Tradition. Spirit. Honor. Rub it in your face?

Once again, BYU has received some negative publicity with a disrespectful comment posted on the scoreboard after beating Utah State. The message was posted after the game and said “Dear Utah St, Enjoy the Loss, Love your Big Brother, BYU”.

Now it is obvious that this was a student running the scoreboard (I hope), but still,  why did he/she feel the need to put that up there? In the last few years, these types of comments have become almost synonymous with BYU sports. I always just let it slide as a comment for a bitter rivalry, but this time, it had nothing to do with their true rival, the U.

A student who inadvertently has represented BYU publicly showed us that BYU athletics may have pride issues. Why did this student feel the need to place “your big brother” in his comment? Of course BYU is Utah State’s big brother, and that should go without saying! Strictly from a school size basis, which school has more students, funding, and programs? BYU. But to rub that in the face of the smaller, yet proud USU, seems low. You already won the game, why do you need to pull a Max Hall and take it further than that? It just makes USU hungrier to beat you, and it makes a loss a lot easier to swallow. I can’t help but think that this comes from BYU still being bitter that it lost to USU in basketball last year and was embarrassed by them in football this year.

Now I know, USU fans can get a little crazy, as we all can, but I am willing to bet that you will never see anything like this come up on a USU scoreboard after beating BYU, they would let their victory do the talking. These types of comments and acts should be left to the fans only. To let this kind of behavior happen on something that is controlled by BYU personnel is absurd. The student who put it up should be disciplined accordingly.

The issue at its heart is that BYU does not merely represent a school, but a religion. That is really the part that bothers me the most. I am not a Utah State fan, I really don’t pay attention, but I am part of that religion that BYU represents. When people see BYU they don’t just see a school, they see “that Mormon school” just like Notre Dame is the Catholic school. BYU students, faculty, and athletes are automatically held to that standard whether they like it or not and need to behave accordingly. If BYU doesn’t like that, they need to take down their slogan of “Tradition. Spirit. Honor.” because lately in their sports programs we have not been seeing that.

You know how I feel about the issue, but what are your thoughts?

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  • On the one hand I agree that BYU needs to be held to a higher standard. On the other hand, I think it was pretty funny what the kid did. The IT guy was probably some nerd that’s never kissed a girl, plays Warcraft all night, and has never had anyone laugh at one of his jokes. So let him have his 15 minutes of fame.

    A line from “Cheaper by the Dozen” with the famous Mormon Steve Martin sums up my feelings on the matter: “Wrong. Funny, but wrong.”

    • Well it’s easy to say its funny if youre a BYU fan :). Honestly if this was just Utah vs. BYU stuff I wouldn’t be as fired up, but come on… other people not from here won’t see it that way. It’s not the comment that I care about, it’s BYU’s and the LDS Church’s image that I care about. This crap keeps happening with BYU and something needs to be done. I can see why BYU-I doesnt have sports…

  • BYU athletics MAY have pride issues? For real? Before this latest instance of BYU holier-than-thouness, the church’s President Uchtdorf felt that this was such a major issue that he focused his entire remarks in Priesthood session of General Conference on these specific sports-related pride issues. Granted, he wasn’t speaking to only BYU fans, but guess which school’s alumni heard that talk more than any other? Yup, the Y. Unless they were too proud to think they needed to attend the session . . . 🙂

    As a USU fan and a Mormon, my greatest hope is that BYU does go the way of BYU-Idaho and get rid of intercollegiate sports. The potential upsides (missionary work, really?) are heavily outweighed by these sorts of downsides.

    • More than I hate the “race card” being pulled is the “holier-than-thou card”. How is this an example of a holier-than-thou attitude? Maybe a “we’re-better-than-you-at-basketball” attitude, but I’m not seeing the holier-than-thouness here.

      • ditto. The ‘holier-than-thou’ accusation is getting really old! What also gets really old is microscopic analysis of every word that comes out of the mouth of BYU.

