In this, the last year of the Holy War before a sickening two-year hiatus, I have to put in writing what I have thought for a long time: Utes hate Cougars far more than Cougars hate Utes. I mentioned it in passing during this week's podcast, but now I have to explain myself.
|During last year's Holy War, Utah fans rushed the field|
not once, not twice, but three times, almost handing BYU the victory.
The Utah fans' behavior is also indicative of the Utes' height of hate for the Cougars. I mean, who rushes the field three times in one game against an unranked team that's not even in your conference?
As we all know, the religious element is what makes the BYU-Utah rivalry so passionate. The unofficial name to the rivalry--the Holy War--demonstrates this point. These days, when the religious is pitted against the secular, the religious is inevitably characterized as judgmental, hypocritical, and condescending. This is the perception that Utah fans, players, and coaches have of their BYU counterparts, and it is what drives them to genuine hatred.
But even more than the religious element, Utah hates BYU because, well, BYU is better. A few BCS wins by the redcoats does not suddenly erase BYU's national championship, Heisman Trophy, and countless WAC and MWC championships. The football tradition at BYU is deep and rich. Utah is newcomer to the party, and it is natural for it to have little brother syndrome.
So, with that bit of smack talk, let us all strive to be more civil and safe this rivalry week. But let's also strive to be more passionate than the Utes this year. Not by pouring beverages on the opposing quarterback's family, but by making that place so loud that Travis Wilson will have to cut his hair just to hear the play calls. We'd be doing him a favor.