Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Our BYU Football Fiasco

When I heard that BYU's football team had a game at the University of Virginia this year, I was so excited! Andrew was on board with it, too, so we got tickets and anxiously awaited the arrival of the Cougars in Charlottesville. We hadn't been to a college football game since we were in college. I couldn't wait to share the experience with the kids.

Before some of their away games, the BYU football team holds team firesides where a few of players share their testimonies, they sing a few musical numbers, and Coach Mendenhall speaks. I thought it sounded like a neat opportunity, so we took the kids out of school a little early and headed up to Va on Friday afternoon.

The drive was great.

The scenery was beautiful.

We got to the church building just in time for the fireside. Apparently, we weren't the only people who wanted to listen to these guys speak. The place was packed! We ended up watching a television feed in the Relief Society room with the five of us packed into three seats. Poor Caroline was exhausted from her first week of school and fell asleep on Andrew's lap about 10 minutes after the fireside started. The rest of us enjoyed the speakers and songs. Several of the Polynesian players sang a traditional Tongan song. It was beautiful! Three of the speakers are young men who are on the football team, but are taking a break to serve full-time missions, all of them actively serving in Virginia. That was cool. My favorite speaker was Coach Mendenhall. He has an amazing testimony and is a great example of someone who is trying to follow the Savior.

We stayed in a hotel outside of Charlottesville that night. We got there late, enjoyed a good night's sleep, and went for a quick swim in the morning.

 What a fun way to start our day!

Then we headed in to town to start tailgating. Since I went to Dental Hygiene school at what was then UVSC (now UVU) we were invited to a luncheon with President Holland (Tony's doppelganger) and other alumni in the area. 

The resemblance is pretty unbelievable.

 Andrew and I enjoyed our free lunch.
The kids picked at their burgers, which were a little
 on the rare side for their tastes.
But the cookies were yummy,
especially the chocolate bacon ones.  Mmmmmm.
They gave us each of us two gifts, a seat cushion and a poncho.
Very thoughtful.

When we were full, we hopped in the van and found a sweet parking spot near the stadium. I had Andrew check the weather forecast before we locked up and it said there was zero-10% chance of rain that afternoon. We decided to leave the ponchos in the car, but brought our seat cushions along and headed to the game.

 We passed Brandon Ave. on our walk.

We had a mini-reunion at the stadium.
Aunt Karla and Uncle Richard were in town.

And we saw Talisha and Nate, cousins we had met on the road trip.

 We caught a peek of a hurried Cosmo.

We had seats with Chris, Tiffany, and their kids.

Go Cougars!

I LOVE football. It was so fun to be in the stadium, watching our team play. As our first experience, I learned some lessons. 

#1. Buy tickets in the visitor section if you're rooting for the visiting team. I'm actually not sure how to do this, but if we ever go to another BYU game, I will figure it out. It was kind of awkward to be a little island of cougar fans amidst the throng of Wahoo fans.
See that swath of blue and white to the right?
How do I get there?

#2. Even though UVA's official mascot is the Cavaliers, they prefer to be called the Wahoo's.

#3.  A Wahoo is a fish that can drink it's own weight in water. Back in the days when UVA was a less refined institution, the students were known for their high drinking capacity...of beverages other than water. They called themselves Wahoo's. The university discouraged this nickname for years...until they found that they could sell lots and lots of t-shirts, hats, and other football paraphernalia. Now they've embraced the name, and the profits that come along with it.

So, even though we were surrounded by Wahoo fans, we were having a good time cheering on our Cougars. The game was scoreless by the end of the first quarter. And then the fiasco part of the trip started.

Even though the weather was nice, they made an announcement that the stadium was closing because of lightning in the area. What???

I thought this was football!

We left our seats and took "refuge" from the clouds.
We were stuck in the bowels of the stadium for TWO HOURS.
That was two long hours.
We attempted to entertain ourselves by...
dressing up as 3-headed monsters,

thumb wrestling,

and practicing the cup song (without a cup)
while others made sad faces while we waited.

Oh, somewhere in the midst of the two hours, the storm came through.
And it was a doozy!
I was glad I didn't have to sit through it.

Eventually, the sun peeked through and they let us take our seats.
Our very WET seats.

The players had to warm up again.
This was going to be a long day.

I stepped out to get us something to eat...
And the Cougars scored a touchdown to put us up 7-0.
Yay! (But secretly boo that I missed it!)

It went downhill from there.
It was NOT a good game.
But here are a couple of action shots I got.

After halftime, the heavens opened once again and the rains poured down. 

We were done.

Andrew ran through the downpour and got the van for us and we headed home, listening to the rest of the game on the radio. The Cougars made a comeback and we were feeling some regret, but then they blew it at the end of the game and we were SO glad we had left.

The adventure wasn't *quite* over because that night was my fantasy football draft. I missed last year's and my team stunk, so I was determined to draft the players I wanted this year. 

We stopped at a McDonalds in the middle-of-nowhere Virginia, and borrowed their wifi for my draft. SO glad I did because my team rocks!


  1. Totally hard core! That's some BYU fandom right there. But it will certainly be memorable!

  2. The second to last BYU photo summarized the game: Taysom Hill about to get sacked, trying to throw the ball to a receiver who has fallen down. Ugh. What an experience, though. Thanks for keeping life an adventure.

  3. You made me wish I had been there right along with you! Really!! What an adventure you guys had. And that last picture of you drafting your fantasy players is a classic. One thing's for sure - you guys will never ever forget it!
    Mom S

  4. Wow that was an adventure!

    You'll have to keep us updated on your fantasy football league. I'm rooting for you!

  5. Your adventure was noted on all four SLC channels. Too bad they didn't have your pictures to go with their account of the game.
    Thanks for sharing.