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Why I'm a fan of the Utah Utes

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Welcome to the refreshed Block U! To celebrate the new look and feel of our sports communities, we’re sharing stories of how and why we became fans of our favorite teams. If you’d like to share your story, head over to the FanPosts to write your own post. Each FanPost will be entered into a drawing to win a $500 Fanatics gift card [contest rules]. We’re collecting all of the stories here and featuring the best ones across our network as well. Come Fan With Us!

How did I become a Utah fan? As a young boy growing up in rural Utah, I didn't know you could be anything but a Utah fan. I mean, I'm from Utah, why not be a Utah fan? I knew of BYU, and my friends were BYU fans, but as a young boy I knew there was something about that school that rubbed me wrong. I was definitely more of a basketball fan growing up, because I didn't care for football because of the "old school" 3-yards and a cloud of dust mentality in football for so long. I found it boring. As a young Runnin' Utes fan, I lived and died with every NCAA Tournament run, and every big Monday showdown that lasted until past midnight on ESPN. The only time that I can recall, crying about an outcome of a game, was when I was in 6th grade and the Utes lost the National Title game to Kentucky. A year later, I attended the Rick Majerus basketball camp for a week, and it was crazy hard work, but it was a lot of fun. I still remember the big guy pointing me out for my defensive stance, it was awesome.

Fast forward about five years, and as a freshman at the U, I decided to check out a college football game. I never had been to one, I'm a student at the university I've always wanted to go to, and shoot, I'll give the game a chance. That first game I attended was the 2004 season opener against Texas A&M. Needless to say, about three plays into the game I was hooked, and I was hooked hard. That, of course, was after Alex Smith hit Steve Savoy on a simple route along the sidelines and Savoy went 70 or so yards for a TD, to kick off a magical season. I remember the Monday before the game, there was a line for student tickets that went from the ticket office down to the tunnel under the road just north of the stadium. That was when you could get 1 student ticket for free, and buy guest tickets for $7 a piece for up to three more people. My sister and brother-in-law, who had never been to a game, and never went to the U, went with me to every game that season (including the Fiesta Bowl), and the group of us have been hooked ever since, and are proud season ticket holders. Not to be too sappy, but now those home games are a major bonding experience for us, because we don't get to hang out often.

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. SB Nation Why Are You a Fan Reader Sweepstakes starts on 8:00am ET on May 25, 2017 and ends at 11:59pm ET on June 8, 2017. Open only to eligible legal residents of the United States, 18 years or older. Click here for Official Rules and complete details, including entry instructions, odds of winning, alternative method of entry, prize details and restrictions, etc.  Void where prohibited or restricted by law.  Sponsor: Vox Media, Inc.