Utes bust out and make believers

by Scott Boyle

“Who am I, sir, 
A Utah Man am I!”

The BCS busting Utes football team thoroughly outplayed an overconfident Alabama team last Friday night in the Sugar Bowl, stunning the Crimson Tide and the nation and Barry “Alabama wouldn’t recruit one Ute player” Switzer, 31-17.

Switzer is still mad about the 31-6 grilling BYU gave his Oklahoma Sooners in the 1994 Copper Bowl game, one of only two good bowl games the 9-16-1-in-bowl-games Cougars have ever had.

The Utah – Alabama game was much more one-sided than the final score would suggest.   

Indeed, it was a magical night for Utes head coach and former BYU linebacker (I had to get that in there), Kyle Whittingham, and Ute fans everywhere.  The love is ubiquitously apparent.  Why, even the blogs are ripe with praises of the Utes, and from self-described die hard BYU fans, no less!? 

Governor Huntsman smoothly called them the best football team ever in Utah! (More on Governor Huntsman later). So I have to articulate, I acknowledge, that they certainly earned my appreciation and approbation.

Everytime I’ve seen my driveway-painting-Ute fan-neighbor since Friday, I’ve made the “U” with my hands, just to show my support, even though you form the “U” by making mirror images of an L.  And the “U” gesturing is sincere, I assure one and all. 

“A Utah Man, sir, I will be ‘til,,,,BYU plays well in a bowl game. Ki-yi!”

Sugar Bowl Connections
The night was not as magical as it seemed, however, for all Ute fans.  Much was made on national TV and on a local TV station during the Sugar Bowl of the chartered bus trip some 70 or so Ute fans made to New Orleans for the game. 

As quoted on ABC4.com “It took 38 hours, a few delays and an executive order from Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. to leave Utah, but some dedicated Ute fans made the trip to New Orleans to see their beloved team take on the University of Alabama in the BCS Sugar Bowl on Friday. 

“The fan bus was apparently 3,000 pounds too heavy when checked at the Utah-Colorado border, and a quick appeal to the governor resulted in what might be the first and only ‘bus pardon’ in history.”

That infamous Utah-Colorado border weigh station just happens to be in Monticello and the bus was “about 5000 pounds overweight” according to weigh station employee, Janae Briggs. 

Briggs and her supervisor, Kelvin Thacker, detained the bus at the station east of Monticello, informing them they would need another bus from SLC to take an extra 15 passengers.  5000 pounds divided by 15 equals,,,just a moment as I mentally calculate this,,,,that’s 333 pounds per person, counting luggage of course. 

“I am a Utah Man, sir, and I live across the green,. Our coeds are the fairest and each one’s a shining star”.  

The bus drove back to the Shell Station in Monticello where, according to  ABC4.com, “Fans passed the time by partaking of various forms of liquid refreshment,”

“Our gang it is the jolliest that you have ever seen”, watching movies, and singing the U of U fight song ‘Utah Man’...about 1,000 times by some estimates.” 

“Our yell, you’ll hear it ringing through the mountains near and far!  Who Am I, Sir?” 

According to Sarah Thomas, a Deseret News part time correspondent who was on the bus, “After offloading the trailer full of our luggage, we sat in the parking lot of the largest gas station in the small town for 2 1/2 hours trying to decide which 15 paying passengers to kick off the island and leave stranded until another bus could find them, at least five hours away.

“After ‘Survivor’-style alliances were formed and people were ousted, the bus got word of a pardon, allegedly from Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., and all people and suitcases were stuffed back on the bus to continue on our way.”

Ahh, note the word “allegedly”?  Alleged means “presumed, asserted but not yet proven to have taken place, have been committed, or be as described.” 

And so it was with the inspiring story of the “first and only ‘bus pardon’ in history”.  It didn’t happen. 

Briggs and Thacker, realizing the time, difficulty and overwhelming expense of another bus coming from Salt Lake City, decided to issue the bus a citation for being overweight and let them on their way. 

With a hearty thank you from the VP of the bus company and $150 from the bus driver, the Ute fans, (not before a quick trip to the bathroom) reloaded the bus and continued on their way. 

As a result, Briggs and Thacker, and UDOT, and the Governor’s office, were all a little puzzled and surprised by the announcement of the “bus pardon” during the Sugar Bowl. 

“It didn’t happen,” says Briggs. 

“We may not live forever on this jolly good old sphere, But while we do we’ll live a life of merriment and cheer.  And when our college days are o’er and night is drawing nigh, With parting breath we’ll sing that song:  A Utah Man am I!”

New Year’s Resoulutions?
Here’s mine.  I read this on a blog and thought I would make it mine.  “Live, love, golf, eat dessert.”  

I might have trouble with the last one, however, dealing with my wife, who is a self-described “Dessert Nazi.”  “No dessert for you!” 

Here is another resolution I got from another article: to not use any old, over used metaphors, similes, idioms, or clichés. ”

George Orwell wrote, in 1946, “By using stale metaphors, similes, and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself.” 

Nuff said… oops, starting… now.

San Juan Record

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PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
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