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Comments about ‘Rivalry shouldn't bring out the worst in fans’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 22 2010 11:34 p.m. MST

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Dennis
Harwich, MA

With BYU-UTAH it's pretty simple. BYU fans ask for it and Utah is willing to give it back.
Case in point - BYU fan tackling a Utah cheerleader.
Cheerleader puts a couple of straight rights on to his nose.
It'll be this way for 100's of years.

Dr. Norman Wright
Provo, UT

While I do not want to place the blame all on the BYU side, as a graduate of that school I would like to call for greater civility from those who support that institution. Notre Dame is often cited as a great example of sportsmanship. I had the privilege of seeing similar sportsmanship at California Lutheran in Thousand Oaks. While our team lost a hard fought battle that day, I have never felt better about a loss. Prior to the match, the school's code of conduct was read out loud and it was followed. There was no loud criticism of refs despite the inevitable difficult calls, our players were not mocked, and the applause as we left the pitch seemed generous and genuine. I wish that BYU which represents a group of Christians would institute such Christian policies. How about it Tom Holmoe? Will you lead the charge? It would, in my opinion, be the greatest legacy you could leave my alma mater.

  • 6:13 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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Smith9294
Lehi, UT

How can this guy say it's not the players or the coaches. Has he forgot Collie's idiotic claim that because he was attending BYU that he was living right and that God blessed him over the Utes who were obviously not living right. (forget the fact that more than half of Utah's team are LDS too).

Or how could he forget Max Hall's "I hate everything about the program, coaches, fans, players at the U" comment.

I do agree Norman. I went to the BYU v. Notre Dame game a few years ago and Notre Dame is one classy school.

downsouth
Summit, UT

refer to President Uchtdorf's priesthood session talk and follow his council.

netmaster
Farmington, UT

I salute Shakey Smithson of the Utes for coming to the defense of the Cougars when a San Diego State announcer falsely claimed that BYU players commonly uttered racial slurs on the field. That was an act of true sportsmanship.

I also salute fans who accept a referee's correct call even if it is against their team. Booing every call that goes against your team is a sign of stupidity and a lack of sportsmanship.

One reason I've enjoyed listening to Ron Boone over the years is that he stood up for the officials when they made a correct call. I've noticed that Matt Harpring often does the same thing.

We all should display good sportsmanship whenever our teams are playing their chief rival.

  • 7:53 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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Howard S.
Taylorsville, UT

Given their church affiliation, I've never understood why there isn't a concerted institutional effort at BYU to be the most gracious and sportsmanlike hosts in the country.

  • 8:12 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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Ted H.
Midvale, UT

smithy,

More self righteous behavior from up on the hill I see. What Collie said is no different than any athlete pointing to the heavens after he scores a touchdown, hits a home run, or makes a nice shot in basketball.

Do you throw a fit when those all happen too? Or just when it's byu?

Surely you've never met a yewt player or fan who professes his hate of all things byu right?

Again - self righteous holier than thou yewts.

Smith9294
Lehi, UT

Teddy,

I recall claiming that I was better than anyone. If anything you've shown how hyper-sensitive SOME BYU fans can be. Own up to it. Collie took the self-righteous shot at the Utes and what Hall said (I noticed you avoided that one altogether) makes him the poster child of poor-sportsman.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

Also in 2009, U. coach Kyle Whittingham's wife and son got into a brief scuffle with BYU fans.

They didn't get into the scuffle, it was the Y fans that jumped over and accosted them.

bradleyc
Layton, UT

LT,
Were you there? Did you see both sides? I am not defending I am just simply asking the questions. There are many times that I have been accosted at the U.... Just for wearing blue. Your one sided perspective is interesting but if you weren't there then you really shouldn't have much to say on the matter. If i remember correctly the perpetrator did have repercussions. I am sorry that this happened to Mrs Whittingham.

NotAnRorD
American Fork, UT

@Smith9294
Collie never mentioned his attending BYU, nor did he say he was blessed over the Utes. This is a perfect example of opposing fans imposing their opinion on the comments/actions of others. Louie Sakoda said the same thing as Collie after his game winning field goal several years ago against Oregon State. He said the wind was blowing all game long, then, just before his kick, the flags stopped blowing. He credited it to God. You can't attack one and not the other. Alex Smith and others have said very hateful things towards BYU prior to Max Hall's inexcusable rant. But nothing was mentioned of those. No one mentions that the Wittingham incident in Provo was instigated by their son damaging someone's camera for taking pictures of their players after the loss.
I hope we can all return to pre-Urban Meyer civility. I hope Y fans never use "Yewts", and U fans never copy OSU/Michigan by using "TDS", etc. When people insult and yell at 70 year-old family members, as I've personally seen, then everything needs to improve. Football truly is 5th at best in priority.

bobbymcghee
houston, texas

There was nothing wrong with Collie's comments. Everyday in sports, athletes give thanks to God believing that he blessed them to perform well. He didn't say "because he was at BYU" or "blessed over the Utes" or more than someone else. Too many people in this rivalry are too easily offended and are looking for offense. I believe when I am living right I am blessed at work and in life. That doesn't mean anyone I have success against is less righteous or doesn't deserve blessings or any other incorrect assumption.

