I and my family went to the Notre Dameâ€“BYU game this weekend. We sat on the very back row—actually, on a lip cut into the rear retaining wall. BYU won.
A few observations:
1. BYU made a concerted effort to get fans to be kind and courteous to our opponents and their fans. Like most things Mormon, it was earnest, touching, and just a little too much to be in exquisite good taste.
2. We fans cheered lustily for the highlight moments–Austin Collie and Todd Watkins catching long, soaring passes; Matt Payne, after a bad snap, booting a perfect punt on the fly while dodging a swarm of Irish players; Daniel Coats sliding through seams; Todd Watkins pulling down the game winning catch while two Irish used him as a punching bag. All those moments got the stands roaring.
At half time Lavell Edwards and the 1984 championship team came out to be inducted into our Hall of Fame. A commemorative video played on the jumbotron. We fans hardly reacted. Some tepid clapping, scattered cheers, and that was it.
I wonder if these fans realize how self-defeating their own indifference is? If BYU sports is merely a showcase for athleticism, it only has instrumental value to the Saints, and limited instrumental value at that. BYU football will survive and flourish to the degree that its history is our history, and its stories and characters have become our own.