My BYU Rant – 6 days late… cause that’s just how much I care.
Earlier this summer, I was at Logan International Airport in Boston. I was sporting Ute gear as I always do in airports – because I know one day, some 6-10 PF with NBA 3-point range and a 41 inch vertical will see me and think it’s a sign from Heaven above as to where he should commit. As I waited for our plane to board, a young and not unattractive woman approached me and said, “Oh, no, a Ute shirt. Look, if my husband says anything to you, please don’t get into an argument with him. I don’t need him to be all agitated and hyper on a 5 hour flight back to Salt Lake.”
So the challenge was thrown down. I had learned several years ago that it’s pointless to get into arguments with BYU fans. It’s impossible to win an argument with someone who is allowed, through some divinely appointed right, to make up “facts” and change them mid-stream if so required. But I was bored, so I figured some play time might be healthy and slightly entertaining.
About 3 minutes later, a young man looking to be in his late 20’s emerged from the men’s room with a toddler and diaper bag in tow. He stood about an even 6 feet. He was slim, clean shaven; with short hair and a bald patch just beginning to take form on the crown of his head. He sat across from me, and started in right away:
Zoob: Why would you wear a hideous shirt like that.
Me: (not looking up from my Kindle) It brings out the highlights in my eyes.
Zoob: (Staring at my eyes as if trying to validate my claim. Once satisfied, he continued) How could anyone cheer for THAT awful school, though?
Me: Well, I live in Salt Lake and love college football. Who should I cheer for?
Zoob: Duh, BYU of course.
Me: Never heard of it.
Zoob: Oh, ha ha. You’ve never heard of your arch rival?
Me: Colorado’s our rival.
Zoob: BYU is your rival.
Me: B-I-U, you say?
Zoob: (getting louder) – B-YYYYYYYYYYYYYYY-U
Me: B-Y-U???…..Oh, the Boulder Yuppie Underground. Wow, I haven’t heard the blunt smoking Greeks at CU referred to as that since 86. That’s old school, I like it.
Zoob: We’re not in Colorado! Come on….we play each other in like 3 weeks.
Me: Yeah, I don’t really keep track of every mid-major on our schedule.
Zoob: We’re NOT Mid-major. We’re on ESPN like every week.
Me: Oh, you’re a Boise State fan. Do they really spell ‘State’ with a Y up there? I knew the academics were bad but….
Zoob: No, BYU – in Provo.
Me: I thought that was Utah Valley Community College or something like that. I don’t know. Anything south of 106th South kind of creeps me out. When did they get a football team? I don’t see any of our recruits coming from there.
Zoob: It’s Utah Valley University. Trust me. My degree’s from there.
Me: How do you get B-I-Y or whatever from Utah Valley University?
Zoob: B-Y-U – Brigham Young University!
Me: Yeah, I really don’t think that’s a thing.
Zoob: Errrrrrg, (To his wife who is beet red trying to keep from laughing) Michelle, tell this guy BYU’s a thing.
Me: Sir, I don’t see any woman sitting over there. Are you sure you’re feeling OK?
At this point, the wife couldn’t take it anymore and broke out in hysterics. He shook his head, looked at me with an, “OK, you got me” look and never uttered another word to me.
So, as it turns out, the new “Steve Young is Gay” that I used to use to rile folks up is now questioning not only their relevance, but their very existence. It should at least buy me a little more private time at Church.
OK, so on to the game. There’s not much to say. I predicted that neither team would be able to run on the other, and that was sadly true.
I predicted that the winner would be whoever could pull out the most explosive plays (>30 yards), and change field position. Utah had 2, BYU had 1….of course it’s BYU’s 1 play that Coug fans and the local media remember and use as evidence that BYU was clearly the better team but just beat themselves……but I digress.
I predicted that the loser would be the one who scored for the other team the most. Both teams tried desperately to do that very thing with horrific special teams play, but BYU got the upper hand in also turning the ball over.
Say what you will about the ridiculous ending, BYU squandering 3 opportunities, and the Ute fans over exuberance spoiling future victory celebrations against actual good teams. But Utah had a clear talent advantage despite not having 3 All-PAC12 candidates in the line-up. I know BYU fans can’t see it, but when their skill guys can’t beat our D-Linemen to the edge at any point in the game, there’s a noticeable speed gap. When their DB’s can’t cover Ute receivers deep even in a 2-Deep all game, that’s a talent gap. When I’m still liking our chances in OT because no matter how awful our kicker is, he’s better than theirs….well, you get the point. Like it or not, the gap is just getting bigger and bigger.
Once again, the O-Line underwhelmed me in the run game. The one play that really stuck out was in the 3rd Quarter when the Utes were putting together a decent drive. On a 3rd down and short(ish), a huge hole opened up on the right side of the line. Lucky Radly, cut and hit the hole and looked to have what was going to be an easy first down if not a touchdown – that’s how big the hole was. However, once he cut, all I saw was Vyncent Jones – Lucky’s own LG – flying horizontally through the air and delivering a High Cross Body that would make Ricky the Dragon Steamboat proud. That was the epitome of our O-Line play….and that’s about all I’ve got to say about that.
But no matter how you break the game down, it really just came down to one thing. In the 2nd Quarter, Star Lotuleilei decided that he didn’t want to lose the game. All of the forces of the Universe conspired against him – including his own special teams and fans – but Star basically just went ahead and beat the Universe.
So I’m ready to move on and get into PAC-12 Play. I’m just ready to feel some passion again. To you BYU fans I’m sorry it’s over, but I’m just not feeling it anymore. if it truly turns out that BYU actually is a thing, and you do exist, good luck and I hope you have a good remainder of the season….or don’t, I don’t care.