe I’m whining a bit, I don’t know, but its at least nice to see I’m not alone in sensing what I’m sensing.

  • Matt

    It upsets me to hear a fellow Ute fan feel this way. And trust when I say crimson is one of the biggest ute fans I know. I think as a fan its not only acceptable but our right to offer criticism or question decisions of our program. To then be called out from fellow fans for doing this is ridiculous. Part of the reason I no longer post on a certain Utefan message board is because I got tired of other posters pulling the “you’re not a fan card” every time I offered some constructive criticism. Crimson, as someone who knows you personally keep doing what you’re doing. Go Utes!

    • Crimson

      Thanks for the kind words, guys like you give me hope.

  • Patrick Sheltra (@100ThingsUtah)

    I offer my history with Crimmy as evidence that Ute fans can disagree and be friends.

    We had some real battles over Boylen in Year 3. Some real ugly shit between us that we tried to keep about U. hoops, but I know (on my end at least) that it spilled over into the personal. We have the benefit of hindsight to see we were both right and wrong on several issues. Not once since Jimmy was fired have I felt the need to neener-neener Crimmy. Why? Because I know eventually we’ll share the same views on things.

    The common denominator I see among Crimmy’s critics is the total and complete inability to do some independent thinking. To go out on a limb. To speak one’s mind. Another common denominator among them is the, “I told you so!” face-rubbing after the fact. It’s beyond juvenile to eat your own like that.

    Once you get over the hump and just flat-out ignore them, it’s much easier.

    • Bernie

      There are some additional common denominators among the critics. I find it unbelieveable that the man writes a “thinking” piece about all the criticisms he’s gotten for offenses he so readily adopts as his own. “Vitriole,” Check. “Bitter Anger.” Check. “Hatred.” Check, and on and on….
      You instigate these responses with your attacks, the distasteful photo captions and unsubstantiated “facts”. WHY? What is the prize? If youre gonna be a blogmeister, try some class in the act. It might serve you better than the constant jabs and nasty stuff. You are not changing the opinions or thinking of interested fans with this attack mode.

      • Crimson

        Really dude, this is just weird. You do get how embarrassing for both the program and your brother it would be if it went viral that he had a family member running around the internet attacking anyone who dare criticize coach Larry. We’d be a laughing stock. So seriously man just walk away. I’m actually asking you to do this for the good of the program. I’ll trade barbs with you all day, but it’s not going to be a good thing.

        If you want to know what bothers me about your brother it is that he did so very much wrong when he took this job, like he was in way WAY over his head. He took a 15 win roster and made it a five win roster whether or not it was because he couldn’t keep people or chose not to keep people. And the coaching was abysmal. He had guys fighting for jobs who just didn’t care. That is all worthy of being pissed about.

        But he’s done a couple of things right and if you’re an avid reader of my blog, which you really shouldn’t be, you’d notice I gave him credit for that.

        But Bernie, you are of course free to do whatever you want, but think about what would happen if one of the big blogs finds this out or God forbid it found its way to ESPN. Really dude.

  • The Moose’s Whistle

    I don’t think you’re any less of a Ute fan than myself, but I do know that you’re wrong in regards to Jim Boylen being a good coach. He wasn’t, and I think Coach Krystkowiak is a better Coach than Jim Boylen. That’s not to say that I think Dr. Chris Hill didn’t totally fuck up the Krystkowiak hire and there were far better candidates out there. I also wouldn’t put it past our Athletic Department to try to smear Jim Boylen to try to make themselves look better.

    The problem with Utah fans is that there are a lot of Utah Jazz fans within the fan base and Utah Jazz fans are notorious for being completely incapable of objective thought, and obnoxious and spazzy.