Yesterday I had a post on my Facebook page about how I wanted much stronger gun laws, so today I thought I’d go with something on my blog that would be much less controversial. Much more . . . nah. Never mind. I want to talk briefly about the BYU/Utah rivalry. More specifically, I want to talk about how it needs to go away. Permanently.
When I was at the Y, the Utah games were always the biggest games of the year, of course. Fans and players alike got very hyped for them. There were some really fantastic games played, with come from behind victories and zaniness galore. I enjoyed going to them, and remember many of them quite vividly. And there are a slew I loved watching on TV. Why would I want that to end?
Because while there have been some great games, I don’t think it’s worth the vitriol and hate that ends up getting spewed by both sides of the rivalry. The BYU/Utah basketball game on Wednesday is a prime example, where you have a BYU player essentially sucker punch a Ute. I have no idea what was going on or being said on the court before that punch, but really it doesn’t matter. Any game (emphasis on game) that is making otherwise rational people behave like that is a sign that things have gone too far.
One of the reasons I think it got more heated Wednesday? For one thing, BYU hasn’t played the U in football, so the rivalry is reduced to this one game. Second, BYU was getting roasted by the U, so pride got involved. BYU has come under additional scrutiny this past year as we had a football brawl to end last year’s bowl, then had a football player appear to punch another player in the groin a few weeks ago, and had yet another football player appear to punch a guy on the other team this past week. Either this is a sign that BYU *really* wants a boxing program, or things need to get toned down a notch or five.
It’s sports. I get it. Tempers get heated. But the BYU/Utah games generally turn ugly off the field as well. I have family members who periodically break out in feuds over this sort of thing. It just isn’t worth it. (And this is speaking as a Yankee fan living in the middle of Red Sox nation. On a personal level, I have seen much, much more ugliness in the BYU/Utah rivalry than the Yankee/Red Sox one.)
So let’s just be done. Neither side “wins.” Neither side “loses.” I root for the U every time they play anyone but BYU. Why? Because I have family ties to the university, and I like seeing my family happy. These days, you read the comments of any article published on a BYU or Utah game in Utah, and the detractors of the other team show up in droves to make fun of their opponent and hurl all sorts of nonsense. People need to have something better to do with their lives.
That said, BYU is playing Utah again next year in football, so maybe this is all just a pipe dream. But a guy can always hope . . .