Comments about ‘Letter to the editor: I'm appalled and embarrassed by the fair-weather fans at BYU’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 26 2012 2:05 p.m. MST

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Provo, UT

OK, BYU fans. Take a collective breath and relax a moment. We have two sharply divided camps here:

1. Those that feel that no negative word should ever be uttered about a coach or player - particularly if that coach is not LDS for fear that criticism means we won’t get any good coaches in the future. Trust me, other fan bases criticize their coaches.. Anybody who coaches but is sensitive to outside criticism doesn't stay in the business long.

2. Some people seem to feel anything short of running Bronco, Doman and Webber out of town on a rail covered with tar is insufficient. I will answer one series of rhetorical questions posted above: a) Which coach botched the snap vs. Utah? B) Which coach threw a picksix vs Boise? C) Which coach missed the receiver vs. ND? I'm sure it was a player. I've seen Payton Manning throw picksixes and miss receivers. Surely a college player doing so is not unknown. Especially a player of modest talents. But on the balance, including bowl game, did Jimmy Football do any better than Gritty Riley? In a word, NO.


Provo, UT


Yes, fans are entitled to expect a good performance. But I don’t know what would justify delusional expectations, such as a 12-1 or 13-1 season. Now I would object that people that talk that way embarrass me – and I guarantee I have followed BYU football longer than the Attila has been alive. We did not have a great season, but it was not a disaster. If Lark were that much better, he would have played. Lighting it up against NMSU proves nothing. SDSU showed the real Lark, who may have been marginally better than Riley but not enough to throw that baby out with the bathwater.
Next year we have a new season – hopefully more satisfying. If the AD decides to make changes, so be it. I don’t think any of us want victories any more than he does, Meanwhile, as much as I hope they win every game, any losses will not diminish my self-image, satisfaction in life or my passion as a BYU fan.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

The only time we loose is when the refs hate us or we beat ourselfs. We're usually the best team and best coach in the USA.

St. George, UT

I've been following BYU football since 1965 where I attended the Y and was a member of the track team. I can't say I've always been a ticket holder, since I was in Alaska and California for many of those years, but I followed them one way or the other.

There are too many fair-weather fans. You don't always have a great season. And, many times it is not the coach that is at fault. If you get tons of injuries, have a young team, or just have players that are not as good as others, then what can the coach do?

Sure, the quarterback situation was disappointing but if we had an all-american QB then there wouldn't be such a decision to make. When you have several guys that are not doing well, any way you decide is not going to be opportune.

We all need to help in recruiting every good LDS kid or every good kid to make us better.

Magna, UT

Perception is reality

I think Mr. Anderson is within his right to write what he did but I don't buy into all that he said. I have always given the the coaches the benefit of the doubt and still do for the most part but as a business owner, I have to correct my project managers, superintendents and foremen who are extraordinary professionals from time to time and hold them accountable for the performance on the job and the quality of the finished product. They do make choices that affect the outcome of the job in quality, on time delivery and profits or losses.

I have a right to be discriminating in my business and my owner/clients have the right to be discriminating with me.

I think Coach Mendenhall made some major mistakes by letting Jake Heaps get away. I think he made some very poor choices to continue to play Riley Nelson when he was so badly hurt which in my estimation cost us games.

This is my perception and also my reality.

Cottonwood Heights, UT

It's interesting that with all the coug-on-coug crime going on here that Ducky, the self-proclaimed "real" "fan", still has to take a shot at the Utes--something everyone else managed to avoid.

That doesn't sound like a "real" coug fan to me. LOL, indeed!!

Salt Lake City, UT

Reading these makes me laugh.

BYU will never be a top 10 program. They aren't even seen as a top 20 program to those outside of Utah. And Utah is heading the wrong way also (not bowl eligible and having to play Stanford and Oregon this year -2 more losses)....

People need to get real. BYU is a 35 th ranked team, and is getting harder. What gives all if you BYU fans the right to act like you are so good? Then complain like crazy when u don't win? You aren't the SEC or PAC12 Champs....or been in a BCS game for heavens sakes. You are, sorry as I like BYu, irrelevant in the National picture.

If the non educated football fan base would understand this, and cheer when BYu has a magical year, it would be great. But the year after year (and will be worse next year) complaining is getting old.

Mesa, AZ

"their lack of true support for a team they supposedly sustain!"

Uh....no. AS much as I love BYU, I "sustain" church leaders, but not any sports team, BYU or not. I think worlds are colliding Mr. Anderson!

Spanish Fork, UT

Accountability: something Bronco demands out of his coaches and players but something he doesn't owe to fans because, in Bronco's opinion, fans are ignorant pharisees.

Worse than fair-weather fans are fans who give blind obedience when the performance record is, at best, spotty. They've never learned that if you keep doing a thing over and over you're stuck with the mediocre results. Losing to a bad Utah team and to SJSU is poor.

Y Ask Y
Provo, UT

Mr. Anderson seems to be trying to set himself up as the elite, extra special, righteous "fan" who, by comparison, makes all us "fair weather fans" appear to be flaky, insincere, faking fans - what? Like we are really Ute fans deep down?

Give me a break. "True" fans have every right to be disappointed when the team we love fails to meet expectations. We are fans of excellence, and when our team fails to live up to its potential, we are justified in critiquing and calling for change... and that does NOT dilute our status as true fans!

Grow up, Mr. Anderson.

