Comments about ‘Dick Harmon: Former Cougar/Ute dreams of returning respect to rivalry’

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Published: Monday, Nov. 22 2010 11:00 p.m. MST

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Aurora, CO

Thank you for the article. I have been seeing more objective stories this year as the game is approaching. I think both sides are seeing the need to show more sportsmanship towards each other.

We recognize that in a free society there will always be those who cross the line, but if a majority will stand up in defending good behavior the entire experience will be a positive experience.

The game is to be enjoyed whether your favorite team wins or loses. I have always enjoyed attending games at the Air Force Academy because the fans are hospitable. A win or loss would always end with the fans around our section congratulating each other and listening respectfully to the Air Force fight song.

I appreciate the efforts of Mr. Beckman and hope that this year the fans in the stands can be as respectful as the players on the field. Take a close look at the real players, the ones wearing the helmets, and see how they respect each other. As fans it seems like we could show the same respect for the opposing fans.

Make a difference with team spirit and not bad actions.

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 claims to represent 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.

Spanish Fork, UT

Right-on. Please, please, please make it happen. Somebody come forward. And may BYU win!

Syracuse, UT

Good article! I agree that things must stop. It really is getting to close to the edge of hatred with more and more people joining its ranks. I am a BYU fan and will cheer for the Ute's when they are not playing the Y. It all begins with each of us to make this a wonderful rivalry. The gathering at Thankgiving Point is a great idea and I for one would love to see it happen. With all the hate in the world we need to come together and show how humane we can be.

  • 6:48 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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Worland, WY


JJ Morales
Earlimart, CA

I place the overwhelming majority of the blame on the utah side. I would say about 20-25% of their fans will never be civil. Even at LES, it was yewt fans that caused trouble last year. I think utah needs to police its own fan base and then we can have a discussion about this topic.

To Dr. Norman Wright: You don't know what you are talking about. Legendary ND Head Coach Lou Holtz claimed he was never treated better than when he came to play BYU in Provo. The Game Day crew favors Provo over SLC. BYU is the best example of sportsmanship we have in the nation. You will never hear chants using the f-word at BYU, but you will at utah and other colleges. Please get your facts straight before posting absurd comments that simply aren't true.

Layton, UT

I once heard a story of, after the cougar faithful had been booing a call, Ernest Wilkinson, President of BYU stopping a Basketball game at the Smith Field house. He walked out on the floor, pointed to the home crowd and said, "there will be none of that at this university."
Maybe we should all heed President Wilkinson's call and be a little more civil this year.

  • 7:34 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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Farmington, UT

As a Utah State fan, I've always rooted for BYU and Utah and Weber when they were not playing the Aggies. And sometimes I've even rooted for BYU or Utah when they needed the win to get in the BCS or the NCAA basketball playoffs. Utah State students are known for being vocal and outrageous in the Spectrum, but I've never seen such rude behavior as I witnessed once when visiting watching Utah State at BYU four or five years ago while attending with a group of BYU and Utah State fans. Some of these fans would put their mouths to our ears and yell as loudly as they could. I realize that most BYU fans would condemn such behavior, and I think it's high time that both BYU and Utah emulate Notre Dame and expel fans for a minimum of one year for conduct that does not reflect the ideals of the school.

Bluffdale, UT

It wont start with the fans. Mr. Beckham has a plan that could work.
I went to South Bend to watch Utah/Notre Dame. Surprisingly I came away as a new Notre Dame fan.

Notre Dame is the shining light on the hill.
Flags of all their opponents fly in the stadium. The University of Utah flag flew higher on game day. Similar experience with Iowa State; after the game they applauded the Utah players!

The geographic closeness of the universities is not the problem. I grew up in L.A. as an UCLA fan. As big as the rivalry is in Southern California there is tremendous respect for both schools.

Alcohol is not the problem. The University of Utah has done a good job moving the drunken tailgaters to one corner of the campus. Most of those emotional midgets dont even make it to the game. (I wish I didnt have to walk by them.) I have NEVER seen alcohol in the stadium.

One big problem is the elitist attitude some BYU fans have over their little brothers. It sickens me. Change will only come from the top. Mr. Beckhams ideas can work.

Salt Lake City, UT

I am a University of Utah graduate and I am embarrassed to attend games there. It became an enviroment I did not want to take my family into because of the language, disrespect and assualts both physical and verbal that we personally had to endure there. Our most recent game there was TCU's visit three years ago. We did not go as fans of TCU yet we found ourselves in a mix of drunken, vulgar, and degrading behavior unworthy of any institution. I wish the U administration would see what they have done to their own alumni.
Now, it shames me to see that there are equally classless behaviors among some fans at the Y. Fortunately it is a minority but it is growing and needs to stop.
I have personally taken it as a challenge to approach fans of the visiting schools that attend LES and welcome them, help them if they have questions or problems and to thank them after the game for coming. If a change is to take place we have to do it as individuals. I for one will. Please join me so we can enjoy the game.

Salt Lake City, UT

Well said, however Dr. Wright has a rather narrow perspective with uncertain "facts" and tenuous conclusions. It would be well for each person to improve rather than pointing out how someone else should improve.

