The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

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

Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues
Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony
Print Issues

An epic ending for an epic win

By Nick Pappas

The Utes need to learn how to tell a story. The exposition makes the characters into classic losers. The rising action is filled with dull sentences and four-yard plays. Brian Johnson nervously fidgeting in the pocket feels like watching a comedy. Every game feels like a suspense novel. The team just can’t seem to make up its mind on the narrative.

I will give Utah credit for one thing. They sure have perfected the ending.

While the Utes were finishing the final pages of Thursday’s game, I was writing a story of my own. Journalism is about meeting deadlines8212;timing is everything. In the press box, I sat surrounded by reporters busy at their laptops with five minutes left in the game. The room was filled with the sound of clicking keys8212;book reports written without reading the final chapter.

I am no better. I had written a lame line or two about wearing black to a funeral. There were paragraphs about broken dreams, enduring to the end, and “nobody’s perfect.”

For now, the Utes still are. Nine plays, 80 yards, and two minutes later, I was encircled by audible groans. It was followed by the constant sound of backspace keys.

I’m not sure why we were surprised. The game felt like volume two in a series. Against Oregon State, the Utes looked baffled for 58 minutes. The offense couldn’t move the ball. The defense built dams the Beavers couldn’t break. And then, Johnson put together one miraculous drive for the win.

Sound familiar?

Around the national press, stories will be written with the old cliché about TCU not being beaten, but beating themselves. The Horned Frogs had six false starts in crucial situations, and 70 penalty yards total. Ross Evans missed two field goals when they mattered most.

Their words forget the background. Penalties don’t happen out of thin air. There’s a reason the MUSS keeps a running tally of false starts. With each one, a “5” was added to the front-row banister. The defense twitched like ADHD kids without Ritalin, constantly moving up and down the line of scrimmage. It will splinter the nerves of the most disciplined team.

As Utah began their final, heroic drive from their own 20-yard line, hope still existed in a stadium where, only days before, hope came alive for a nation.

Yes, we can, chanted the sellout crowd.

Yes, we can.

With the last page written, Johnson walked into the pressroom wearing a Barack Obama shirt. He pointed at it with the throwing hand that kept hope alive.

“He did it, and we did it,” he said.

“While we breathe, we hope,” Obama said in his acceptance speech, “And where we are met with cynicism, and doubt, and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people. “Yes, we can.'”

Hope is everywhere now. In ideas as large as prosperity, peace, and the “American Dream,” and as small as a season that will end in the Wasatch Mountains on Nov. 22.

There is still more to be written. The story has many authors. Johnson was asked by reporter what he feels the team accomplished today.

“Nothing,” he said. “Still, a long way away. Still got more football games to play.”

I, for one, can’t put this book down. It’s turning into an epic tale.

[email protected]

Nick Pappas

Leave a Comment

Comments (0)

The Daily Utah Chronicle welcomes comments from our community. However, the Daily Utah Chronicle reserves the right to accept or deny user comments. A comment may be denied or removed if any of its content meets one or more of the following criteria: obscenity, profanity, racism, sexism, or hateful content; threats or encouragement of violent or illegal behavior; excessively long, off-topic or repetitive content; the use of threatening language or personal attacks against Chronicle members; posts violating copyright or trademark law; and advertisement or promotion of products, services, entities or individuals. Users who habitually post comments that must be removed may be blocked from commenting. In the case of duplicate or near-identical comments by the same user, only the first submission will be accepted. This includes comments posted across multiple articles. You can read more about our comment policy at https://dailyutahchronicle.com/comment-faqs/.
All The Daily Utah Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *