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Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
Real Salt Lake fans cheer in Portland game in the Western Conference finals in Sandy Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013. Real won 4-2.

The state of Utah is home to great athletic programs. From excellent high school sports to elite college programs to awesome professional teams, teams in this state attract passionate fans from all around the world. No sporting event would be complete without a crowd of loud and proud fans in the stands.

Now, we're looking for the best of the best among fans. Are you worthy of the title of Top Fan? Now you have your chance to prove it.

The Deseret News and the Sports BLT are pleased to announce the Sports BLT Top Fan Contest.

Who can enter?

We're looking for the greatest fans of teams in the state of Utah. Don't live in Utah? No problem! This contest is open to fans in the U.S. and Canada. For the purposes of this contest, we're splitting the fans into eight categories. They are:

  • BYU Cougars
  • Utah Utes
  • Utah State Aggies
  • Non-FBS universities and colleges (Weber State, Utah Valley, Southern Utah, etc.)
  • Utah Jazz
  • Real Salt Lake
  • Utah's minor league teams (Salt Lake Bees, Utah Grizzlies, Orem Owls, etc.)
  • High school athletics

For the university, college and high school fans, you don't have to be primarily a football or basketball fan to enter. Love baseball, gymnastics, volleyball or rugby? Show us! We're looking for the most passionate fans of any sport played in Utah in the above categories.

This is a contest, right? So, what are the prizes?

Of course, the champions of each category as well as the Top Fan will have ultimate bragging rights. Not enough? Champions will receive a hat and a T-shirt proclaiming their superiority among fans. Oh, and they'll receive a $50 gift card to pick up more of their favorite teams' gear at Fanzz, if you're into getting free stuff. The Top Fan winner will receive an additional $200 gift card to Fanzz.

How do I enter?

Get out your video camera! The first step is to create a video showing us why you deserve the title of Top Fan. The video must be three minutes or less in length to be accepted. Also, please focus on why you are the best fan of your favorite team, and not why you root against some other sports team. We're looking for the best fans, not the biggest haters.

Upload your video to YouTube and send us your name, phone number, email, category, the link to your video and a short (200 words or less) essay on what makes you the Top Fan to SportsBLT@gmail.com. Make sure to head over to the official Sports BLT Top Fan contest site. You'll find full instructions and official contest rules there.

All submissions must be received by June 15 at 11:59 EDT.

What happens after I submit my awesome video?

The Deseret News sports staff will evaluate each submission based on the overall quality of the video, the demonstrated passion for a given team and the creativity of the submission. After the submission period closes, five finalists will be chosen from each category. Finalists will be announced on June 23-30 right here at DeseretNews.com as well as at the Sports BLT Top Fan contest site.

What happens if I'm not a finalist?

You're role isn't over! On July 1-6, fans will be able to vote for their favorite finalist videos in each category at the Sports BLT Top Fan contest site. The submissions with the most votes in each category will be crowned as a champion among fans.

But we're not stopping there! Each champion will be placed into an eight-submission bracket seeded according to the number of votes they received in the finalist round. Once again, your votes will determine who will advance in the bracket. The first round will run from July 7-13. The semifinal round runs on July 14-20. The finals will take place on July 21-28. The winner will be declared Top Fan.

Great! When can I start?

The contest is open, and you can send your submissions in anytime before June 15. Once again, make sure to read over the official rules at the Sports BLT Top Fan contest site before you get started.

May the best fan win.

Lafe Peavler is a staff sports writer for the Deseret News. Follow him on Twitter @LafePeavler.