By Jonathan Boldt
As much as it pains me to admit it, baseball has gone from America’s favorite pastime to past its time. It will always have its place on the four-letter network and in the hearts of the fans in Boston and New York as well as anyone over the age of fifty. You can mix in a smattering of fans like myself spread across the country as well.
As society has embraced technology and speed, the slow-and-steady plod of baseball has become something to keep track of during the dog days of summer while everyone anxiously awaits the blitzing speed of summer football camps.
Sorry, baseball and basketball. Football is king.
Other sports have their die-hards, but football invites all and the hard-hitting, 4.4 speed of athletes that appear to be more than human excite our imaginations. Not to mention the helmets, padding and uniforms give the aura of a battlefield. Don’t get me wrong, I am not equating sports to battle, but the mystique builds up to choosing a side and having a rooting interest in seeing “good” defeat “evil”.
For football fans, Super Bowl Sunday has marked an end to this year in the NFL, but as soon as the trophy presentation ended, the preparation for next season began.
Such investment into our nation’s new favorite pastime is what I believe holds our university back when it comes to school pride.
During the Gary Crowton era at the school down the parkway, LaVell the legend had just retired and Steve Cleveland was running the show for the hoops team. Anyone old enough to remember those years will not only remember the hideous bib uniforms, but the football team fell off a cliff competitively while Cleveland led his squad to three NCAA tournament appearances.
There was support for basketball, but as soon as Bronco reinvented the football team the hoops team took off. Not discounting the Jimmer effect, it’s hard for me to take it purely as a coincidence that the football team has had five ten plus win seasons, flirted with other conferences, signed with the four-letter network, and gone independent during the exact-same window that the basketball team has students sleeping in tents at the Marriot Center waiting for a game against Gonzaga.
No offense to Roger Reid, Tony Ingle, Steve Cleveland or even Dave Rose. Take away football and their programs are right where they are, sitting in the West Coast Conference playing in high school gyms.
It would take years and even decades to get football to UVU and to then make waves in state and then around the nation. But even if Wolverine football was more on the level of Wesley College rather the University of Michigan, football on our campus would not only add another sport, but would raise the level of passion for all athletics.
So I guess the only question left is, “President Holland – Are you ready for some football?”