Vai's View: Vai's View: Blood is thicker than water

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  • Mar Westminster, CO
    April 10, 2011 7:43 p.m.

    I think you've got the best blog on Des News!

  • Rwright Seattle, WA
    April 10, 2011 4:35 p.m.

    Thank you Vai. Hopefully this is the beginning of a mind change in BYU and Utah fans. It made it difficult for me to stay in Utah to be honest. Times have changed and people need to see one school's success as a positive for everyone in state.

  • fresnogirl Fresno, CA
    April 10, 2011 10:12 a.m.

    Mormon Ute

    Good points.

    Like it or not, pretty much everything associated with Utah is considered "Mormon" in some other states. So now that we are headed into different directions as Sports Teams, why don't we cheer for each other? Why do we as fans feel like our successes are minimized by our Sister School's successes? We can both be success stories -- it's not a one or other prospect.

    Yes, I realize that there will always be the immature trolls trying to rile up the opposing fan base, but while we cannot control their immature comments, we can control OUR comments. I'm happy to have Utes like Mormon Ute and Big_Ben who represent that well. While I have always unabashedly loved my Cougars, I have always cheered for the other teams in the State to do well too (especially the Utes). I lived in Utah (both Utah and SL Counties)for 16 years and the majority of fans I have known feel as I do. Let's not let the childish among us convince us otherwise.

    Thanks for the reminder, Vai.

  • Rueben L Folsom, CA
    April 9, 2011 10:12 p.m.

    It started when Ron McBride was practical enough to do two things. 1)Get over the chip on the shoulder with anything BYU-related and hire Fred Whittingham Sr. as his defensive coordinator in 1992, who in turn hired Kyle Whittingham onto the Utes staff. 2)recruit LDS kids from Utah and be supportive of them going on missions.

    19 years later, take a look at the Utes won loss record in football after that happened. 156-73 compared to 94-119-3 for the 19 years before that.

  • Veritas Aequitas Fruit Heights, UT
    April 9, 2011 6:54 p.m.

    Vai, I did not bristle, but I am one of those readers...

    I have now had my comments blocked three tiems.

    Let me drop some names.

    Clare Bishop, William Bush, Glen Vanwaggonen... Mission Presidents in your SDRC Mission.

    Jack Weyland, a Bishop there, along with Bishop Bateman, and many others.

    Keisini Kinikini, Warren Owens, Fisk, Star, Sister Neff, etc. Elder Sekona, Elder Ika, died of a brain tumor, after Elder Sekona took him home. Liberty and "Justice" for all...

    BTW, these are all names of family and friend of mine. I served a youth Mission in Wanblee SD.

    All these missionaries set the table for all of your stories. While you speak at the MTC, Elder Fisk has prepared meals for thes missionaries for many years.

    Mary Sturlaugson wrote the book "A soul So Rebelious", I was at her baptism.

    What my point is Vai, and the the Des News has blocked three times, is yes, you and your pals are famous, but these people set you up for success.

    Now, if you want to impress me, interview them. Do the research.

    Cousin Vai, you are famous, but it is not you, it is their legacy.

    I do not kid.

  • hymn to the silent Holladay, UT
    April 9, 2011 5:51 p.m.

    All in fun rainin'. I'm a Ute and teach at conflict for me. Love my religion, love my a great education on the hill, never took myself too seriously when challenged about my religion by a philosophy or sociology professor; I enjoyed the banter. And I always enjoy the's a lot of fun. Doesn't bother me in the least that some fans are crude, immature, weak in their football knowledge (on both sides). I love watching good games. And I do appreciate a good barb from my students, if it's original (put up with a lot this basketball season). Love your attitude Vai.

  • RaininTime Orem, UT
    April 9, 2011 3:28 p.m.

    My friends, the whole BYU vs Utah thing is as viscous as any rival in the nation as it's always personal with the religious insults, tolerated by the media, accepted when it comes from Utah fans and players, considered distasteful when it comes from BYU fans and players.

    Vai is definitely a Cougar, to suggest otherwise based on all his family and friends at Utah is silly. I have friends playing for Utah and of course, I root for my friends. Yet, I remain a Cougar and still recognize that BYU has its challenges in keeping the tone of its preaching less than "repent of your caffeine addictions," and/or "be ye therefore perfect," as in we are perfect!

    Ummm, errr no we (Cougar Nation) are not perfect and whether our sports teams win or loses should not determine the rightness or wrongness of our message.

