Gridiron Goofiness

Michael McAlister Blog Leave a Comment

Fascinating piece on the Utah and BYU rivalry from today’s New York Times:

As B.Y.U. players navigate the narrow alley onto the field, Utah fans on both sides hurl down insults that are as personal as they are profane. It feels less like an entrance than a perp walk.

Of course, some of those fans are themselves Mormon. They just happen to root for Utah.

“They know there are two things that are really personal — one is religion, two is family,” said Olsen, a former defensive tackle who finished his college career in 2000 and is now a sports talk radio host here. “So they’d throw out something like, ‘How many wives did you have to ask before you could play in this game?’ It’s all the typical stereotypes about Mormons. To hear that — and it would be the same for Catholics, Buddhists, Jews — it feels like they’re attacking God.”

Isn’t tribal-centric behavior interesting? Ah, rivalries: mind created orientations that so easily lead to internal violence.

One of the things I’ve enjoyed over the years is how there often seems to be more civility than cruelty in my own Cal v. Stanford experience. Yet I still find that there are those on both sides that generate amazing identification with their sense of belonging.

What’s not to belong to? Better yet, we all are members of all sides at the deepest levels of the Dharma.

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