I always thought it would be scary to be among the minority during the build-up to a rivalry football game. If you're one of the outnumbered guys, there's no crowd of friends to hide behind when things get ugly, and there's nobody there to back you up when a boastful opponent gets the better of you on verbal sparring match.
While both these problems are unavoidable, I've found that being dropped in enemy territory during rivalry week is actually kind of fun, simply because I am the annoying reminder of the other side. Or at least, I joined my boss in being the annoying reminder of the other side.
So while my fellows in Provo are surrounded by the familiar blue and white, I've been stuck in a town that's been getting redder and redder by the day: cars whizzing down the street have Ute flags flapping in the breeze, balcony after balcony is covered with huge Ute banners, and some of my co-workers seem to have lost track of all articles of clothing that don't contain at least a modicum of red.
It was about Thursday that people noticed that I had replaced the Ute sticker on my cubicle window with the Y sticker I stole from Tyrel's go-cart (which was put there by me in the first place, so technically I wasn't even stealing). And then somehow I got sucked into a bet with Chris that involved one of us enduring the abominable paraphernalia of the opposing team littering our office space until the end of the season. (The only downside to this bet is that now I have to go out and buy a bunch of BYU-blue stuff to litter the loser's office with, and then beat him to work on Monday so I can decorate unscathed.)
Today simply escalated off yesterday, but all the jesting and boasting thrown at me have just bounced off my BYU t-shirt. (Eric did all the defending because I had nothing intelligent to offer.) A lot of people attempted to sing the Cougar and/or Utah fight song, but no one actually knows all of the words. The football has been flying around all day (though that's nothing new), and, after a very productive half-hour meeting that took place in Darren's office, I bet a dollar that BYU would win 17-16. Bam.
The only drawback to this entire week has been that my family are vile betrayers; they went ahead and used their prestigious connections to get tickets to the game, despite making plans to watch the game at home beforehand, leaving me all alone to watch the game on TV with no one there to explain what's going on. True, if the situation were reversed, I would have done the same thing in a heartbeat, but since that is not the case, I feel no guilt in making certain people feel guilty.
Needless to say, I've never wanted BYU to win so badly. Who cares if there's no bowl game on the line, or that the game is in September instead of November--I, personally, have a lot to lose if things don't go as I planned.