    The reason I could never entirely root for the Utes is because when I attended a Ute game, the public address announcer kept announcing the score of the BYU game in which they lost, and the fans kept cheering---even louder than for their own team.

    What's your reason?

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 9, 2011 2:35 p.m.


    Well said!!

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 9, 2011 2:32 p.m.

    El Chango Supremo,

    There aren't enough coaching positions or player positions at BYU for everyone and when the head coach has so many connections with BYU it is going to happen naturally. Vai's article also proves that the rivalry is much more intense for some fans and maybe a few players than it is for the majority of the players and coaches.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 9, 2011 2:26 p.m.


    When I was going to the U in the 80's and 90's many schools, even within our conference considered us another Mormon school along with BYU. The Wyoming fans were brutal that way.

  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 9, 2011 2:22 p.m.

    Chris B,

    What you don't understand is that there can be mutual respect and admiration between two teams, even rivals like the Utes and BYU, without giving up your allegiance to your school or team. Vai will always be a Cougar, but we can all learn from his willingness to cross over a little bit that the rivalry doesn't have to be a bitter one.

  • JRJ Pocatello, ID
    April 9, 2011 9:19 a.m.

    You go, Vai. Your "name dropping" enables me to practice a new language.

  • labman Pocatello, ID
    April 9, 2011 8:27 a.m.

    Another great article. I too would love to see a book come out soon! Over the years, some Ute and Aggie supporters have made it more difficult for me a 'Coug' to support their programs; there seems to be so much ill will from them towards the "Y". I don't live in Utah Valley, so perhaps I don't see the other side of the 'hate' coin. Your article about the "U" and your feelings for them have soften my heart a bit. I will continue to 'love my cougs' and show no ill will toward the others. I have some in my family/friend circle who are Aggies and Utes and I respect their loyalties toward their programs. Let's all turn down the dial of contention towards those who cheer differently than ourselves. We can all do this without dialing down our support for the teams/causes/religions/political parties we choose to associate with.

  • Dougway Bountiful, UT
    April 9, 2011 7:43 a.m.

    Your life story filled half of my sacrament meeting talk. Keep writing these great chapters.

  • BYU DUDE Provo, UT
    April 9, 2011 12:47 a.m.

    You lost me the second you started talking about Utah Football.

  • johnwb Mesa, AZ
    April 8, 2011 9:46 p.m.

    Vai- I was listening with great intense to GC on Saturday afternoon, hoping to hear your name called to "come sit on the stand", and was bummed when I didn't hear it called. Anyway, I ONLY check the DN daily to watch for your blog. So please keep them coming. I have noticed that not all of your blogs are archived. Is there any way to get them all on here? How 'bout coming down to WW Warrior country (Mesa) to do a fireside?? I won't hold that against you that you're a Jackrabbit!

  • Digbads South Jordan, UT
    April 8, 2011 9:07 p.m.

    Thanks for the great article again.
    I'm glad that Coach Whittingham has made the U program into an LDS friendly program. It was so ant-LDS when I attended in the Wayne Howard era.
    It will be funny to watch the U be referred to as the "Mormon School" in the eyes of the pac12.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    April 8, 2011 7:34 p.m.

    I'm a Y fan and though I am pleased that the Cougs and Utes are getting along in this article, I'm a bit alarmed that so many Cougs are becoming Utes... it's becoming a trend. The coaching staff at Utah is littered with former Cougars and the roster is littered with relatives of former Cougars. Is there a migration of talent to the school on the hill? What's going on?

  • CanuckFan Vancouver, BC
    April 8, 2011 7:09 p.m.

    If these two schools needed an ambassador between them to keep the peace, Vai would be the man! Can't wait until Vai writes a books - such a compelling storyteller. Perhaps a lesson here is the more we learn about an opposing team/culture/family/country, the more we respect them.

    p.s. Chris B: the coach's name is spelled Bronco

  • aggieblue Saint George, UT
    April 8, 2011 6:50 p.m.


    Class, pure class. Thanks for the poly connection, love those people. We have a large group in St. George. I know how close the poly people are. I witnessed this at the funeral of an assistant coach for Pine View High. The state center was overflowing, so many young people associated with the football programs here. 8th grade on up through the high school all were received as family. You should alway be proud of your ancestory.

    That being said, thanks for the insight to the U. Visit my aggies or come down here, we would love it. The kids at PV do the huka after their games, fun to watch and makes the kids real close.

  • che loco Spanish Fork, UT
    April 8, 2011 6:33 p.m.


