Wake up, it’s not 1984

How sweet it is. Those of us who have been Utah football fans since the dark days (read: pre-McBride era) are relishing just a bit more in the Utes’ remarkable season.

As a child, I was an unlucky acquaintance of a ton of annoying, die-hard BYU fans. Keep in mind this was during the ’80s, a dark decade for the world, particularly for Ute fans, seeing as they were a pathetic 1-9 against the Cougars during those years.

Whenever rivalry week came, I would have five days of incessant taunting coming my way at elementary school from little Cougar clones who could do nothing but regurgitate the words “Ty Detmer” and “Lavell Edwards” over and over.

Then came game day. There was always hope in my household that the Utes would salvage an otherwise weak season by upsetting the perennial WAC champs from down south. But like so many other things, our hopes were always dashed away in a slew of BYU passing yards and touchdowns.

There was a three- or four-year streak when my neighborhood friend (and BYU fan) would call my house after every Cougar touchdown. I would pick up the phone innocently enough, only to hear the piercing cries of BYU’s fight song being played via one of those annoying key chains.

The song had a tendency to thrust my body into uncontrollable convulsions and my only defense was yelling some threats into the phone about stealing his Boba Fett action figure to burn unceremoniously inside a gasoline-filled paper cup.

So let me say once again, how sweet it is.

Sure the Utes had a massive turnaround with Ron McBride at the helm, navigating their way to make the rivalry competitive again. But my friends and I always talked of the day when Utah would really get their chance-when the Fates would look down upon our university on the hill and say, “Let there be success!”

We dreamed of a time when we’d be able to shut up every Happy Valley sympathizer’s yapping on the 1984 season, Heisman wins, quarterbacks gone pro and all the other junk their foodholes spewed.

Sadly, I’ve now come to realize that the Cougar fan reminiscing doesn’t end. I still have to hear about 1984’s questionable, if not outright bogus, “national championship” season. That’s all Brigham Young fans can counter Utah’s amazing (and more groundbreaking) march toward the BCS.

Whenever Alex Smith’s name is mentioned as a Heisman semi-finalist, there’s nothing but hot, stale air blowing from the south about some guy named Ty.

Sorry Cougs. Cheers to the Utes. This is the time for our team and our school to look to the future with hope and promise.

And as for BYU, well, they will always have the late-night reruns of the 1984 season on KBYU. Happy memories, friends down south.

Go Utes!

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