(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) If you live in Utah, you know it is home to several Native American tribes: the Utes, Piutes, the Dine’ or Navajo, the Goshute, and Shoshone. But many people in the state belong to one of two major “tribes” – those who are loyal to the University of Utah and those who have sworn eternal allegiance to Brigham Young University. And the rivalry runs deep. I know people in their 50s who are still angry about things that happened to them during the Big Game back when they were undergrads. So when football season rolls around, most of the people I know have worked themselves into a fever pitch over the Runnin’ Utes. But make no mistake, there is no shortage of people who become equally glossy-eyed over the BYU Cougars, who to be fair are racking up more wins than losses following the abysmal 2017 season. The joke back then was that if you were pulled over speeding in Provo, you got two tickets: one for the violation and one for a BYU football game. As a native of Ohio who did his undergrad work in Michigan, I really don’t care. I had enough of that trying to survive as Buckeye in Wolverine country. Most people here are flummoxed that I don’t pick a side. But I still cheer for Ohio State and/or Notre Dame.
BYU has been the butt of many jokes, covert and overt. One of the most recent ones that comes to mind is a billboard advertisement by the University of Utah letting potential students know that beards are permissible at the U, whereas at the Y, beards are a violation of the student code. And it might be argued that BYU and the Mormon Church itself are struggling to stay relevant amidst […]
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