Uncle Rico
Sandy, UT

Secular schools want God out. The U of U students like to flaunt Godless behavior. BYU fans tend to be whiners. I want civility, until then, I have to agree with Max Hall.

Bluffdale, UT

I appreciate the comments aove by SLCWatch. I want to change my own comment too. One fan can make a diiference. I will join you.

Herriman, UT

Great article! I didn't realize how vicious rivalry fans were until I moved up to Salt Lake about 6 years ago from So Cal. I agree with other posters that a return to civility starts with leaders of both universities not tolerating disrespectful behavior. After that, the media has a great deal of influence on people's attitudes. I heard a local radio sports show yesterday, and the hosts were really fueling the flames of bad behavior (all for ratings I assume).

Richfield, Utah

The issue that has made this rivalry dirty has nothing to do with the players,(minus the occasional comment form either side, but that is nothing compared to stuff you see on cougar board or Ute fans) a good portion of them aren't even from Utah and before coming to either school they haven't even heard of this game.
The issue and what we usually hear about is the fans. If its pouring some substance on the parents of a player, or attacking a wife, both true or untrue.
We need to bring fans together for a better cause. For example, Two rivals in my area have been going at it for years, fans even hanging a sheep from a goalpost a few years back. last year they enacted a pink game to raise money for breast cancer. Everyone had the same shirt on that they made a donation for and you couldn't tell who was for who right off the bat. it made people realize that we're all just fans cheering for our teams, equal.
I suggest something like this rather than a lavish dinner that fans cant attend

  • 8:12 a.m. Nov. 23, 2010
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Spanish Fork, Utah

I would like to thank Mr. Beckham for his leadership. It is very refreshing to see all the positive feedback. I moved here 9 years ago. I was stationed all over the world and have never witnessed so much rude behavior, anger, insults, and just plan mean people over a football game. I stopped attending the game in one stadium because a fan from the opposing side chucked a plastic cup at my family as we departed early while shouting foul obscenities. Some in the media insight more madness. I strongly support moving behavior in a better direction. Everyone needs to do their part to improve this situation. We should not point fingers or place blame. The fans need to improve the behavior and set the example for the youth. Each and every fan can make a difference. I have always wonder why the School Presidents did not move on this sooner?

Salt Lake City, UT

The hatred that is now a part of this Rivalry will subside at about the same time Palestinians and Jews throw house warming parties for each other.

The Rivalry is simply a microcosm for what is happening in society at large. There is currently a polarizing of values and politics in society in general and the "majority" of students at these two schools fall on opposite sides of that "values-politics" spectrum. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but those exceptions are increasingly less significant.

Admit we disagree on some values (and probably never will agree again), but afford each other civil respect and even, gasp, wish each other well when we are not competing. Then, and only then, will behavior improve.

Until then, the Rivalry should END!!

Holladay, UT

Having graduated from both schools, I chose to cheer for the Utes when I was young. I however will cheer for all of the Utah schools whenever it they play outside competition. I have been dismayed by fans on both sides of this rivalry. For institutions of "Higher Learning" where tolerance and other virtues are preached it amazes me that such behaviour is tolerated by fans nearby the few cretins. I find that it often people lacking in personal control or have issues that they do not know how to channel into productive outcomes. I agree with several here that we need to have leadership push for change, but I also think that I as an individual need to make statements of respect. One person can make a difference. I will be flying both schools flags this Saturday. I hope for my team but I hope for both teams to win respect from the other.

Redmond, WA

I appreciate and laud Mr. Beckham's efforts, who is actually doing something and not just wringing his hands. But to equate the actions of BYU fans and Ute fans or to pretend that both are equally guilty of abhorrent actions is just plain false. And to focus on Max Hall's regrettable outburst while ignoring what precipitated it, and to mention the jostling of the Whittinghams while failing to note that the altercation was a resut of Ute fan actions, is dishonest.

BYU fans should in all instances be above the base actions decried in this article. Most BYU fans will be the first to admit that; we claim to be a unique and special university, so we (students and supporters) should act the part. But any honest observer knows that the actions of Ute "fans" are 90% of this problem.

Failing to state the obvious -- this problem is primarily a problem with Ute fans -- because you "don't want to point fingers" is absurd, along the lines of the high school principal who finds two students fighting and suspends them both, ignoring the fact that one of the students attacked the other, who was only defending himself.

Lehi, UT

JJ Morales, it is always the fault of someone else. If you numbers hold true, over 9,000 of the Utah fans that will be at the game on Saturday will be over the edge causing trouble. You also claim that all of the trouble at LES last year was caused by Utah fans. Were you even there. I was. I watched as a handful of BYU fans taunted the Utah cheerleaders in the NW corner of the end zone, nearly jumping onto the field in an effort to show their superiority.

As you stated, please get your facts straight before posting absurd comments that simply aren't true.

The truth of the matter is, a small % of fans from every school take things too far. They think for some silly reason that this is more than just a football game. Until EVERYONE is willing to look at themselves first, change will not happen. The blame game just adds fuel to the fire. Start with the guy in the mirror!

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