Comments about ‘Collie calls reaction to his post-game comments 'ridiculous'’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 27 2007 12:00 a.m. MST

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I love football. I have seen hundreds of games in my lifetime. I have watched players make the sign of a cross after a good play, kneel in the end zone to thank God after a touchdown, and even pray in huddles. No one comments on these actions, nor was Coach Dungy maligned when he stated after the Super Bowl that he was a Christian. In fact, he was praised. Why is there such a controversy now that one player mentioned God in an emtional interview after winning a hard fought and exciting game? The media has proclaimed the BYU-Utah game a "holy war." It seems expected that God should be mentioned. Religion is a part of who Austin Collie is and he spoke from his heart. He did not claim that God favors BYU or made Utah lose. Please don't try to create a controversy where none exists. (A middle-aged female sports fan)


As a rabid college football fan for more than four decades I have seen literally hundreds of college football players give thanks to a higher power. Usually this happens after a touchdown, or a great defensive play, or verbally in post game interviews.

I have seen moments of silence, taking a knee and bowing a head in prayer (both individually and in groups), making the sign of the cross, kissing crosses (Saint Christopher Medals, and assorted other religous objects), and verbally thanking Jesus on national TV.

I think Austin makes a valid observation. Why is this ok from an african american athlete from the SEC or BIG 12 but not from a european american from Provo?

One additional observation in over four decades as a cougar fan I have noticed that the only people that ever really complain about this are from three western universitys that have four letter names that begin with a "U".

Me to

Freedom of speech. Listen to some of the interviews on sports shows and them see if this kid should be treated any different for what he said. God has played a role in my life but I don't get a chance to say it and I certainly would if I could. Sorenson==jet a life.


Seems to me that some people were just way too eager to point the finger and scream self-righteous. The reaction to his comments have been completely irrational.

Religous Bigotry

The fact is that if Collie was a baptist, or a Catholic, or anything except LDS, at any school but BYU, this would not even have been reported. The fact that he's a white LDS kid somehow makes this a story. That's religious bigotry & it's silly. Be offended if you want - if you are, then you prove your own closed-minded ignorance. This type of thing is said all the time in sports and entertainment. If I'm wrong, then each of those statements needs to cause multiple-story fervor and be met with all kinds of righteous indignation. Totally a double standard here.

Sour Grapes

We know that God does not control the outcome of games. Why would He? People can be rewarded/blessed for faith or obedience.


Austin Collie and Anonymous are to be commended for their incisive reprimands of the KUTV sports staff and Deseret News columnist Mike Sorensen, et al, for their ludicrous commentary on Collie's totally innocent and harmless remarks. It is truly amazing what excesses these media folks will stoop to. Bravo! Austin and Anon, for putting them in their place.

Test us...

Let's see how many people 'have a life' and can refrain from continuing to diss a young 20 year old man. The D News was wrong to have a follow up story. Let it die, people.

For the record, I grew up in SLC and heard this kind of philosophy many times from all sorts of people - applied to ALL KINDS of stranger events, so this is not just a BYU kind of thing. Having lived outside Utah for 30 years and now outside the US, I hear it just as much. If you have never attributed ANYTHING to the 'hand of God', go ahead and cast stones at Collie.

BYU non Mormon FAN

Now that I was able to read the entire quote, the guy who wrote the column put it out of proportion. The game was awesome;either Sorensen was emotional, maybe he forgot to be objective, maybe he should learn from 99% of the Utes fans.


I agree with Anonymous. Had not Collie been a Mormon from BYU, it is likely that he would have been praised for his religious ferver. I think one of the problems we have these days is that many comentators believe that "controversy sells" and if there is no conflict they seek to creat conflict in the minds of their audience for their own selfish purposes. Also, society in general seems to be more focused on finding fault with each other than in seeing value in each other. This is a sad state of affairs. (An 80 year old alumnus of both BYU and Utah)


I agree with Anonymous. Those that have made such a big deal of this, needs to get a life.

