In between watching training videos at work, I have been reading up on various blogs, news, and sports articles to keep myself from either falling asleep or going crazy. After the Jazz's 5th-straight humiliating loss and with BYU's upcoming game versus San Diego, there has been a lot of reading material in the sports category.
For most of my life, I assumed that Utah was BYU's only rival. At home, my dad always called the U "the Devil's University," and most of my extended family watched BYU football religiously. It wasn't even unusual to hear BYU-Utah references at school or even in sacrament meeting.
But apparently, BYU has more haters than I was aware of.
This was first brought to my attention last summer when I was on a group date with an even mix of BYU and Utah State students. The Utah State kids were constantly railing on the BYU kids (in a friendly manner, of course), and the BYU kids just didn't have any cool comebacks. In fact, I think a lot of us were a bit surprised by the heated arguments they had against our school. After one person person expressed his relief that the blue U on the back of his van was a U and not a Y, my date leaned over to me and said quietly, "You know, I find it ironic that Utah State hates BYU so much when half of BYU doesn't even know Utah State exists."
I thought it was a true and hilarious insight on the BYU-Utah State "rivalry." Some would argue that BYU students are too high-and-mighty to stoop to having a rivalry with a school like Utah State, but honestly, one rival is about all most of us can handle. Hating another school would require too much energy. After all, we have a lot of studying to do.
But apparently the U of U and Utah State aren't the only schools that make it their life goal to beat BYU at everything and to mercilessly mock its students. I just came across an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal that emphasizes the animosity many of the Mountain West teams have for BYU.
And all this time I thought BYU was always underestimated and ignored. That may be the case still with some people, but it's obvious that the BYU basketball team is definitely good enough to merit national interest and to spark a desire in all of the western teams to be the next one to beat BYU.
Rather than being annoyed or upset by all of this negative energy, I think it's quite awesome and a tad hilarious. BYU has a reputation like none other--it is extremely easy to mock BYU and its students--but some attention is better than none at all, right? It makes everything more exciting.
I will be joining the sold-out crowd at the Marriot Center tonight to cheer on my team. It's going to be an awesome game, and the more haters we have to shut up, the better. Call BYU fans arrogant, annoying, weird, or whatever you want, but there's no denying that we deserve the bragging rights in this case. Let the haters go on hating.