As with the coming collapse of North Korea, there will be a huge problem from the implosion of BYU fans' plans for independent domination: refugees.
The result? Ute fans are at risk of getting a public reputation more like Jazz fans: piles of docile, cheer-when-I'm-supposed-to asses in seats; a few tipsy folks; and a disturbing number of flaming #@%holes who pour a bitter lifetime's worth of frustrations on the visiting team and supporters.
With a 98% renewal rate for season tickets, Ute fans can help slow the infiltration into RES but we can't stop the flow. Initial signs of refugees will be subtle and further from the stadium--cars from Ogden to Provo with Utah and BYU stickers at the same time, full size cargo vans with the drum and feather on the back. Make no mistake, this is only the beginning.
Here's what I suggest.
Attach a requirement to the sale of new, non-alumni season tickets, and make the sale contingent upon passing a basic course on Utah fandom during the preseason. Maybe the MUSS can provide volunteer teachers similar to the Peace Corps to teach basic Utah fan skills. Hold the New Ute induction courses a couple hours before game time, in the middle of the Guardsman tailgate lot.
1. Give them a bratwurst, and make each New Ute smile and shake hands with a gentile Ute fan holding a red cup or a bottle. Encourage them to resist the urge to wipe hands with a hankie after.
2. Make the New Utes learn Utah Man by heart. Make them do it on their own time. Do not offer a fan coach and instructional video. Make no hand gestures. #%!@ Journey.
3. Lock the gates within 5 minutes of opening kickoff. Unlock the gates at the end of the game.
4. Introduce new Utes to Crazy Lady (maybe).
5. Teach them that the occasional John White howl is encouraged, but that a howl after each down is obnoxious.
6. Make them pledge not to boo their own team.
7. Help them to learn the sadness in Ute history with stories from their elders. Help them appreciate, not expect, the thrill of the last ten years.
Any other suggestions are welcome. One final one from me:
8. Immediately expel anyone who talks of a national championship or says they only cheer for winners.
Alternatively, let's put up a New Ute FAQ on utefans. Seriously. What would you put in one if we did?
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