Opinion: BYU fans — please don’t boo your team

Oct 29, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: Nov 16, 2022, 1:54 pm

View from my son's seats at the game...

View from my son's seats at the game

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

PROVO, Utah — My youngest son had the privilege of attending three BYU football games this year, thanks to a kind and generous friend of his and his family. Aiden’s first game in a college stadium was the BYU v Baylor game this year. He had never experienced that kind of sport-induced joy before. He talked about it for days.

His second game was the Utah State game, still a win, even if the fans weren’t quite as exuberant as they had been a few weeks earlier.

Then, he went last night to see BYU take on East Carolina. His love for the game and the team may have been forever damaged by what happened at the end of the game. I’m not talking about the loss. I’m talking about the fans booing their OWN team.

I told him I remember going to Utah games on a somewhat regular basis back in the early 1990’s. We had some rough seasons in those days, and I sat with raucous fans who let their feelings be known. There was booing, but it was always of either the opposing team or the refs. I cannot remember an example of even the rough and tumble fans around me booing their own team, even during a losing season. Instead, I remember hearing a “We’ll get ’em next time” spirit as downtrodden fans filed out of the stadium.

I taught in the communication department at the University of Utah two different times, the first before my sons were born in the early 2000’s. I had many college athletes in my media law and introduction to mass communication classes, including now Defensive Coordinator Morgan Scalley. (He was a great student, by the way.) I vividly remember the joy these athletes would experience if they won a game, especially the game against BYU, but I also remember the deep despair and self-doubt that would follow a loss, especially to BYU.

From that experience to this day, I always feel happy for the winners of football games, or any athletic competition, but I also feel love and respect for the losers. In fact, I perhaps feel more for the student athletes on the losing side because I know they work incredibly hard, and I know they will sometimes blame themselves for years for letting people down.

Because of this, I needed to talk to my son about how he must never, NEVER, boo his own team. I don’t want him to boo any team, period. This kind of vitriol has no part in sports (except maybe hockey.) BYU fans booing their own team will echo in the ears of those young men not just this morning, but next week, next month, and for some, until the end of their lives. They will not feel confident when they take the field next week. They will not feel supported or loved. They will feel fear of feeling this way again.

I know what it feels like to let your emotions carry you away at a game. I booed the Bulls when the Jazz made it to the finals back in 1998. I booed Michael Jordan’s repeated no-call traveling. I booed Dennis Rodman because, well, he liked it. (I may have done more than booing.) But I regret that behavior now. I am a parent now, and I know that the children are always watching and learning from the adults around them. Booing our own team is teaching them disrespect, cruelty, small-mindedness, short-sightedness, and disloyalty.

That is not what we want to teach. Let’s put booing in the loss column and be winning fans going forward.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Therapist talks about mental health for athletes in the olympics...

Allessandra Harris

Sports psychologist explains an Olympic athlete’s feelings of grief

It is common for Olympic athletes to experience feelings of grief when competing or after the events have ended.

2 days ago

The Picklr pickleball company started in Utah and then expanded nationwide. Now, the company is com...

Emma Everett Johnson,

Indoor pickleball facility coming to Salt Lake City, other Utah cities

The pickleball craze is far from over. Salt Lake City proper will be getting its first large-scale indoor pickleball facility later this year.

5 days ago

Utah Utes pitcher Mariah Lopez goes into her windup as the softball team plays Ole Miss in the NCAA...

Josh Furlong,

South Carolina’s 1st inning grand slam ends Utah softball’s season in 5-1 loss

DURHAM, N.C. — All it took was one swing Sunday afternoon. With bases loaded at the top of the first inning, South Carolina’s Aniyah Black took an 0-1 pitch to deep left field and over the wall. And with the grand slam hit, South Carolina took a commanding 4-0 lead before Utah even had a […]

6 days ago

A child experiences an interactive art exhibit at "Dreamscapes," the business at the Shops at South...

Aimee Cobabe

Shops at South Town asks temporary business to leave

Dreamscapes interactive art museum will relocate, after spending two years at the Shops at South Town in Sandy, Utah.

11 days ago

Fans reach for Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell (45) following the team's NBA basketball game again...

Don Brinkerhoff

SLC one of the top U.S. cities for basketball fans

A new report from WalletHub ranks Utah as a top city for basketball fans. Some local Jazz enthusiasts discuss why they are fans.

15 days ago

FILE: Alissa Pili #35, Lani White #3, Dasia Young #34, Kennady McQueen #24, Inez Vieira #2, Reese R...

Amie Schaeffer

No charges filed in racist incident against Utah’s women’s basketball team, NAACP responds

Jeanetta Williams reacts to the decision to not file charges against a man who yelled racial slurs at the the women's basketball team.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.


Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Opinion: BYU fans — please don’t boo your team