From the Sidelines: A non traditional fan, but a fan nonetheless
For years, I have quietly followed a college football team with interest each season.
The more I think about it they may be my favorite college football squad. There are not a squad where I don myself from head to toe with apparel, or tell all my friends and family how much I love the Cougars.
No, it is a more quiet, subdued affair. One where I watch them on TV when I can and always read game stories or watch game highlights on YouTube.
The team in question is the BYU Cougars in Provo, Utah and I have been a fan since I was a kid.
I grew up in Honolulu Hawaii and BYU coming to town to face the University of Hawaii was always a big deal and there were rivals. Several Cougar players came from the 50th State. I remember watching those LaVell Edwards coached teams and loving their wide-open offense that put up point after point on the board from signal callers such as Ty Detmer. And, well known NFL quarterbacks Jim McMahon and Steve Young also played for the Cougars as well.
While I would still root for UH when they faced BYU I started to always watch and root for them whenever they were on TV and grew to enjoy their playing style.
The irony is on my mom’s side they were diehard fans of all the University of Utah sports teams, the bitter rival of the Cougars.
By grandparents were born and raised in Odgen, Utah and my grandfather and both uncles graduated from the University of Utah. My mom was planning to stay a year at a college in Hawaii and transfer to the University of Utah. My mom met my dad her the first year of college in Hawaii and those plans changed. Heck, the University of Utah was one of my final choices to go to college at as well before I decided I wanted to go to a smaller school and attend Southern Oregon University. And, not that it matters, I’m not even Mormon.
Over the years I always stop and watch whenever I see BYU on television and my devotion, although quiet, never wavered.
It only grew stronger when I was the sports editor for the Triplicate newspaper in Crescent City, Calif. A outstanding wideout for the Del Norte Warriors football team, Cody Hoffman, was this amazing player that was not getting many D-1 looks coming from a small area.
Long story short he was about to sign with Sacramento State when a local resident, an old friend of the than BYU head football coach Bronco Mendenhall gave him a heads up about Cody. Bronco was impressed with the game film; a visit was set up and Cody signed with the Cougars. He became a top starting wideout for them and by the time his career at BYU concluded in 2013 he became the BYU all-time reception leader, touchdown leader, and receiving yards leader. This only solidify me rooting for the Cougars. Back than it was a kick seeing a player I covered in high school playing at a high level D1 gridiron program.
In 2011, I was fortunate to be able to cover Cody when he played Oregon State up in Corvallis. It turned out to be a win and Cody had a huge game. It was fun to see the passionate Cougar fanbase who flocked to the game and talk to these die-hard fans. They were all really nice to me and were so happy I was up at the game covering Cody Hoofman.
This year, BYU is having one of their best seasons in years and are undefeated. While they have not gotten much love from the football playoff committee with a low No. 14 ranking in the first playoff standing announced of the season last week, I believe they are one of the most complete teams in the country. They have a solid defense and can score at will on offense led by signal caller Zach Wilson who is being talked about as a high first round pick.
They have crushed the competition all season. I'm hopeful they can add a Power 5 team to the schedule to prove they belong in the playoff conversation, although the odds are going down with each passing day.
It was announced Monday that the Cougars Dec. 12 contest against San Diego state will be broadcast nationally on ESPN 2.
I am excited to see them in action again. And, if you have not watched the Cougars play recently, I highly recommend you do. They are a fun team to watch and deserve a lot of accolades for their stong play this year.
While I might not be a traditional fan of BYU football, I am a fan none the less. Good luck Cougars the rest of the way.