Sunday, January 31, 2016

I See... Disarming the BYU- Utah Rivalry

The Mormon Third Eye specializes in offering unconventional yet practical solutions to thorny problems. Whether its the four rules of successful living, keeping your teenagers out of trouble at stake dances, or just breaking the FemaleGift Code, the MTE has consistently provided workable solutions to some of the most relevant challenges in today's LDS families.
Few dilemmas should be as relevant and challenging to LDS families (especially the mixed marriagesreferenced here) than the torturous trials facing BYU and UofU sports aficionados joyfully participating in the overheated collegiate rivalry, affectionately labelled “the Holy War.” UofU basketball coach Bill Krystkowiak highlighted some problematic elements to the 109-year tradition when he chose to unilaterally cancel current and future basketball games with BYU rather than wrestle with the heated tensions and emotions associated with winning and losing. Players throwing punches, confident coaches viciously and openly criticizing opposing fear-laden coaches' attempts to weasel out of scheduled games, cruel jokes about fat coeds at both schools and the mothers of opposing team's players; it's spiraled way out of hand.

However, the MTE has done it's research and has the answer. Put your seatbelt on- the solution is wildly creative yet sensible.

Inspiration for this approach came from the story about an inspirational high school football game between Grapevine Faith Christian School and Gainesville State in Texas. Grapevine was a perennial football powerhouse regularly fielding 70 players and a staff of 11 coaches. Gainesville State is actually a ragtag team of 14 players from Gainesville State Youth Penitentiary who are escorted on and off the field by armed guards. Gainesville had gone 0-9 that year; they were used to the taunts of opposing player and parents complaining about having to compete against criminals.

The Grapevine coach did something truly remarkable to help the team and school prepare for the big game ahead. He asked Grapevine students, fans, and parents to form a formidable cheering squad for Gainesville State. You can read more about that here.

Gainesville State lost that game 33-14, but their players celebrated as if they had won. Since then the annual game has been renamed the “One Heart Bowl,” with an excited cadre of Grapevine Faith Academy parents, students, and cheerleaders effusively encouraging Gainesville State forward to it's next touchdown.

The implications of applying this same principle to the BYU-Utah rivalry are nothing short of mind-boggling. Imagine for a moment BYU assuming the role of Grapevine Faith Academy and asking some of it's alumni, parents, and students to wear red and root for Utah the next time they come to play in the Marriott Center or Edwards Stadium. Even if Utah lost, they would leave the contest full of hope that they were loved and appreciated despite their obvious personnel and leadership challenges. Rivalry tensions would magically meltaway under the bright sun of BYU benevolence.


I'm ready! Who will join me!  

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