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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Student revives football tradition

By Spencer Sorensen

Gavin Gough, a fifth-year senior in accounting, doesn’t have a uniform, but he often has more attention directed his way during football games than the Utah cheerleaders on the sideline.

Every home game he sits in section 38, row 1, seat 16 and leads the Ute student-body in a first-down chant.

After every first down Gough stands up, faces his fellow peers, spreads his arms out wide, lifts them up deliberately and points north or south, while projecting in a loud voice, “Wohhhhhhh! First down!”

The majority of students follow him in his actions to celebrate first downs, which has made this tradition a fixture in the student section at football games.

“I assume that I do a pretty good job. I get compliments all the time,” Gough said.

He doesn’t take credit for starting the first-down chant and isn’t sure how or when it began, but recalls it being done before he was assigned first row seats.

“It kind of fell in my lap. My tickets happen to be on the first row in the middle of section 38 and so I just started doing it,” he said.

Others close to him think Gough was made for this job.

“Gavin is Utah’s version of the UCLA or Stanford yell leader,” said Chris Clark, a close friend of Gough’s.

Gough’s younger brother Geoff, a junior in international business, believes his brother has made the chant a more popular thing.

“The student body expects Gavin to be there,” he said.

Not only has the student body expected him to be at home games, but for those who travel with the team, many expect him at all the road games as well. So far he has only missed one game, a Thursday night game in New Mexico.

“The SDSU fans around the MUSS were well-aware of our presence by the time the second quarter started due to the first-down chant,” Clark said.

As the season comes to a close, these will probably be Gavin Gough’s last times leading the student section in the first-down chant.

As a member of the MUSS Board, he was fortunate enough to receive good seats, but he said he figures next season his luck will run out and he won’t be sitting in the same seats.

“I’ll definitely be somewhere else in the stadium, but I doubt I’ll do the chant unless I am on the front row somewhere else,” he said.

Gavin Gough has had good experiences as the first-down chant leader, his favorite being in Provo last year when the Utah’s offense scored several touchdowns and earned many first downs to beat BYU.

He has, however, also experienced embarrassing things before, such as pointing in the wrong direction.

Gavin Gough hopes the tradition can stay alive, and when asked who will take his place, he said, “Someone who gets just as excited about Utah football as I do.”

Gavin Gough leads the MUSS in a first-down chant during a football game at home earlier this season.

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