Why I Don't Care to play BYU Anymore - an Open Letter from a Utah Fan

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's not you, it's me. Well, it's a bit you.

Actually, I hate BYU for many complex reasons. Most of these stem from years of back and forth intense battles in what were otherwise really fun football games.

But, hey, I've changed. I think you have too. We're not the same people as when we met. And I don't think you've grasped that. It's not that we're better than you (we have been recently and that trend doesn't appear to be changing). And it's not that I don't respect you (I do). It's not even that we have won 5 straight (and 75% of the last 15 - better than our winning % against all other opponents).

Yes, you will eventually beat us - could be next year could be in 5 years. That's not what this is about. It's a fundamental problem between the fans and programs. Things ebb and flow, programs have ups and downs. But the hatred is constant. I feel it myself, and I don't like it.

I, for one, can no longer hear delusions from coworkers, family, friends, or people on twitter that I don't even know. As a program, Utah has learned the truth of P5 college football and how hard it is. The teams are deeper, players faster and stronger, and the schedule never presents an easy game or stretch. On any given day, yes a G6 team can win. Yes, there are bad teams in the Pac12. But it is not the same. You have to play well every week.

So when I hear BYU fans compare our 9-3 records coming into the bowl game after playing a WAC-worthy schedule, or bring up 1984, or explain away why (after a fifth straight loss) they "beat themselves" and "would've won if there were 5 quarters", it makes me pull my hair out. My heart beats at an unhealthy pace. That seed of hatred that was planted deep inside when I was 7 starts to spread roots and grow larger.

Maybe that's what a good rivalry is all about. I don't know. To me, watching today, I wanted to win. Not because it was BYU, rather because I love my Utes and will always pour my heart too much into the result of their games. The two weeks of vitriol leading up to the game in no way enhanced my joy in the result.

I'll take the W and yes I will relish the opportunity to proudly sport my red and quietly rub salt in the wound of everyone who said BYU would win. But I have moved on. You're just another game on the schedule that I want to win. Our aspirations are higher than capping the season with a win over you. With nothing more on the line, all the hatred, nasty comments and dirty play just isn't worth it.

So the next time we play, yes I'll hope that we kick the snot out of the cougars. But you're not special. It's not you.


This die hard Ute fan.

PS I still love watching you lose :)