As always Vai your articles are well written and well thought out. I am Ute fan
all the way but when it comes down to it sports is just sports. I like the fact
that these young men are being responsible and doing there best to live the
gospel while working hard in school. I also have a deep respect for those who
arent members of the church on these sports teams and how they live there lives
repectively. Doesnt matter what university you play for, all that matters is who
you are as a person. This is more important than how many points they can score
Great perspective from one who can really see things as they are and ought to
What's up with Vai? So adult in his split loyalties. He sees the blue and red
world exactly the way I do.
Great article. Thanks Vai. You are an awesome example of true sportsmanship.
I hope people on both sides of the Utah - BYU rivalry will follow your
example.Keep up the great work.
Great guy and a great example of how all BYU/Utah fans should behave.
These comment boards are often the worst representation of the rivalry. My
friends, coworkers and neighbors are a mixed bag of BYU and Utah fans, and we
have fun following the teams and talking sports. In our family and many others,
the kids split up and attend the different schools - some even attend both (one
for undergrad and one for grad work).We "regular" folks
enjoy a good rivalry game as much as anyone. Since we vastly outnumber the
crazies who scream hatred and profanities, let's do more to set the example for
the next generation of Y an U fans.
Good article with some great points about friendship and sportsmanship despite
cheering or playing for separate teams. I agree with Vai that we should respect
the neighboring rival; however, I cant get myself to submit to wearing a rivals
tee shirt or hat, even for a friend. You are a better man than me Vai!
Your a great example to all Vai. Happy to read another of your blogs.
One of the great myths, nay, lies, is that competitors must hate each other. In
my life I have never competed against anyone more passionately than against my
brothers, nephews, and cousins, whom I love.Perhaps that
"hate" lie filters into sports because historically sports, fitness,
manhood, and unfortunately war, have been oft times interconnected. Soldiers
returned from war and drill sergeants became coaches, or coaches emulated their
drill sergeant and both the good and bad of war preparations permeated sports,
particularly the physical, demanding sport of football.Whatever the
reason, hate between rivals gets in the way of fun, friendly, but still-intense
rivalry that could build comaraderie and closeness, but instead increases
distance. Ironically, the hate and distance more often occurs
between immature fans than between actual participants who learn to respect each
other through the competition because the understand the mutual commitment,
sacrifice and effort it takes to strive for excellence and to produce great
All that said, Vai, you could have still embraced the Utes while wearing Cougar
gear, even at Rice Eccles! It would've been a great example that friendship
with your rival is not disloyal to your alma mater!
Great Article. Dick Harmon could take a lesson from Vai!
Keep breaking the walls down Vai.I think President Uchtdorf made it
plenty clear that we are all on the same team and anyone who is not following
his words might as well start smoking, drinking, and looking at Pornography.
It's either all true or none of it and you can't pick and choose.There is no room for the silly hate and insults that the fans with fragile
ego's display. Thanks for continuing to lead the way by putting your actions in
front of your mouth.I love the rivalry. It is fun to play each
other when we share the same media market and get information on both schools
from the local papers. Both teams really are doing great and fun to watch.
Let's enjoy this season and have watching our local athletes compete no matter
what school they play for.The fans that can't see past their own
team color are limiting themselves to their own
I'm a Utah fan that used to always cheer for BYU and Utah, except when they
played each other. Sports radio and the internet have ruined that. I'm hoping
that no longer being in the same conference will eventually allow me to cheer
for both schools again.
Great article, Vai. I bet those young men had a blast!
Great article Vai. Enjoyed it immensely. Keep up the good work and go Utes!
Vai,Just keep those Poly players coming to BYU.
Do what you want, Vai, you don't have to answer to us for your personal
feelings.One question, though, which you are well-situated to
answer: It appears that there is a vocal minority of ex-BYU players who are
poly, who have decided that BYU did them wrong and they were offended. Their
response, seemingly, is to decide that they hate BYU now, and that they are
going to be Utah supporters from now on.The most recent example, via
the rumor mill, is Tevita Ofahengaue. How does this happen, and what
do you think about it?When I try to imagine it out of a sports
context, it seems ludicrous. For example, I applied for a position with
Kellogg's, but was rejected. Should I now declare my undying hatred of Kellogg
and my new-found love for General Mills? "My family only eats "Lucky
Charms" from now on!Should I decide that I hate the US because
they audited me, and declare my undying for for Iran?Seems
ridiculous, but yet every couple of years, it seems, there are rumors of another
BYU player who has gone over to the "dark side".