Army Guy

Collie's right--any other school's athletes have free reign on thanking God, claiming divine intervention, or otherwise acknowledging deity. But if a BYU player says something, it's suddenly labeled "holier-than-thou." Come on people, this is ridiculous. Good for Collie for giving credit where credit is due. Did God want BYU to win? Who cares! That's not what Collie (nor any other athlete for that matter) was saying. But did God help Collie get to where he is today in terms of talent and preparation? Collie has every right to believe so, and to express it as he wishes. This is an invented controversy by some BYU-hating hacks with nothing better to do. I'm behind you Austin--and that's something nobody in Utah's secondary can say...

SJ Bobkins

If Collie had crossed himself, or pointed skyward with his single index finger or stated: "I have God to thank for the victory, no one would have said word one. Since this is "The Official Year to BASH Mormons" anything goes when a Mormon acts in the same way as someone from another faith.
I've heard 10,000 winning athletes credit God or Jesus for making it all happen, teams praying for God's help to win, batters crossing themselves so God will give them the ability to hot one off the pitcher. At least 1000 times I've seen players point to the sky and say "give God the credit" (for the win)
I wonder why God didn't like the losers as much, or why a person bumped off a plane which later crashes thanks God for saving his life. Why didn't God insure that all the passengers were bumped? Why did he save this man's life or help a losing team win.
I do think God blesses those who do what he asks, but I have no idea if that goes for football. If Collie was Catholic, nothing would be said.
Let it go, leave Mormons alone!


I am a happy faithful member of the LDS faith and a returned missionary, and I have the upmost respect for BYU as an institution! BUT yes his comments were silly and uneeded. His comments suggest that Heavenly Father loves BYU and helped them convert on 4th down! Does any one in their right mind think that Heavenly Father has a favorite football team that he guides and directs?? Yikes! Unfortuanatly he embarassed the Church and made us look like a bunch of higher than thou saints. Yes I am a Ute fan, but I am also a happy member of the LDS faith and just cringe when I hear BYU fans say these things, I have to end up explaining for days to those around me that we really dont think that! BYU deserved to win because Max hall made a great play with the game on the line, not because the Lord pulled some strings from above. Please stop and think people!

Washington BYU Fan

Anonymous is 100% right. And to touch on what Collie said, how many times do we see athletes in interviews that are not LDS that say practically the same thing. The say how blessed they have been, and how the Lord helped them. You hear it all the time.

Anonymous 2

These reporters are pathetic and ridiculous. They really do need to get a life. They are always trying to make something out of nothing. People see right through it and it is getting really old.


What is unfortunate is that Collie doesn't get it. Even after given the opportunity to clarify, he is still clueless. Very unfortunate and very embarrassing for BYU fans.


no where did Collie say that God favors one team over another. Thanks to the media and for the internet forum pundits for blowing this way out of proportion.


How many times do you hear guys like T.O. say "Thanks to God" and it is like he is a hero. Many athletes thank their creator for their skills, talents and blessings related to sports, health and family. Collie did not say that BYU is God's school and that the U is evil, he simply stated that if you work hard and do your best, then you will be blessed. Be happy that Collie is humble enough to thank God, afterall, he could have caught the ball and danced around and get a penalty for unsportman-like conduct and lose the game... Oh wait, that's been done before... thanks Steve Smith for putting a little distance between the uprights and your kicker.


These plays are a combination of sheer luck and skilled players involved. I don't know how God is involved? He has bigger things to worry about rather than a trivial play ... a nanosecond of His time to drop a blessing or two to accomplish an impossible feat like breaking record for a number of TDs?

We can always give thanks to our God for health and such but to use Him in your trivial sports feat, please be careful how you use Him because the opinion is baised and one-sided ego-centric religious attitude isn't something that would reflect His example of tolerance of our diversity in our communities abroad.

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