This is it. The day we’ve all been waiting for. A close second to Christmas in the Westover household.
The first BYU football game of the season.
As sleep flitted away from us while the kids stomped and tromped through the house grateful to be alive on a Saturday morning, Heath said that yesterday was a fun day. Yes it was.
Yesterday was Friend Day. Gwen and Parker played with friends at the playground all morning. Then Parker went to school holding his best friend’s hand. Then we spent the entire evening hosting a barbecue with friends. It was fun. And Gwen was falling asleep while her dad sang to her. Successfully fun day.
For as fun as yesterday was Heath and I are so excited for today. Not only is it the first BYU football game of the season. Not only am I so excited I don’t care that the TV is tuned to ESPN already while Heath watches whatever football stories are on. Not only am I so stoked for today I am actually craving the pizza we will eat tonight. I know! Me craving pizza! Crazy! Not only all that but this season will be different.
BYU has officially gone independent.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around what this means but it sounds like a monumental decision. BYU’s athletic director, Tom Holmoe, along with BYU’s Board of Trustees, made the decision for three reasons.
- Money (money being the smallest motivator)
Access: This allows BYU’s fans to see the games. Outside of Utah this is a difficult thing for many people. For the last I don’t know how many years we have had to choose our cable provider based on who offered The Mountain and even then we couldn’t see every game. I remember many games, even living in Utah, where we listened to the game because it was unavailable to watch. Before kids this was an interesting way to cheer for BYU. After kids and this is an impossible way to pay attention. Plus, we can’t pick up KSL’s radio station outside of Utah unless it’s dark.
Exposure: With the decision to go independent BYU sports (football, basketball, men’s volleyball) will be broadcast nationally as well as internationally. Some 160 countries will be able to watch BYU sports. BYUtv is one of the most watched foreign produced cable channels in China. This I did not know. It makes me think of our friends who live in China. He used to come to our house when they lived near us and watch the games with Heath and me. Heath was very patient in explaining the intricacies of the game to both William and me. William had studied the game through books and loved watching whenever he had the chance. I can only imagine how thrilled he would be if BYU football was available to watch in his home country of China.
Money: Last year BYU played Oklahoma first. BYU made 2 million dollars from that game. For the rest of the eleven games of the season BYU made 1.5 million dollars total. Going independent allows BYU to not only choose the teams and times they play but it gives them more money in their pocket to put toward their facility and paying coaches. They also have the means to recruit the best coaches.
When Heath explained these benefits to my brother, now you have to understand my brother couldn’t care less about sports, Tyson said, “What a great missionary opportunity!” And yeah, it does feel like a small snowball has been pushed down a hill of snow. It will be interesting to see what comes of all of this. BYU is not playing for a championship anymore. They are in it to better themselves by sidestepping most of the politics of the different conferences they have been involved in. At least for the next 8 years we will be watching BYU football (and other sports too) on ESPN.
Go Buy Eye Ewe! Go Cougars! This is how Gwen cheers. She may be more interested in the games this year than her brothers. She was cheering for BYU when Heath was watching the U of U game on Thursday (good job beating Pitt!). She’s ready. Are you?