Star-Crossed Lovers Root for Rival Teams


Ashley and Spencer Buhler shout outside the U fountain near the Marriott Library on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Dr. Rishi Deka | Daily Utah Chronicle)

By Dakota Grossman

Despite being on opposite sides of the Holy War, Spencer and Ashley Buhler fell in love.

Spencer, a current University of Utah student and dedicated member of The MUSS since 2014, married a BYU Cougar. They met while serving missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and they continued their friendship after returning home.

“We served in the same area for like, six weeks,” Spencer said. “We would always be excited to see each other.”

Ashley and Spencer Buhler play outside the U fountain near the Marriott Library on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Rishi Deka | Daily Utah Chronicle)

When the couple began dating, Ashley was working closely with BYU Athletics as the main receptionist and as an athletic trainer for the football team. Meanwhile, Spencer was spending a portion of his time with the group that many consider one of the best and biggest fan groups in the country, the Mighty Utah Student Section. Going to rival universities didn’t seem to affect the Buhlers’ relationship and Ashley recalled how her now-husband used to drive from Salt Lake City to Provo just to visit her.

“I just thought it was really sweet of him to drive all the way down there,” Ashley said.

After dating for a year and sharing their passion for football, Spencer decided to take a risk and ask Ashley to join him in the MUSS.

“So I gave her a [MUSS] shirt and she just put it on and she was a really good sport about it,” Spencer said. “She had a hard time at first.”

Ashley and Spencer Buhler pose outside the U fountain near the Marriott Library on Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2017. (Rishi Deka | Daily Utah Chronicle)

Utah and BYU have been rivals for years. Despite the wild fans and dedicated athletes, the Buhler’s are able to maintain friendly competition. Spencer’s entire friend group and family are Ute proud and when Spencer and Ashley were dating, his friends and family gave his girlfriend a tough time for supporting BYU.

“All my friends are really big Utah fans and I’m a really big Utah fan, especially with football,” Spencer said.

“They would always try to convert me or they would make a joke that I’m already converted,” Ashley playfully responded.

Regardless of which side of the stadium Ashley chooses to sit on, she finds room to support both teams. She worked and travelled alongside her BYU colleagues for a few semesters during her college career long enough to build “close ties” and relationships with the staff and athletes. But wearing the MUSS t-shirt symbolizes her love for her husband and for the game they bond over.

“I can remember going to my first Utah game, and every time they said ‘Go Utah,’ I would always have the voice in the back of my head saying, ‘Go Cougars.’ … I’ve just been so attached to it,” Ashley said.

After one year of marriage and too many football games to count, the Buhlers decided to get MUSS passes for this upcoming football season. As a recent graduate from BYU, Ashley still wanted the opportunity to attend football games, even if that meant she had to do that while immersed in a sea of red. Spencer even made a deal with Ashley that he would go to one BYU game with her of her choosing, and he also has to wear the shirt of his rival university to the game.

“She can pick when it is, and I got my BYU shirt that I’ll lovingly put on and go cheer for them,” Spencer said.

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