I’m a BYU football fan.  I grew up cheering for the Cougs, attended the Y, and have been cheering on my team ever since.  Even when I was a professor at two different B1G schools I picked BYU above all else on game day. 

I love the Cougs, and I HATE losing to the Utes. 

Fortunately, this is the year the streak ends.  The cosmos have finally come together and I’ve seen enough signs that I’m a true believer.  The curse will break tonight.  Here’s why. 

Reason #1: Grandma on the other side

When I turned 12 my grandparents gave me an autographed football, signed by the 1991 BYU football team.  We didn’t have a television at the time, so on game day me and my brothers would hold that football and point to the signatures as we listened to Paul James call the game.  We were young, but we loved Ty Detmer, Chris Smith, Matt Bellini, Byron Rex, and the rest of the Cougs.  BYU beat Utah 48-17 that year. 

My grandparents were both Utah State graduates, but they loved BYU and most of their children (including my mom) went to the Y. 

I was the first grandchild to attend BYU and when I showed grandma my acceptance letter I still remember how she told me how proud she was of me.  She hoped all her grandkids would go to BYU and she was thrilled when all three of my younger brothers were later accepted to the Y.

Grandma died earlier this week—just a few months short of 100 years old.  I know she’s on the other side doing all she can to get the Cougars back on track.   She made the Big 12 happen, breaking the streak is next on her list.

Reason #2: Sweet 16 and crossing off goals

Grandma isn’t the only one reaching milestones.  My eldest son just turned 16.  He’s a cross country runner and doesn’t really care for football—unless it’s BYU football.  When we moved to Utah a few years ago I was able to take him to his first game, right around his 12th birthday.  We sat near the recruits and were on the field before and after the game.  His highlights included meeting Big Mo (Langi) and getting his picture with Dennis Pitta, who was attending the game.    BYU won that game 20-6. 

My son just turned 16 and he’s having a banner year, having already checked off all but one of his goals for the year.  He just ran a sub 18:30 5k, sold a goat for nearly $1000, and launched a YouTube channel documenting his restoration of a 1967 Ford Mustang (one that that he purchased with money earned mowing lawns). 

All he has left on his list for the year is to watch BYU defeat Utah. BYU played Utah in football in 1967 by the way, the same year his car was built. 

The Cougs won, 17-13. 

Reason #3: My wedding anniversary.

I married my sweetheart 18 years ago this coming Monday.  We got married on a Saturday morning, had a luncheon with the family, and then headed off on our honeymoon.  On our first night together we watched half of a BYU football game from our hotel. 

BYU won 10-7.

It wasn’t pretty, but I’m grateful I got to watch it with my sweetheart. And we’ve watched dozens of games together since then.  My wife doesn’t particularly care for football, but she loves me so she loves BYU football and as a HCBW she supports my addiction. 

Our weekend plans were altered since we’re heading up to Utah valley for my grandma’s funeral, but you can bet we’ll be watching the game together tonight on t.v.

She has assured me that BYU is going to win. 

Bonus reason: Max Hall

I have one bonus reason the Cougs will win tonight.  Max Hall was the quarterback the last time BYU beat Utah, way back in 2009.  He’ll be running the flag out tonight.  And I just got an autographed Max Hall rookie card on eBay, so there’s that. 

BYU is going to win. 

My prediction: BYU 48, Utah 17. 

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