After I perused the Daily Chronicle mistakenly inserted in the Deseret News recently, I was reminded that rivalries have very few positive outcomes. Rivalries desensitize, dehumanize and demean. Some fans take rivalries as license for hatred and prejudice; the opposing school becomes the faceless enemy with no redeeming value, unworthy of sympathy, compassion or concern. "Love thy neighbor" is null and void on the run-up to certain games.
Restraint is not a hallmark of rivalries. In fact, rivalries inspire behavior unchecked by self control, giving fans permission to perpetrate breathtakingly dumb pranks in the name of loyalty. Rivalry impairs judgment because it takes counsel from immaturity and assumes permission from a mistaken sense of personal and institutional righteousness.
It's too bad there aren't any laws on the books that would let the sheriff charge overzealous fans with multiple counts of gross stupidity because whether one wears red or blue on game day, stupid is as stupid does.
And I'm fairly sure that the recent issue of the Daily Chronicle didn't have its desired impact. It was more of an embarrassment for the University of Utah than an insult to BYU.
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