  • 9:38 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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BlueCoug
Orem, UT

I'm a Utah grad and life-time BYU fan. I've attended most of the BYU-Utah games played at both stadiums during the last 30 years and I've seen sportsmanlike and boorish behavior by fans from both schools, but there's a certain hardcore element of Utah fans that has gone way over the top.

In 1990, while I was a student at Utah, I attended the BYU-Utah game, arrived early dressed in my BYU gear, and sat right in the middle of the student section. A few words were spoken, but my wife and I never felt threatened.

For "Harline is still open", I was sitting in the middle of the Crimson Club being heckled indirectly by one young Utah fan, but never felt threatened.

In 2008, I sat near the top of the East stands and had an obviously drunk Utah fan standing with his back to the field screaming obscenities at the BYU fans sitting behind him almost the entire game. He did physically assault an elderly BYU passing him on the stairs.

BlueCoug
Orem, UT

I didn't feel personally threatened by the drunk Utah fan, but it was uncomfortable.

LaVell Edwards and Ron McBride were fiercely competitive, but treated each other with respect, which was seen and emulated by the fans.

There is a very different feel to the atmosphere at RES now than even a decade ago. Part of that can be traced to Urban Meyers.

Urban with his "Team Down South" remarks and BYU logos in the urinals introduced an element of disrepect into the rivalry that didn't exist before, at least to the degree it does today.

Most Utah fans aren't like that, in fact, we had Utah fans around us at the 2008 game who were embarrassed and apologized for the boorish behavior of the drunk Utah fan.

I enjoy a good, spirited rivalry, but when fans become threatening and abusive toward opposing fans, the behavior has crossed the line from friendly to mean spirited.

It is, afterall, only a game; it's supposed to be fun.

I'll be at the game in RES again this year. Hopefully the classy Utah fans will speak up to help keep the boorish Utah fans under control.

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
Provo, UT

Smith

You took what Collie said out of context and directed at yourself like you are some kind of victim. He never said anything about Utah or that because he was at BYU "magic happens." Don't put meaning into Austin's comments that he didn't intend. Don't be so sensitive and look for reasons to be offended.

I think what Mike Middleton means is that players and coaches at the U hold nothing against Collie or Hall for the comments. Players at BYU don't hold it against Smith or Scallery for theirs. Players on both sides have said stupid things but if the players on the teams don't hold it against each other then why should we??

Its fans like you, on both sides, who hold on to stupid comments and use it as a reason to hate a group of people and treat them poorly. Again if the players can respect each other, why can't we?

Utes Fan
Salt Lake City, UT

Let's rise above this nonsense. The only way to make the rivalry more civil is to just control your own thoughts and actions. Who cares if Collie thinks that his righteous living made him more favorable to God? If you think that is nonsense, why does it offend you? Who cares if some Ute fan hates the LDS Church? If you are LDS and believe, some hater shouldn't affect your testimony - just ignore it.

There's a football game to be played and enjoyed. I won't let some fan who has a shallow life prevent me from having a fun time.

Go Utes!!!

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
Provo, UT

Liberal Ted,

Since I was there and saw what happened to the Wittangham's I'll tell you what happened. His wife and daughter were on the field after the game. His daughter was crying and an immature BYU fan took a picture of her with his cell phone. Someone tried to take the BYU fans phone away from him and a scuffle that lasted a couple seconds broke out when he refused to give up his phone. Someone elbowed Mrs Wittingham unintentionally. She was never a target and was not accosted as you claim.

What I still can't understand is why were they on the field immediately after the game while thousands of fans were trying to get onto the field? They had seats on the front row behind the Utah bench, why did they leave them?

I feel bad some stupid BYU fan thought it would be funny to take a picture of their crying daughter but I don't understand why they didn't stay in the stands where they were safe.

Utesforlife
Lehi, UT

Here we are reading comments about being more civil and the comments are all bashing. I will admit, I have joined the fun of trash talking. The fact is, both schools have loser fans and players. People do stupid things. Start with yourself and then ask others to change.

Go UTES!!!

Cougar in Texas
Houston, TX

Liberal Ted,
Y fans did not "jump" Mrs. Whittingham and her son. Please refer back to the news articles at the time.

In summary, a Y fan was supposedly taking pictures with his Blackberry of the dejected Utah players as they left the field. A member of the Utah sideline staff (some say it was one of Coach Whittingham's sons) apparently objected to this and grabbed the Y fan's Blackberry and either threw it into the stands, or pretended to. The Y fan and the Ute staffer got into a scuffle in proximity to Mrs. Whittingham, and she was inadvertently (even according to her) struck or tussled as part of the adjacent altercation.

Sorry to ruin your story; however, I've learned through the years that those who wish to believe outrageous stories about their rivals don't let the truth get in the way.

bobbymcghee
houston, texas

Liberal Ted,

As far as the scuffle with KWittingham's wife. A utah fan didn't like that a BYU fan was taking pictures of the win and so he threw his cell phone on the field. Look it up, there are police records and ksl reported it. Making up stories to support your point of view only perpetuates the bad blood.

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