Ute fans are worthy of praise

By By Liz Frome

By Liz Frome

Every true Utah fan has a dream. Some are small, some are big, but all are admirable. It will take hard work, money, effort and some serious patience, but buying a small trailer, painting it red and selling one’s soul to Swoop will be totally worth getting that tailgating pass.

From September to January, everything is Utah. The foot of the mountain bleeds red as Ute supports gather weekly in that sacred tailgating lot to prep themselves for intense nights of pounding hearts, seats and feet.

Wins are never guaranteed, but hard work from the Utes and Ute fans always is.

The Mighty Utah Student Section has earned its name and proves every game that it still deserves it. Always proud, always loud and always mighty. When that inevitable handful of fans starts to leave the stadium at the end of the fourth, whether Utah is crushing or getting crushed, the MUSS is enduring and stands tight until the game is over, if not until well after. Sun, rain or blood-freezing snow, the MUSS stays put.

The FUSS will always be there, sitting next to the other team’s traveling, misguided fans, showing which school truly has the best lifelong supporters.

Scattered throughout the stadium are season-ticket holders who refuse to let go of a single ticket to a single game in good fear they would miss something incredible. For those particular fans, HD doesn’t mean a thing if they could have seen it in real life.

Filling the spots around them are persistent fans who finally got their hands on a ticket to a game that was guaranteed to sell out. Parents take kids, boyfriends take girlfriends and friends take friends to Rice-Eccles Stadium to be a part of a history that is 107 years old and running.

Yes, voices will be lost.

Yes, emotions will run high.

And yes, “crazy lady” Terri Jackson will rock out to the Blues Brothers at the end of the third quarter.

And before all that happens, fans will meet in the tailgating lot to fuel themselves and each other for their own much-anticipated performance in the night’s big game.

Piling into the tailgating lot last Thursday, fans unloaded grills, drinks, footballs, Ute gear and what have become traditional souvenirs to celebrate the season-opening game against Utah State. Kick-off wasn’t until 7 p.m., but fans were celebrating more than four hours prior to game time. Fans who have held those coveted tailgating passes for years again made their way to the lot and welcomed each other and newcomers to the beginning of a new Ute season and a hopeful continuation of the nation’s longest winning streak.

Trucks, trailers and RVs painted red proudly displaying the U emblem truly bare the soul of U football. Fans believe through and through that they are the live, beating hearts of the Utes, investing time, energy, money, and deep-rooted emotion into every proud victory and every heart-wrenching defeat.

They’ve been there for years, and they’ll be there for many more.

Here’s to you, Ute fans. Truly the best.