Doug Robinson: Former QB Steve Young is a life-long Utah fan

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 13 2011 10:00 p.m. MDT

The Steve Young family at a University of Utah game left to right: Scott, Barbie, Mikayla, Jessica, Brandon and Steve.

Steve Young family

SALT LAKE CITY— You don't know what it's like when you're a staunch Ute fan and long-time faithful member of the Crimson Club and owner of Ute season tickets — and your name is — Steve Young.

And you're a former quarterback.

And an attorney.

And a Mormon.

And you're married to a woman named Barbara, just like that other Steve Young.

And your brother is named Mike, just like what's-his-face.

And you're the great-great-great grandson of Brigham Young — yeah, like the Hall of Famer.

And your father is a former BYU athlete, just like you-know-who.

"I'll bet every day I end up in a conversation about Steve Young just because of my name," says the not-so-famous Steve Young.

During Rivalry Week, the questions and conversations escalate — and this is Rivalry Week. It's Utah vs. BYU on Saturday in Provo.

Fortunately, when people see Steve Young's face and not his name, they no longer mistake him for THE Steve Young.

They think he's Ty Detmer.

This leads to conversations such as this:

"Are you Ty Detmer?"

"No, I'm Steve Young."

Steve Young the Younger is a dead ringer for Detmer, but with the other guy's name.

He estimates that about three times a week, this exchange occurs: "Are you Steve Young the football player?"


At 43, Steve Young is six years younger than STEVE YOUNG. He first heard about Young when he was an all-state quarterback, safety and punter in Rexburg, Idaho. Actually, Steve Young aspired to be the next Steve Young, if you follow.

He redshirted for a year at Ricks College, served a church mission, played a year at Ricks as the team's punter and backup quarterback, then transferred to the University of Utah, where he was the Ute punter in 1991 and '92.

He was a good punter; unfortunately, he is remembered largely for his name and for a blunder he committed in a game against San Diego State. He ran onto the field, lined up to receive the snap and realized he had forgotten something: His helmet. He had been so excited to hear his teammates calling his name from the sideline — until he finally realized they had been trying to tell him something.

Young graduated from law school in 1996 — from the U., of course — which was two years after the other Young graduated from BYU's law school. Steve Young the Younger now works for the Holland & Hart law firm as a tax attorney and lobbyist.

His love affair with the Utes continues and has always been strong — well, except for his love affair with his wife, Barbara Gray — a BYU grad. She drank the Ute Kool-Aid, as it were, while her husband played for the Utes, but when he was finished with football, she "reverted," as Steve puts it, and resumed her old life as a BYU fan. Their oldest child is Mikayla, who is now a cheerleader — for BYU.

"I had to work, and she spent all day with my wife," says Young. "If I had been Mr. Mom, she'd be at the U."

Years ago, Steve and Barb were walking hand in hand up the Cougar Stadium bleachers prior to a BYU-Utah game, wearing their favorite school's sweatshirt — his was red, hers blue — when a lady pointed a finger at them and announced, "Your marriage will never last."

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