The Tragedy Surrounding Utah Football, That Words Can’t Do Justice


Jack Gambassi

University of Utah players pepare for the game against BYU at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo, UT on Sept. 11, 2021. (Photo by Jack Gambassi | The Daily Utah Chronicle).

By Eric Jensen, Sports Writer


I have the tendency to argue with myself. It shows up in my writing, I get going on one thought and then another emerges. Slowly but surely different plot points emerge, and it winds to a conclusion.

When thinking about the tragedy involving Aaron Lowe, I don’t argue with myself — it always comes back to the same thought: Just how unbelievably sad the whole situation is.

At some point Saturday evening blurring into Sunday morning, Lowe was shot and killed at a party in Sugar House.

Words don’t really do tragedy justice. We can describe the pain we feel about Lowe’s death, cite the hundreds of Twitter messages from college and NFL players alike, along with fans documenting the love and admiration the community had for Lowe. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter though.

I keep thinking about the team. That’s where the sports writer’s head goes. I should be thinking about the family. To lose a son, at 21 years old, words can’t do that justice — they end up doing more of a disservice.

That’s the one critical detail that a lot of people are simply overlooking about this entire situation. Lowe was only 21 years old.

To put that in perspective, the median age of a sports desk writer for The Daily Utah Chronicle, is about 23 years old.

So young, so much ahead, all cut so short. Words can’t really do it justice.

The most crushing part of fellow Chronicle sports writer Sean Overton’s piece is the quote he uses from Lowe, on another tragedy, that of Ty Jordan who was killed by an accidental gun shot wound in December.

“My friendship with Ty means a lot because he was always pushing me to be my best. He never let me settle for less. I want to make sure his legacy lives on through me,” said Lowe who received the Ty Jordan scholarship.

“I want to make sure his legacy lives on through me.” Those words — those are the only words that can do this tragedy justice, that can truly encapsulate the pure horror of what has happened to the University of Utah Football program within the past nine months. Two teammates, brothers, friends, suddenly swept away forever. Words would tell you something to the effect of the following:

The amount of tragedy and adversity the Utah football program has gone through over the past nine months are unfathomable. Yet those words don’t do it justice, it’s better just to revisit the quote:

“I want to make sure his legacy lives on through me.”

It has not been an easy few days as a college sports writer. This column breaks several useless rules they teach you in your media writing classes. No one ever tells you how to write about a 21 year old kid who was killed senselessly at a house party in cold blood, and then pretend like the football season ahead actually matters.

Because the truth is, it doesn’t, what matters is helping a room full of other 21-year-old kids deal with senseless tragedy. What matters is making sure the memory of Aaron Lowe is honored and respected. What matters is divorcing yourself from looking at Utah as a football program and looking at Utah as a collection of human beings.

Young men, who have experienced a senseless tragedy, that really only half a quote can put into words, in a situation where words are otherwise, meaningless.


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