      • That is kind of the point I am trying to make though. BYU sets themselves for it when they decided to hold themselves to a higher standard. That’s why Utah, Utah St, Weber etc. could get away with this stuff while BYU can’t. It the “Tradition. Spirit. Honor.” that they advertise and have difficulty living up to. WHen you put yourself out there like that as a school, you have to be ready to deal with the backlash when things go wrong.

      • Actually they only advertise Tradition Spirit Honor for football. So it doesn’t really apply here.

      • Actually BYU could get away with it Ute fans and Aggie fans weren’t so obsessed with BYU.

        So what you’re saying is it’s okay for and LDS Ute or Aggie to drop F-bombs but it’s not okay for non-LDS Cougar? Can we be more hypocritical please?

      • Honestly? Yes they could. Their schools don’t have honor codes like BYU. I love that they have it, I really do, but time and time again something gets said or done by people affiliated with BYU who AREN’T fans that don’t happen with usu or Utah. With fans it’s ok, but when its employees and athletes who represent you that are doing it, its not ok. This usu incident is minor, but these little things happen with BYU too often. That’s my point, the bigger picture.

      • Come on Andrew, you know there is no way to convince a coug that he could possibly be wrong about anything or that his schools could be flawed at all. Look at the way they still defend and support max hall’s indefensible comments. Look at how many of them tried to argue that Harvey Unga should be allowed to play this season. A Cougar’s process of reasoning is forming desired conclusions first and then contorting facts to support conclusion. Such as “Oh, there is no way BYU could be guilty of classlessness, so let’s ask my out of state friends that like BYU what they think of the comments on the jumbotron.”

      • Wow! What a firestorm I started on here. This has got to be the most comments on any topic for this blog. You’re welcome.:)

        Ben, you’re right that “holier-than-thouness” is maybe not the right choice of words here. I should have said “latest instance of condescending jerkishness from BYU fans.” But this illustrates perfectly the real problem. When your organization represents a religion, people can’t help but confuse a condescending attitude with a holier-than-thou feeling. I fell very easily into this same trap.

        As for your other comment, I would LOVE to hear positive things that BYU sports are doing. But I don’t believe they exist. In all my years of church attendance, I have never heard a single testimony about how Ty Detmer’s Heisman Trophy brought someone to the gospel, or how Shawn Bradley’s selection in the NBA lottery converted a whole congregation. I want to believe; help thou my unbelief.

  • Nice article (coming from a USU fan). It’s hard to be an Aggie fan and an LDS church member and watch BYU athletics portray the church in a negative light. I know the scoreboard operator is just one guy, but the sentiment is shared among many BYU fans.

    I also don’t understand how BYU fans can say Utah St. is not a rival, but then gloat after a win or get super angry if Utah St. fans try to trash talk. You won’t see an Aggie fan up in arms if an SUU fan tries to trash talk. You let the victories do the talking. Only the threatened take offense. Just my 2 cents.

    • I think what we really need are some feel good stories about the great things BYU athletics is accomplishing. You know, some Chicken Soup for the Mormon Sports Fan Soul. We focus too much on the negative.

      • When I saw “we” I mean the media in general. When have you ever seen an article about the good that comes from BYU athletics? Yet in the last month I’ve read 3 about the pride/cheating/holier-than-thou of BYU.

      • Ben, I think the exact same thing as you,need more byu feel good stories. Sadly we will have to make them up, cuz ut seems like the only thing byu athletics is good at is acting like a fool with their pants on the ground, metaphorically speaking of course.

  • At least our fans don’t strip in the family section of the stadium.

    Your nemesis

  • Mormons honestly need to get over themselves, people outside the state I have talked to thought it was funny, noone besides uptight Mormons even thought twice about what was put on the scoreboard.

  • Ben, have you ever been to a USU game? Much worse is said and done. I really am having a hard time believing this is an issue. Does USU really have their panties that much in a bunch?

    Just have the USU folks take their Midol and go back to milking their cows.

