Utah needs the team down south

Face it, Utah fans: This week wouldn’t be nearly as fun if BYU fans weren’t the way they are.

Think back to your childhood. How fun would it have been to pick on your brother or sister if he or she would have just sat there like a BYU freshman at his or her first school dance? It definitely would have been better when little Johnny or little Suzy fought back.

Same goes for BYU fans.

I know it seems like their nature to turn the other cheek, but something about sports makes Mormons go nuts — especially the BYU kind. Just watch a ward basketball game once. You’ll see what I mean.

In all seriousness, I think a lot of people take the fact that there is even a BYU-Utah rivalry for granted. Most people don’t give it a second thought that it is one of the most heated and intense rivalries in the country. The fact is, a rivalry takes two competing sides to make it work, and frankly, it is not normally the nature of BYU fans to get so hostile over something so ordinary, so…terrestrial.

Maybe it’s the conflict BYU fans have with the rivalry that makes this week so fun. Making fun of an inferior team on a closed-minded campus is one thing. Watching them squirm to find a respectable quip is another. And I’m not just talking about the frequently used adjectives such as stinkin’, frick, heck and darn.

BYU fans have been trained to be kind, gentle human beings. Cougar fans try to take the high road when Utah fans point at their portly women, scoff at their pre-game prayers or poke fun at the Pee-Wee Herman look-alike contest that goes on in Provo’s stands.

I love that BYU fans point at Kyle Whittingham, turn their noses up and say, “classless.” Not only is this completely untrue, but isn’t it a bit ironic to hear zoobies point at a former alum and verbally chastise and rebuke him?

It’s also great that BYU fans call into radio stations after the Utah Jazz beat the New Jersey Nets 102-75 and say, “The Jazz just beat the Nets like the Cougars are going to beat the Yewts on Saturday.”

Most U fans think the phrase “Harline is still open” has become pathetically old. Not me. Utah fans need these comments, no matter how lame they are. It adds fuel to the fire.

Contrary to popular belief, it pays to have a good team as our rival. I don’t cheer for BYU to win, but I appreciate the fact that BYU is competitive. Look at Notre Dame and Navy. Better yet, look at Utah State and Utah. In theory, these are suppose to be rival games, but when was the last time Notre Dame got excited beating Navy? Has Utah ever been excited to beat the Aggies?

The truth is, BYU’s fans and their competitive teams help make this rivalry what it is, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. After all, after Utah beats BYU by 10 points this weekend, it’s going to feel a whole lot better watching the Cougars suffer. That satisfaction comes only because U fans know that the game meant so much to them.

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