HENDERSON, Nev., Dec. 23, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — A Brigham Young University football fan driving to the Las Vegas Bowl had a playful exchange with rival University of Utah fans, and shared her experience in an open letter.
Marybeth Long of Draper wrote the following letter after her experience at the Henderson, Nev., IHOP the day of the game:
“I realized God had a strange sense of humor Saturday morning when, after a long drive from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas to cheer on the Cougars, I ended up at IHOP seated next to a table of college-aged Ute fans. I was alone – not having yet met up with my friends for the game – and was dressed in my appropriate, classy Cougar gear and they were drowning in God-awful red from head to toe.
“We spotted each other, made eye contact, and threw a few verbal jabs back and forth. If I was honest, I would have to admit that I think I threw the first verbal attack. But soon after being seated and receiving my breakfast, the innocent jabs quickly escalated into spit wads, thrown straw-wrappers, and wadded wet napkin balls (all from them, of course, Cougars don’t act this way).
“So find me a little shocked when I went to pay for my breakfast a half-hour later and found that my rivals had not only picked up my check but had left my server a very handsome tip. We lost the game on Saturday and my trip to Vegas and Sam Boyd stadium reinforced that the BYU/Utah rivalry is alive and well – but it warms my heart and makes me smile that chivalry is still alive, as well.
“Thank you to those Ute fans that reminded me that football games are just football games – but kindness, compassion, and a few innocent spit-wads are forever.”
Long told Gephardt Daily she feels that the rivalry games are always close and wild.
“I think that’s why it’s considered one of the best rivalries in the country – two evenly matched teams. I think if the Utes hadn’t had had so many injuries at the end of the season, it wouldn’t have been so close. I guess we will see in nine months,” Long said.
Long called the IHOP incident “a neat experience.”
“Well, the spit wads…not so much.” Long said. “I could totally see that they were just kidding with me, but it was pretty brazen to throw spit wads at a grown woman. They made it right ─ and more.”