Great article Vai. Was there with you in the stands at BYU. As a
young man in the 70's I sort of lived at the U going to many U games,
participating in all the kids summer camps on campus. Sneaking into the
"new" under construction underground sports complex as well as riding
my bike to the U on the mountain and playing many rounds of golf with my late
father on the golf course. I worked at the U hospital for several years and
went to East High School just down the street. I even got my mission call after
attending the BYU Utah game in SLC Nov of 76. Yet I wanted to go to BYU. I am true Blue but Red at heart for all but a few games during the year.
I do not like to see the hate I see on posts. I refuse to read them. Vai,
thanks for your comments. Hope many take this attitude to heart. As
for my Ute buddies, I am still waiting for all the Pizza's you owe me from the
Football games during our tenure in college. Including 1976. It's about time.
You helped recruit Sitaki to byu? Sounds like a recruiting violation....I kid, I
I am a Ute all the way, but have enjoyed Vai and his writings for quite some
time. I usually understand where Vai is coming from rather I agree with him or
not. Some of this is his balanced perspective within his personal views. Much of
it, is his polished writing ability that covers all bases for interpretation.If I could give Vai a constructive criticism (my POV), it would be to
leave out his resume much of the time. That said, it is often justified by what
Vai is writing about. Plus, even as a Ute, I do find his life accomplishments
impressive. Maybe some need to be impressed in order for Vai to be the
missionary he desires to be. Also @ In My Humble Opinion, I think I
am aware of your reference point. Still what are you sweating over. All but two posts were refreshing today!@ Jonas, I don't know
anything concerning Tevita Ofahengaue, but you should leave his name out of your
postings relative to some "rumor mill" you dwell in. I am not saying
that you shouldn't wonder about these issues at BYU, but please leave my Lucky
Charms out of it.
I wish I could meet Vai sometime. Hearing the way he talks makes you understand
how much wisdom he has. The rivalry gets extremely ugly sometimes and a lot of
times I'm in the middle of it. Occasionally it's nice to step back and enjoy
what both teams have accomplished. Definitely both sides fans try to belittle
what the other has accomplished. One thing both schools can agree on is that
both teams will be getting much more exposure and money. It's going to be nice
to get some hype and highlights on ESPN for both of our instate schools. Well
I'll try and treat the Utes with more respect all though sometimes they know
just the buttons to push. Go Cougs
True blue and still I enjoy Utes success except when playing the Cougars. As a
Utah resident I'm hopeful that good kids get a chance at a free education and
glory on the field. Regardless of which school is chosen let's hope they
represent the school well. Recent revelations about Ohio State, Auburn, USC, et.
al. are not in the NCAAs best interest. Stay compliant.
Vai,Thanks for doing your part to help make the Utah/BYU rivalry
more civil. You always show great class and leadership in your column and I'm
sure in everything you do by recognizing there are connections that bind us all
together, no matter what school we attended or cheer for.
As a Ute fan, there are very few BYU players I respect more (as a player and a
person) than Vai. I enjoyed the article and enjoyed the fact that you hosted
the U Rugby 7s team. I have become a big rugby 7s fan - the game is a blast to
watch. Thanks for the sport promo!Go Utes
Somehow I get the feeling Vai is double agent Maxwell Smart , played for BYU
but secretly recruits for UTAH. Vai do you secretly work for Kaos. Has anyone
seen agent Ninety-Nine up on the Ute campus. ?In all seriousness who
are the big profile relatives Vai has recruited to BYU lately. ? I
seriously question what Vai tells recruits, and the fact so many Utah fan's are
here tells me Kaos has done a number on Vai.
My only problem with Vai is He could have done all of that without putting on a
Utah shirt. I mean, you can show some level of respect without donning your
rivals colors. Maybe your vision is blurred just a little bit. Oh well, no big
Some things are better off not discussed. This is one of them. When I see
Utah fans hosting BYU players and wearing blue I'll take this a little more
seriusly. Until then, I am puzzled at the purpose of the story.
