U student bleeds blue

By By Clayton Norlen

By Clayton Norlen

Not every University of Utah student bleeds red — some bleed blue.

Dan Whitaker, a junior in film studies at the U, has been a Brigham Young University fan since he could first talk and express his love for the team.

Some of his fondest memories are of attending BYU football and basketball games with dad Tom Whitaker, a BYU alumnus. Dan Whitaker said his dad raised him to be a BYU sports fan.

“I’m not too vocal about being a Y fan,” Dan Whittaker said, “It’s not like I hate the U, obviously I’d root for them when they’re not playing the Y.”

Dan Whitaker chose the U over BYU because, as a film student, he wanted a level of academic freedom he doesn’t think BYU would allow. He said he didn’t want to be restricted by the requirements of BYU’s Honor Code or the attitudes on the BYU campus in Provo.

“Dan is definitely a diehard Y fan, and it’s funny to hear him talk about it here on campus in whispers,” said Gardner Seawright, Whitaker’s fiend and a senior in sociology. “Whenever he says he is a BYU fan, it’s followed with, ‘Don’t tell anyone.'”

If there is a BYU game on television, it is safe to assume Dan Whitaker is watching it and will let people know the outcome — especially if it is a game where BYU and the U are playing against each other, Seawright said.

Tom Whitaker said he supports his son attending the U and thinks the school is a better fit for Dan than BYU.

“I told Dan that he could only go to the U if he’d keep his loyalty to the Y,” Tom Whitaker said. “He’s done that.”

With his family rooting for BYU in games, Dan Whitaker said being a BYU fan was the norm growing up in his house.

“I thought after coming to the U, I’d warm up to the teams more and maybe have an internal battle over which team to root for,” Dan Whitaker said. “It never really happened. My dad still has season tickets, and I still go to the games with him over in Happy Valley.”

Dan Whitaker remembers going to seven of the 12 football games BYU played one season when he was in high school. The team was doing well, so he and his dad traveled to Las Vegas and Hawaii to watch BYU play. BYU lost the game in Hawaii, but Dan Whitaker said the trip was a memorable experience.

“I’ve got four boys, and they’ve all gone to games with me, but they’ve never been as avid of a fan as Dan,” Tom Whitaker said. “He caught the same bug that I did. The Y can be down by four touchdowns, but Dan will still think they’ll pull off a miracle.”

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