Orem, UT


You're the epitome of the type of fan this article describes- "the comments that come from some fans are absurd, and reveal their lack of knowledge." "Sustain" is not just a religious word used by the LDS faith. Read the dictionary...
1. To keep in existence; maintain.
2. To supply with necessities or nourishment; provide for.
3. To support from below; keep from falling or sinking; prop.
4. To support the spirits, vitality, or resolution of; encourage.
5. To bear up under; withstand
6. To affirm the validity of

Parker, CO

I would not call a 40 year fan a fair weather fan. Not even close. Watched or listened to nearly every game over that stretch of time. As a never waivering fan, I have come to expect an offense similar to ones in the past. Just my opinion in watching this team for nearly 40 years through thick and thin. Brandon Doman seems like the most lost offensive coordinator we have had over that stretch of time. I did not think he helped his QBs much either, when he was a QB coach. If criticism places me into the fair weather fan category, so be it. People don't like criticism I realize, but I think fans have the right to speak up and express themselves.

Farmington, UT

I guess I qualify as "fair weather" because I have lack appreciation for a team that takes all day to snap the ball and has numerous false-start penalties each game using Jake Heaps play calling and there are teams that go an entire season with maybe two such fouls. I've only been a fan since 1969 (before Lavell was the new head coach) and I can't get very excited to see a good QB get injured at the end of the game when the OC doesn't send in a play to "take a knee" but afterwards says he tried and the QB missed the signal, resulting in a season-ending injury. I find it unvelieable that when deciding to go for two at Boise State and seeing BSU call time out to adjust their defense for the anticipated play that the Y coaches still went ahead with it and failed. I've watched Steve Young, Robbie Boscoe, Ty Detmer, Gifford Neilsen, Gary Sheide, Jim McMan, Mark Wilson, Max Hall, John Beck, etc win many great games, yet this year we couldn't produce a winning touchdown in several games.

Yes, I'm definitely a "fair-weather" fan.

Springville, UT

Anyone that thinks the BYU fans are hard on coaches and players have obviously never lived outside Utah. That notion is laughable. Also, Duckhunter is spot on regarding Fair Weather fans. Mr. Anderson doesn't quite have that definition down. That's OK, we get what he's trying to say. He just happens to be wrong.

Mr. Anae was let go after performing better than Mr. Doman.

Riley's career should have ended when he was replaced by Taysom Hill. He was never fit to play after the Weber State game and should not have been cleared. By his own admission he lied when asked if he was healthy enough to play. Some call that gritty or gutsy. I call it self-centered and dishonest. Riley definitely did not have the team's best interest this year.

Should anyone get fired? I'm not sure, but based on precedent, yes. I guess we will see. At the very least, Mr. Doman should not be the OC next year. Keep him on as an assistant, but not the OC.

Salt Lake City, UT

Typical BYU "fan" behavior as evidenced by the posts on these boards.

Y's Guy
Salt Lake City, UT

"I was suddenly awakened early Christmas morning, not by reindeer's hooves, but by feelings of dismay and disappointment, I was compelled to write. I am appalled and embarrassed by the fair-weather fans at BYU!"

Seriously? You woke up Christmas morning with feelings of dismay and disappointment? Because of football? My friend, have you considered any kind of counseling? Because, if that is truly the case, you are wound a bit too tight.

If that is not the case, then you really ought to look up the word 'Hyperbole'.

Mesa, AZ

Nice try redhot! Only LDS BYU fans like Mr Anderson would use the word "sustain" when talking about football fan support. However, if you can show me a sportswriter using it when talking about football fans supporting their team, I'll gladly take the comment back. Good luck.

Elk Hair Caddis
Sandy, UT

Its football not General Conference. I can understand not Monday morning quarterbacking General Conference. But really, isn't that part of what makes football fun?

By the way, I appreciate the coaches leaving Lark in for almost the entire bowl game. Not a great offensive showing but he got a shot he more than deserved.

Cougar Claws
Lindon, UT

Fair weather fans certainly do exist, but BYU football performing far below what they should have isn't just my opinion. Listen to Tom Holmoe, go back and watch the games and listen to the ESPN analysts. Are they "fair-weather fans?" ESPN analysts are neutral observers who call it how they see it. What they saw were elite receivers and a top 5 defense that were being wasted (that is a direct quote) because of who was playing quarterback. Not to mention that running backs weren't getting the ball because mr. hero (we all know who that is) had to carry the ball at least half the time. Tom Holmoe even said "football needs to be better"

I try to be reasonable. I am not one of those fans who are calling for Bronco to be fired, or even Brandon Doman to be fired or demoted or whatever. The problems this year were clearly Riley Nelson playing QB (whose physical limitations were not Doman's fault) and the performance of the O-line, which Coach Weber is directly responsible for. The line did okay at times, but not being able to run block a 3-3-5 defense is unacceptable.

Pa. Reader
Harrisburg, PA

Fan is short for fanatic.
Bronco is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to deal with all aspects of a coach's life, including input--fair or not--from the fans, some of whom are fanatic and have a right to be.
The difference between BYU and Utah this year is the Utes couldn't pad their schedule with enough patsies (due to PAC 12 foes) to be bowl eligible. To be fair, BYU's schedule would have been tougher if Tom Holmoe could have found better opponents. Then we Cougar fans would also have missed out on the bowl game experience.
I understand this letter writer doesn't want to see his friend, or anyone else, fired. And hopefully he really isn't as upset about the scary old meanies among BYU fans as he pretends to be. But he really is as unreasonable and unfair as he accuses others of being.
If a gritty but average team is good enough, the Cougar Club sure doesn't need all those donations they ask for. Especially is criticism from the donors is so intolerable.

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