I am with you Via. Great story! Last year, or the year before,I attended the U
tah vs. Pitt.in Rice Echles. I have been "True Blue since 52" ,Married
to a BYU Homecoming Queen.Played ball for BYU. I wore all the Red clothing
offered by kidding Family members who are Ute Fans to the Max.( they just Knew I
wouldn't do it) Had a great time and was not uncomfortable in the least. Over
the years I have always followed the Utes when I am not absorbed with BYU
GAMES.I agree with Wayne Rout,however,The reverse role playing is just not going
to happen with my family In-laws. This is a Great Rivalry, but,some aspects of
it has become very Toxic,sadly to say.
Love the article Vai. Thanks for all the great years of watching you play
football. The Utes and Cougs have morphed into a sibling rivalry over the
years. We fight each other, but don't anyone else mess with out brothers!! I
like the Utes when they're not playing the Cougs. I would love to watch them
own the PAC12. I want them to lose only to us next season.
Vai, you are one of those remarkable people who make the world a better place in
which to live. Whenever I read one of your great articles, I am reminded how
proud you make me that I am an "Honarary Tongan" of more than 20 years
standing.Keep up the good work.
Hear, hear!Thanks to Vai for another great post and for being a
wonderful ambassador! We wear both colors in our family and cheer
for both teams. No hate here. I love that you put on a Utah shirt. The ties
that bind those of us who share a cultural or religious heritage are, or should
be, so much stronger than the our allegence to a particular school.The Rivalry (and we love it) would benefit from more and more people making
clear the feelings Vai has shared!
I played rugby with Vai's little brother Cappy and Rich Kafusi. The Polys are
just great people unless, you are in their way on the rugby pitch. Vai, just
remember while you are slumming with UofU that BYU is a better place to study
and play rugby.
Your a class act Mr. Vai, a class act. Thanks for taking care of those good
boys in Philly.A Ute fan.
Not "the" Mr. BYU in my book and never was. I think that Vai is
looking for work at BYU after he retires from his current job in Philly. He
tends to elevate himself by dropping the names of those known by readers as if
they are his "best" friends, or "I know more than you". This
is not my opinion of him as a person as I think he is probably a good person and
means well...however, he is not "the" face of BYU. Many of those who
have attended BYU, who are doing great things in and out of business, who are
making major and minor contributions to their communities, who serve others to
the best of their abilities and capabilities, both male and female...they are
the face of BYU throughtout the world. They are the Misters, Misses, Ma'am's,
etc. of BYU.
Thanks for the article Vai. As a rabid Ute living near Utah County, we also
done BYU gear in case our neighbors have a free ticket every so often. No
problems here either.
Vai,I enjoyed the article and I can understand what you have said
about Utah. What I would like to see is Kyle Whittingham give the same respect
to his alma mater that you are able to provide to Utah. He has allowed himself
to be sucked into the vortex that Urban Meyer created and seems to have a
difficult time even saying "BYU". As a proud BYU graduate I can
easily say "University of Utah" and have respect for them as a school
and team. To anything less would be childish and to be honest, that is where i
think Kyle has allowed himself to dwell.
Great article....but don't let them pull you all the way over. Come the 3rd
week of September and the real Vai will come back out of the closet.
I think this should be the best rivalry in the nation, not because of bad blood
but because both universities have a great insight to what matters most in life.
Yes, I'm talking the eternal perspective...If we can get the pious segment of
BYU fans and the self-righteous segment of U fans to chill...it could be a ton
JMH makes a great point.I'd love to see Kyle Whittingham have the
same attitude towards BYU that Vai has towards Utah.Respect for the
team and the players coming from the coaches would go a LONG way.
JMH and Lifelong Republican:Kyle displays the same attitude toward
the Y that Vai has for the U. On Meyer's interview of Kyle for ESPN, Kyle made
a positive remark about BYU. Meyer asked, "You can say that name?"
Kyle responded (proudly, I think), "It's my alma mater." Neither Kyle
nor Bronco is as demonstrative a personality or as loquacious as Vai, so their
mutual respect doesn't gush, but it's there.
Vai's articles are always well written. I'm always impressed. Good to see a
comment board like this as well. Keep up the good work Vai!
