It's the latest outrage de jour, with the Salt Lake media latching onto it like Kyle Whittingham dug up Brigham Young himself. It's predictable, and, sadly, all too common in this rivalry. It also solidifies everything that is wrong with the Holy War.
Don't get me wrong, the hatred can be fun - to a point. But often it borders on toxic and that ultimately leads to the outrage we've seen today - accusations that the University is anti-Mormon and therefore, those Mormons who actually root for the Utes are somehow committing blasphemy because, gosh, why would you ever cheer for that school? They clearly hate Mormons. I mean, yeah, the head coach is Mormon, as are a great deal of players, but still! You saw the video. They were mocking - mocking what, of course, is not clear. But it was mocking and scandalous and sure enough, the Salt Lake media lapped that crap up.
It plays into a divide that, really, does not exist. There are many Mormon Utes. There are many non-Mormon Utes. Every Saturday, we fill the stadium and cheer on our team not caring what religion any of our neighbors identify with. It's not an issue eleven games of the year.
That 12th game, though? It dominates the discussion.
It leads to accusations and hate and comments that don't help foster the idea this is all that healthy of a rivalry.
How many Mormons who bleed crimson and white have been accused of turning their backs on their church for not liking BYU? I'm guessing quite a bit. Hell, I'm guessing many have heard it this week.
It's the driving force behind this rivalry and certainly it isn't one-sided. There are Ute fans out there who are anti-LDS and have no problem bagging on the Mormon Church during the Holy War Week (or any week, for that regard). They're not blameless in all of this and should be called out for their rhetoric. But I don't think they make up a majority of the fan base - especially since most non-Mormon Utahns either know, or have family, who are of the LDS faith.
Yet it's a constant narrative when the rivalry game rolls around. BYU fans love to throw those accusations around, and worse, the media seems to love to egg 'em on. There is no other reason to explain the fuss over this video. As Ted Miller of ESPN put it:
The Pac-12 blog is not smart enough to figure out why this video of a couple of Utah players is controversial, but it apparently is.
And yet, it was the only thing everyone could talk about Wednesday.
I mentioned on Twitter that it was unusual this video had been released in the wake of Spencer Hadley's suspension and I stand by that remark. No one is talking about what Hadley actually did and instead are solely focused on this video.
A damn video.
I love playing and beating BYU. But right now, I can't wait for that hiatus because I'm tired of the trivial attacks that are too shallow and ridiculous to mean anything. The fact, only a few days until the game, we're talking about this is absolutely absurd.
It's pathetic. The whole ordeal is pathetic. Right now, scheduling BYU doesn't seem worth it anymore. Not with how their fans treat this rivalry ... and how the Salt Lake media covers it.
Is it 2014 yet?