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Davison Cheney: The football players weren't the only ones sporting uplifting mantras on their shirts on Saturday

Published: Sunday, July 5 2015 9:31 p.m. MDT

Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman (2) celebrates a first half touchdown with his teammate during a game against Georgia Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2013. BYU players wore the words Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Cody Hoffman (2) celebrates a first half touchdown with his teammate during a game against Georgia Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2013. BYU players wore the words "Spirit," "Tradition" and "Honor" on their jerseys instead of last names on Saturday as part of homecoming. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

Out of all the guys who took the field during Brigham Young's defeat of Georgia Tech who were wearing team color #CFB-170C, NCAA Brigham Young University Blue, Spirit were definitely my favorite.

Spirit accounted for 86 yards, and he helped his team to 433 yards of total offense — most of it coming before halftime.

Another of the Spirits, one of the all-time favorites on my sophomore players from Pocatello, Idaho list, completed 16-of-20 passes for 226 yards in the first two quarters, and ran one in himself on his way to 65 yards rushing.

Honor, nicknamed "Stilts" in high school, didn’t get as many catches as he did last week against Utah State, but he took a bit of focus off of his teammate, Tradition, who, without the Yellow Jacket defense swarming all over him made an early grab to give BYU the first score.

Brigham Young Cougars running back Algernon Brown (24) and wide receiver Cody Hoffman (2) celebrate a Brown touchdown in the second half against Georgia Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2013.  (Matt Gade, Deseret News) Brigham Young Cougars running back Algernon Brown (24) and wide receiver Cody Hoffman (2) celebrate a Brown touchdown in the second half against Georgia Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2013. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

How nice to see one of many Honor men recover a fumble in the fourth quarter. He was back from a three game hiatus — having meet all the requirements of both school and team and wasn’t expected back for two more weeks.

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I could get used to BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall's idea of promoting his team ideals by embroidering them on the back of player jerseys for Saturday’s homecoming romp. It was truly affirming to experience the team’s commitment in such a whimsical way that reminded all of us of what the gentle men and women of Brigham Young University strive for in what can be a unprincipled world of collegiate sports.

It also makes for easier sports writing.

You could almost feel sorry for the national TV commentators on ESPN2, but only briefly. After a lengthy pause searching the media guide to match a name with a jersey number, one of them referred to a BYU player as “that guy” — as in “that guy” is almost as quick as “the other guy” — the one with the cleaner socks.

The BYU cheerleaders take to the field prior to the Cougars game against Georgia Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2013.  (Matt Gade, Deseret News) The BYU cheerleaders take to the field prior to the Cougars game against Georgia Tech at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Saturday, October 12, 2013. (Matt Gade, Deseret News)

The commentators, I'm happy to report, sported their own mantras during the game. On their pink and purple ties they wore the embroidered words "Sleepy", "Happy" and "Hair Gel."

(A quick plea to the networks broadcasting BYU games in the near future: Please pipe in Greg Wrubell. He doesn’t need as much hair product, can pronounce Polynesian names like no other and has a vocabulary.)

Speaking of pink. It was nice to see some of the guys supporting breast cancer awareness. At least, I thought that was the reason for the red-ish color. It might have been that both teams were re-using bandages due to the recent changes in health care.

The crowd was lively for LaVell Edwards Stadium. The cheerleaders, also wearing team color #CFB-170C in a rare show of color hue solidarity, adopted their own uplifting mantras for the homecoming game: "Fashion," "Flip’n Awesome" and "I heart missionaries."

While the alumni hadn’t really gotten together on their jerseys, they were divided into three categories as well: "Mini-van," "Escalade," and "I-got-these-tickets-as-an-award-for-bringing-10-new-guys-into-my-new multi-level-home-business."

The marching band and the award-winning Cougarettes, while not altering their uniforms, formed inspirational phrases during the halftime celebration as they marched and danced to a lively rendition of "The Food Storage Polka." Crowd favorites were: “Dang”, (referring to the Virginia game), "Oh, heck no," (in reference to the University of Utah game of which we will not speak), and “Hi, Mom,” (referring to a few of the folks that were picketing against creationism from the cordoned off protest zone on the eastern shore of Utah lake).

So how about that Tradition — aka Alani Fua — and his fourth-quarter pick six? He ripped a pass out of the air and ran it back 51 yards untouched, giving the Cougars a 31-13 lead with 11:01 remaining in the game.

I'd say he out Van Noy-ed linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

Algernon Brown capped off a fourth-quarter offensive drive with a 15-yard run as the Cougars took a 38-13 lead, making a statement of his own.

It's like I have always thought — at least since two weeks ago. There is a kind of greatness in this team.

G-r-e-a-t-n-e-s-s. It’s on the back of my shirt.

Davison Cheney wrote the Prodigal Dad series on KSL.com for several years. See his other writings at davisoncheneymegadad.blogspot.com & on Twitter @davisoncheney.

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