In Wyoming this week, parents might opt for a different threat to discipline their misbehaving kids. Forget the old standby punishment of going to bed without dinner. The really mischievous ones might be forced to watch gasp! this Saturday's BYU-Utah football game.
Please, mommy, NOOO! Not that!
Well, there is one worse option than tuning into the Beehive State's big game for Wyoming football fans. They could be forced to watch the Cowboys play the Utes or Cougars again. Ouch.
Because of a longstanding bitterness toward BYU and the recent Onside-Kick-Middle-Fingergate in Utah, some Wyoming faithful are struggling to decide who to cheer for/against when it comes to their next-door neighbor's rivalry game.
Usually, the red-or-blue choice is a no-brainer for Wyoming diehards, whose vitriol for BYU often rivals that of many Crimson Club members.
"There are two good teams in the U.S.," said Charles Muniz of Rock Springs. "Wyoming and anyone who plays BYU."
Problem is, anyone this week happens to be the team that throttled the Cowboys 50-0 two weeks ago. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham's decision to try an onside kick while up by 43 points midway through the third quarter didn't exactly win over the brown and gold fanbase in the land of good fireworks and potent beer. That's why Cowboy coach Joe Glenn's obscene gesture was cheered, not jeered, by many Wyoming fans. It also explains how for now the Utes have almost risen or stooped to the Cougars' level. They're both loathed in Laramie nowadays.
So, Pokes, who ya rootin' for: BYU or Utah?
"It's a tossup," said Wyoming resident Harlan Greer after BYU throttled the Cowboys 35-10 at War Memorial Stadium last Saturday. "I don't like either one of 'em."
Even after reciting his bumper-sticker anti-BYU mantra, Muniz admitted he is experiencing inner-turmoil over who to dislike more at the moment. "Classless" is how he describes Whittingham's call two Saturdays ago. But bleepity-bleep is how he describes the Cougars.
"I hate BYU that much," Muniz said. "(But) I want BYU to beat Utah."
After the back-to-back thumpings, Mike Martinez of Green River believes, matchup-wise, Utah "could dominate BYU." Of course, the group he was with agreed that hating the Cougars was "practically genetic," so he might be a bit biased. Even so, he'd probably prefer a scenario that resulted in neither team winning Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium.
"If they could tie in a zero-zero tie, that would be ideal," he said.
While trash-talking BYU players as they left Jonah Field on Saturday, Wyoming fan Justin Lamb said he still hates the Cougars more admitting that's his "theory on life" and predicted a Ute victory.
"Utah's playing amazing now. BYU's not that great, and they're poor sports," Lamb said. "Plus, BYU, they're all 28 and (Evanston native) Kelly Poppinga's a traitor."
Lamb also said it made sense to him that Whittingham was a BYU grad after the unpopular guarantee-quashing kick. And, like many Wyoming fans, he wasn't about to criticize his team's coach for flipping off Utah. He even made the frame grab of Glenn's obscene gesture the background photo on his cellphone."We made SportsCenter for it, so that was cool," he said with a laugh. "That's the first time Wyoming was on SportsCenter."