    Only you could spin Vai's visit to his former teammate and his relatives at Utah as Vai turning his back on his alma mater. Nice try, friend. All of Vai's kids go to (or will go to) school in Provo!

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2011 5:31 p.m.

    It's been evident in Vai's blogs lately ever since his friend was slighted by Bronko and not given the coaching position he had earned that Vai's days as a byu fan were numbered.

    It will be interesting to see how byu fans treat Vai as his allegiance continues to shift as he has more friends and more respect among the Utah Utes community.

    Vai - We welome you! Go Utes

  • onebigdaddy Dillon, CO
    April 8, 2011 5:01 p.m.

    2.A few years later I met this Polynesian guy who had grown up near one of the Indian reservations. He said that he learned to speak some of the Indian language + English + his Polynesian language. Looking at him & some of the Indians that I knew I could see why people thought that he was from one of those tribes.
    Via keep up the great articles.

  • onebigdaddy Dillon, CO
    April 8, 2011 5:00 p.m.

    Two interesting things have happened to me in my life in relation to Polynesians.
    1.While a student at BYU - one day I was at the Smith Field House & There were 5 men not boys getting ready to play 3 on 3 on main-floor, they were from the BYU football team they were Tongan, Samoan & Hawaiian. I knew a couple of them and they yelled at me to come & be #6. I was about 6 & 190 lbs & I looked like a little boy compared to them. They would run each other into the wire-mesh that was about as thick as a finger at the end of the court if anyone tried to take it to the hole. After one of them got up and limped back onto the floor I knew that I was a set-shot artist from then on not even a jump shot. I was very happy after about 45 mins when another Polynesians came and took my spot they really enjoyed beating on each-other.

  • MESOUTE Karchaj, A.V.
    April 8, 2011 4:36 p.m.

    Another great one by Vai. Utes, Cougars, mormons,, whatever this guy blogs on is always to shelf. Thanks.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    April 8, 2011 4:34 p.m.


    Another great blog. Thanks! As a Coug, I love the Utes too. KW is a class act and is doing a remarkable job on the hill. Personally, I can't wait to see them play in the PAC 12. I think they'll do better...sooner...than people think! Oh, BTW, there's plenty of Poly blood down in Provo too! Don't leave us completely, Brother!

  • WaybackCougar Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    Tell 'em what a great singer you are, Vai. We loved having you with us at Tabernacle Choir rehearsal last night!

    Love everything you write. This one made me wonder if I could stomach the Utes once in a while.


  • Mormon Ute Kaysville, UT
    April 8, 2011 4:21 p.m.

    Great blog, Vai! I love reading them each week and this one was especially sweet as a Ute fan. Thanks for the insights into the team. That just makes me more excited for the season coming this fall. Also, my son played football at Davis High School with Chaz Walker so knowing you have a connection with his Dad is kind of fun. Thanks again.

  • Southern Belle Atlanta, GA
    April 8, 2011 4:00 p.m.

    Love your blogs, Vai. I hope you collect the best some day and put them in a book! My husband and I will be the first to buy it.

  • jersey Mt Laurel, NJ
    April 8, 2011 3:30 p.m.

    I've been wearing Vai down out here in Jersey for 5 years. Finally my efforts have converted him to Red. The only thing I dont like is that he can get a sideline pass for games quicker then an X Ute.

  • Kouger Lehi, UT
    April 8, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    Blood is thicker than water and this Still a Cougar. But love my boys on The Hill. Because most of them are relatives.

    Theres a lot to be deduced from the above seeming ambivalence, hence where your true loyalties lie. Still good though I hope youre not harboring any ill feelings towards the MIB (Men in Blue) because of Atuaias mischances. Speaking of name "dropping", the rugby guys name is Palamo, I believe.

    Good reading notwithstanding.

  • majmajor Layton, UT
    April 8, 2011 2:56 p.m.

    Thank you and keep up the blog. I like your views. They are very informative.

  • So. Cal Reader Escondido, CA
    April 8, 2011 2:40 p.m.

    Vai, I've been a harsh critic of some of your more recent blogs. I found your explanation at the beginning of this one informative and answered many questions I'd have in reading your pieces. The explanation of your "name-dropping" was particularly helpful. I loved this update! This seemed to be like many of your earlier ones. I don't know if you'll get as many viewer comments as some of your controversial numbers, but I found reading about your two post-conference experiences to be very enjoyable, particularly the MTC experience with Bob Dull. How cool must that have been!! My 12 year old and I were at Gen'l Conf. It would have been nice to bump into each other and share stories of when you and I were in the MTC together. I'm still jealous over the BYU Football t-shirts you got all the elders in your district! Take care, my friend. :o)

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2011 2:29 p.m.