    • scotty, no, it wouldn’t be that big of a deal except for the fact that this is the very school that believes they really are a divine institution. when you go to campus everyday, you get pretty sick of hearing kids who think they are more elect than non-byu-student mormons. if such a large majority of byu students didn’t have this attitude, the rest of the world wouldn’t be so eager to jump on one of their mishaps. it’s funny to hear Jake Heaps talking after the Washington game about how only BYU could do a 2-QB system b/c BYU is so unique and special and then seeing that system fail (like any idiot knew it would) over the course of the next few weeks. byu sets itself up for this kind of ridicule. so to answer your question again, no, it shouldn’t be that big of a deal, sorry that BYU made it that way.

      • That is what is frustrating here. I walked that campus for five years and never heard anything like what you are saying. I’m sorry, but I have to believe this whole “holier than thou” theory is something somebody made up to give him a reason to hate BYU.

        The other reason this is so ridiculous is that everyone here is passing a sweeping generalization on BYU because of the actions of 1 person. 1 person! Give me a break.

      • Yeah I never heard the whole “more elect” stuff either. I was there 3 years. That’s a bunch of crap.

        As for Heaps, I still don’t claim him. He’s a a little out there.

      • really? i just had a sunday school teacher compare the cougs to the more educated, wealthy, and wise group of people ou to fhte OT and then say the wolverines were like the group that was the antithesis of that. did you not like my example of jake heaps? you don’t have to walk campus for 5 years to hear that, just listen to the radio. how come jake heaps has this idea that byu is a different place than other colleges and you guys missed out on it? i’ve picked up a ton of that in my short time there. no i don’t need a reason to hate byu. i actually love the school, and i understand one person doesn’t represent the whole school, but when that one person is your starting qb or the scoreboard worker it’s hard to distinguish him from the school.

      • I would agree that BYU is a different than any other school. How could it not be? What I don’t agree with is the fact that its students and alumni are more ‘elect’ (as you put it) or ‘holier than thou’ (as has been already mentioned here). I also don’t think that the majority of students/alumni believe that either. Some may say/think that but it’s not representative of BYU as a whole. That’s what I wish people would understand but I know that will never happen because it’s easier to make gross generalizations.

      • really? you agree with his comment that BYU is unique and special and the only place that a 2-QB situation could succeed?
        at least we both agree that byu students aren’t more elect, if only we could convince your comrades of the same.
        i haven’t once made a generalization about the whole entire campus, i have only stated that b/c people say stuff like this in very public places it’s only natural to assume that this is the product that the byu bubble cultivates.
        i have given you several examples, keep in mind i don’t write them in my RM planner, just stuff off the top of my head. it’s a frequent occurrence to see things of that nature.
        there’s a lot of awesome dudes at BYU, so don’t get your pants all ruffled up. i thoroughly love going to school there, but i understand 100% why byu has the negative stereotype it has and the fault lies with a very vocal minority (how much of a minority? that’s debatable).

      • The first time I ever heard that phrase was from Ute fan complaining about BYU.

  • Sports fans love sports – we all know that. It is painful when your team loses. When you make fun of someone after beating them, you are being a jerk. In this case I think the offense was pretty minor, but still jerky. Are USU fans being too sensitive? Sure, if they are deeply offended by this. But maybe they are doing just what I would do if I wanted to retailiate at someone who was a jerk to me. By feigning outrage and blowing this story out of proportion, they can make it as embarrassing as possible for BYU. When you are a jerk, you provide ammunition to your enemies. Don’t blame USU fans for using the ammo provided by BYU.

    As a Ute fan, I’m embarrassed when Ute fans act like jerks. As a Mormon, I’m embarrassed when BYU fans act like jerks. BYU is held to a higher standard (e.g., the BUCK FYU T-shirts at the USU football game were much more offensive than this). I don’t really care if they should or should not be held to that standard, it is a fact that they are. What I don’t understand is why they haven’t learned yet that when they act like jerks they inevitably end up embarrassing themselves.