Well, Utes fans, this is it, the culmination of a decade of work since first joining the Pac 12 Conference. This is what we have all been dreaming of since the announcement on June 17th, 2010. We’ve done it! Our Utah Utes are playing before a national audience on one of the biggest stages. After everything this team has been through, they have shown the nation what it means to be a family. The win on December 3rd meant different things for different Ute fans. For some, this has been a lifelong journey, and you have had to suffer through a lot of up and down years until more recent success. For others, like myself, you arrived in Salt Lake City but now can’t imagine your life without Utah. No matter what, we all felt the same thing Friday night; pride. Overwhelming pride.
We all have different stories of how we came to the U. All are meaningful and significant to share on such a monumental occasion. I grew up in Wisconsin surrounded by siblings who graduated from the University of Wisconsin and grew up with dreams of becoming a Badger. Ultimately I fell in love with Utah after a visit and have dreamed ever since of watching my school in the Rose Bowl. When Utah first joined the Pac 12 back in 2010, I couldn’t wait for the opportunity to watch my Utes compete in the “Granddaddy of Them All.” I had to suffer (even after the Utes joined the Pac 12) by explaining to friends and family in Wisconsin what a Ute is and telling people what conference they were in; now we have arrived on a national stage with an opportunity to compete against a powerhouse.
Despite the recent national attention, any Utah fan will know we’ve been in this position before. We have and still are considered the underdog. Yes, we have gained more respect, but many national pundits still view this as a David v Goliath situation; however, they don’t know what we know. Those pundits don’t know how well Utah fans travel, they don’t know how great the tailgate scene is on a beautiful afternoon in Salt Lake City, they don’t know how beautiful the sunset is peeking just above Rice Eccles Stadium on game day, they don’t know how the Wasatch Mountain tremble every time the opposing team has a 3rd down, and they certainly don’t know the family we will bring on January 1st, 2022 and that we will be 22% better and more prepared than any other team. Yes, we are considered the underdogs, but to think in only a decade, this program has significantly closed the gap with other prominent programs, which is something we should all revel in. Rise Up Utes, wherever you are, we are in the Rose Bowl; what a time to be alive. I wish I could see it in person, but “our yell you’ll hear it ringing from the mountains near and far.” Go Utes!
In the comments, share your thoughts. What does this Rose Bowl invite mean to you?