    Don't we all wear the same jersey? I do love how the tongans and Samoans stick together. Now, if we could just get all the Latter Day Saints to feel the same way,we might actually be able to change the world.

    It is great watching Both Utah and BYU and hopefully Utah State create some fun football to watch.

    Also, You never finished your story about Bob Dull. You left us all hanging. Well, maybe not all of us...just those paying attention. It's been months now and I'm ready to hear the rest of the story.

    Keep being real. It's a great example to set. Too many people are afraid to be real because they might be criticized by others, or open their mouth and not sound as smart as they think they are. It is ok to not be perfect.
    Start trying to make this world better.

    Love the stories Vai. Keep 'em rolling!

  • Big Hapa Kaysville, UT
    April 8, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    Aloha, from an Hawiian cousin thank you for your poly-insight. You are delightful to read. I have a red diploma and a very BYU blue heart. I love when Utah does well, especially the Poly-boys my heart and tear filled eyes felt the tenderness in your piece when you spoke of the hymn from those faithful men that have heard the prophets voice and are serving with there huge hearts and spirit of the seed of Joseph.

    My son is getting ready to submit his papers at the end of the month, I hope he goes to Philly and could shake your hand as a full time elder for the lord.

    " Teia teia te ala nui o talani la " this is an old Hawiian chant I learned on my mission in Hawaii over 30 years ago. A chant that my cousin on the Island of Molokai taught me, it is used to comfort those who have lost a loved one, it is to be whispered in an embrace as you share the breath of life. When used with Aloha this is a very personal moment. A oi e tala mahalo.

  • TJ Eagle Mountain, UT
    April 8, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    Great column Vai. It is nice to have somthing like this to really enjoy while reading. Reading your blogs is like reading from a favorite book. It is great to see that KW has the foresight to invite a BYU legend to speak to his Ute team when a good opportunity presents itself (no disrespect to the Utes; they have some good current and former NFL players themselves), probably not with your style though. Sounds like BYU will have their hands full with the U defensive line this fall. Good thing they weigh about 1600 lbs between them, are very good and are experienced.

  • One Angry Salebarn Worker Madison, SD
    April 8, 2011 2:02 p.m.

    Good stuff Via--your South Dakota buddy. Ever serve east river?

  • CooginIN Southern, IN
    April 8, 2011 2:01 p.m.

    Vai, I love your blog! It's one of my favorite things on the Deseret News website. The missionary stories are uplifting and inspiring. I don't think you need to apologize at all for what you have written. Thank you for sharing and keep it coming!

  • Big_Ben SLC, UT
    April 8, 2011 1:56 p.m.

    Vai being excited over the football team makes me happy. considering that JJ Obrien left the basketball team today, I need something good in Ute news. Thanks Vai!

  • DC Alexandria, VA
    April 8, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Love the Ute insight. It's good for us BYU fans to keep what the Ute's are doing in perspective. It will make their beatdown in September more meaningful if we know just who is getting schooled.

  • Y Grad / Y Dad Richland, WA
    April 8, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    Thanks, cousin! Well, I'm wishful thinking - we'd have to go WAY far back for me to claim that honor! I have grown to respect the U football team, and your stories help make them, well, family.

    But I don't think I'll ever relate very much with some of the fans.

    Keep dropping names and telling stories. I am happier and filled with a greater desire for good when you do.

  • bslack Draper, UT
    April 8, 2011 1:49 p.m.

    Vai, I love your blogs. They are informative, but always have a good message concerning life and the gospel. I am a BYU Cougar first, but I am excited to see Kyle's Utes take the field in the PAC 12. Gaining some insights about individual players helps me to connect on an emotional level during the season. I look forward to watching the Cougars and Utes in the Fall. Keep the blogs coming!

  • timpClimber Provo, UT
    April 8, 2011 1:35 p.m.

    Vai, thanks again for your warm and insightful columns. And I will never forget being in the Edward's Stadium and seeing your return a kick off for a TD.

  • 79Ute Orange County, CA
    April 8, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    Keeping 'em dropping, Vai. That comment about name dropping was silly, and I'm not surprised to see you have fun with it. Tongans come with hard heads (I have a friend, whose name I won't drop, who had the stitches in his head to prove it from an impromptu flag football game with the CCH rugby team long ago in Laie) and, at least in your case, thick skins!