Friday, September 21, 2012

The Game That Wouldn't End

I'm not sure how to write about the game on Saturday.
But my goodness that night deserves a blog post.

I guess I'll start by writing about a soccer game I went to a few weeks ago. Where weirdly I found myself cheering for the girls in blue. Without thinking really I was wanting each attempt to be a goal and the girls to win. I was shocked by that feeling. As was my father, whom I believe used the word "disappointed".

It was a rough day for our relationship.

So, when football approached he for the first time, had to ask what color I would be wearing. Panic set in and literally for the weeks leading up to it I was in a constant internal state of conflict. Eventually I decided blue. It was my last year as a BYU coed and after all that this weird, quirky, odd, yet completely wonderful place has given me the least I could do is cheer them to victory.

However Friday I got a phone call from my Dad-asking me to wear red to dinner at the very least. "Dinner with the sports marketing people... won't be around to defend you.... please... I love you no matter who you cheer for... etc."

Well I'm a sucker for my old man, and really he very rarely asks me to do things for him. So on a deal I wore red to dinner, but my sweatshirt for the game was blue. We're really great at compromise.

We got to dinner and enjoyed a lovely meal, good company and real Diet Coke. (Utah-1 BYU-0). Mom had just gotten back from a trip to Seattle and I loved catching up with her, chatting with dad's colleagues and anticipating the game. On our way out to the game Dad stopped to ask someone a question, and in the process was upgraded to 4 box suite seats- "even though you have that BYU kid with you. Just keep your red on."

And so it was that for the evening my decisions were made for me(something I usually appreciate)-I would need to cheer for the U in a box, where it wouldn't be cold enough to justify a BYU sweater. I told my parents that this felt a lot like Satan's plan, no agency at all (Utah-1 BYU-1) and made my way up the elevator to the suite.

It was wonderful up there. There were unlimited cookies, food, and most importantly unlimited real Diet Coke (Utah-1,000 BYU-1).

As the game begun Mom, Megan and I enjoyed watching Dad, who was on the sidelines for awhile before being presented the game ball. We were so excited for him, and doted on him and the ball the whole rest of the game. We just kept saying "Imagine Dad as a little freshman sitting in the student section and look at him now-on the field at the rivalry game getting the game ball!!" No matter who I wanted to win I knew this was a real treat for my Ute loving Dad.

At half time we got free hot chocolate, popcorn, more unlimited Diet Coke and the bathrooms didn't even have lines. Really now that I've been spoiled by the suite I'm not sure how I'll cope from the stands. We spent the rest of half time trying to take pictures of Dad with the game ball and completely embarrassing him in the process.

The rest of the game was eventful. At half time the realization him me that we could be pushing midnight by the time ended. Then what would happen? I sent out a tweet wondering if BYU would have to forfeit if the game went past midnight, on the Sabbath. Especially after that wonderful CES fireside on not checking our religion at the door!

Well, I don't need to recap what happened at the end of the game. 3 chances to field goal, and 3 opportunities missed. It was tragic for my boys in blue. Although I'm convinced that Cecil or Tom must have been praying for the game to end-I'd hate to have to make the "play past midnight?" decision. Near the end of the 4th quarter my mom looked at me and said-"I just realized that you've probably felt guilty this entire game." The slight smile from me confirmed her suspicion.

And although I was completely conflicted about BYU and Utah and where and whom I loved most I was a little happy that Utah won so that my dad could do this:

Present the Deseret Duel trophy. And talk to Kyle. (I love Kyle!) And celebrate a victory right there on the field with the players, fans, students and city of Salt Lake. It was a big night for Dad.

And honestly that was what calmed my conflicted heart-Dad got to do a lot of really cool stuff at this game, and I could not have been happier for him. It's pretty rare that this guy gets to do what he wants (he has 3 daughters!) and even more rare that Dad gets any attention (he avoids it at all costs) so  it was pretty great to see him having a good time.

And loving me even though I looked like this:

Let it be stated though-that Dad does have a little soft spot in his heart for BYU. It's grown from a love of me, an opportunity to go to Notre Dame, Tom Holmoe's kindness, and their caffeine-free Diet Coke supply. In fact when he was down here the other day he even came up with a great idea for a new sweatshirt "My Daughter and My Money go to BYU". Creative right?

Thanks for loving me no matter who I cheer for Dad. You really are the best!

Past games here, here and here.

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