BYU plays Liberty today. I have season tickets. I have for years and years and years. I’ve been going to BYU games since I was a little boy. I’m now a big boy and still religiously go every week. Rain or shine. It’s 12:26. BYU plays at 5:30 and I’m wrestling with driving from Syracuse to Provo to go to the game. They’re playing Liberty. Liberty. I’m a huge college football fan and I’ve never heard of Liberty. Ok. I’ve heard the Liberty, Liberty Insurance commercials with that emu but I didn’t know they had a football team. I’m hoping they aren’t playing the Liberty Insurance Company.
I guess it doesn’t matter too much. I think that I’ll be watching the BYU game from home today cause I have a reason to not go today. I’ve had a recent complication with my surgery and my Dr. told me to rest, relax, and not do anything for 4-5 days. I’d send pictures but it’s gross so I’ll spare you.
I miss my brother, Derek. A lot. BYU football is our thing. We didn’t miss games. Almost ever. We had so many experiences and fun times over many many many many years. When BYU was on the road we’d either watch together or text throughout the whole game. Dang. I miss him. BYU football is not the same without him. It was his first love. His life.
My nephew, Teagan, bought Derek’s season ticket that’s next to my three so we’ve had the chance to go together the last few years. It’s been fun to go with so many different people over the years. I love going with my family, Jodi, and my girls. I’ve also enjoyed my son in law, Jordan, being able to go to some games with me. It’s especially cool when Jordan and Teagan go together with me cause it allows me to sit by two of the four black people at the BYU game. Teagan plays a game and sets the over/under on how many other black people he’ll see there. It’s usually five or six. It’s usually the under.
Jodi will only go to the BYU/Utah game. Kylie, Sierra, and Tris only like going when it’s cold so they can get hot chocolate and snuggle up together while eating Cougar Dogs, Cougar Tails, and everything else good…except Postum. (They did go sit in the car at halftime a few weeks ago against Boise State cause it was “the coldest game they’d ever been to)”. Kylie’s safe spot in this world was between Derek and I at all the BYU games. Derek’s last promise to her before he passed away was that he’d still go to all the BYU games and still sit by her. I can assure you he’s kept that promise cause I’ve felt him at every game.
Vance goes. Lil’ G goes. Jax goes. My mom and Erin actually went to a game with us last year. Ellie goes. Jadice goes. Taylor goes. I’ve gone with my father in law, my brother in laws, lots and lots of friends. My nephews and nieces have all gone. I’ve been able to teach so many of the younger ones the ra, ra, ra part of the fight song and dance to it when BYU scores. We’ve shared so many good memories over the years and I value them all.
I especially value the time when Johnny Harlein caught the pass from John Beck on the last play of the game to beat Utah. We were in the corner of the end zone at Rice Eccles where it happened. I value this memory because of the experience I had watching Derek get slapped straight across the face from an elderly woman, Utah fan. So, after that play and the game ended he pulled out the double middle finger birds, said some choice words, as only Derek could, and got slapped. Hard. It’s a long and funny story. I’ll tell it one day but just know that right after those words and that slap he ran down to the field, left me uncomfortably standing there, and happily celebrated with the BYU team – as if he was on it.
I 💙 BYU football. I’ve learned over the years that it’s not all about the wins and losses. It’s about the experiences, the relationships, the fun, the memories, and the times I’ve been able to share with my family. BYU could go 3 and 634,999 and my love for BYU would still be the same.
I will not be going to the BYU game today. I will also not be receiving any texts from Derek today. I will, however, think about all the great times, experiences, and memories that BYU football has given me.
I’ll also laugh a little bit while watching the BYU game today remembering that “one time he got slapped”.
I love you, Derek.
I love you, dad.
I love all of you that have shared these BYU experiences and memories with me over the last many many many years of my life.
Rise and shout. The Cougars are out.
Ra, ra. Ra, ra, ra. Ra, ra. Ra, ra, ra…