Vai, say it ain't so - you've gone over to the dark side of the force! Ok, just
kidding. This was a great gesture and I think he did the Cougars proud by
showing support of a group of quality young men, even though they play for our
Vai has a healthy perspective and a great attitude toward the rivalry -- and my
respect for him has only increased after reading his column today.I
do have to add though, I'm surprised the D-News would publish a positive
perspective about the Utes given its tendency to try and demonize Utah whenever
possible, such as that strange editorial a few weeks back. Hopefully Vai's
maturity will rub off on some of the other sports writers at the paper.Thank you Vai.
Meyer did great things for the Ute football program, but not great things for
the rivalry. Not because he elevated their play, but because he lowered the
standard of respect shown to their brothers, the Cougars. Growing up
in this state, I cheered for both teams. I went to BYU because academically it
was a better fit for me and my chosen career path. Post-Urban-era Ute fans (and
not all of them) have made me feel defensive about my school, have made personal
attacks on my character because of my school and have rid me of any fondness I
once had for their school. I can no longer cheer for a team
represented by such awful and hate-filled bigots. It is not all of Ute fans.
There are plenty of wonderful fans in their stadiums, but sadly it is enough of
All that said (to which I wholeheartedly agree), I for one am happy that Kyle is
the Utes' head coach and no longer Urban, who was a strong divisive factor while
he was here in terms of true sportsmanship.Admitting the fact that
Meyer was an excellent coach, his "the team down south" was a childish
and immature approach to college sports rivalry and competition.Yea!
I cheer, for Kyle and Bronco, as well as yea for Urban's departure six years
Great story. I played rugby at BYU, have a great deal of respect for the Ute
rugby team. Funny that Mr Rowley is straining on his tippy toes for the picture.
Those of us with incipient paranoia need to remember to ignore the offenses
perpetrated against us. 95% of the time the offense was unintended. And the
other 5%? Nothing ticks them off more than to be ignored!Unfortunately, I'm far better at telling the answers than living them. Vai,
you are a great role model and 95% of us appreciate it! And you so nailed it:
100% for the young men and women, whatever their color or colors.
We have more in common than not, and all have the eternal goal. It is great to
see so many accentuate and build on the positive.
Vai, my hereo, and no disrespect intended. You are in excellent condition,
therefore, in order to give you a taste of what it is like to have a profound
respect for those with whom you work whether they be red or blue, change into
black and white verticals, slip a whistle between your jaws and step onto the
hardwoods or the gridiron. After all its exciting to step below two towering
athletes smiling down at you just before the opening toss. Its kind of like love
at first sight.
@ In Stitches: I could echo your words, but from the other side of things.
Hearing comments from hateful BYU fans over the years, sometimes from the pulpit
at testimony meetings, has left me without respect for most BYU fans.That being said, my son and my son-in-law are both students down at BYU, and I
appreciate the experience they are having there. Thankfully, as a family, we
are able to each take pride in our schools, without hateful words exchanged. I
like to think I have raised a new breed of BYU fan; one who will act much like
Vai has if given the opportunity.Vai, you are a man of God first,
before anything else, and it is something we should all strive for. Thank you
for your example.
I couldn't have written this article any better. Its too bad some of us can't
take this article with humility and for what it is and get it all twisted. What
good sportsmanship coming from a BYU alum. Way to go my Poly Brother, and be
the example from a non-Mormon.
It will be an interesting day to day Utah stars reach out to BYU teams. Then
we'll have a story.
Via, I worked with your wife at the post office and I know she is not a u fan.
She bleeds blue. Sad but true. As for rugby players, that is not a sport.
It is a battle. Who would put themselves through such pain as to play that
sport. I feel pain just watching rugby. Come on. We are a civilized
society. Such human cruelty should not be tolerated. You can sugar coat
how wonderful red and blue are.... But on game day... Do you feel the same or is
your heart pulling for blue. Exactly my point. You can talk the talk of being
multi colored person but game day you are only blue. It's the truth. In the end
you can't walk the walk!
mountain man,So what is your point? Don't think any of his new
rugby fans expect him to switch sides or even be neutral once it's on. Really?
Do you?After a tough loss last year, I received plenty of
conciliatory words during the long walk out of RES. I really wouldn't ask for
Mr. BYU is the only sane person in the whole rivalry. More great stuff from Vai.
What's Vai selling now?? Hope he holds some of it back so that he doesn't
completely sell out...