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.

Today’s Top Stories


New York Mets starting pitcher Max Scherzer throws during the third inning of a spring training bas...
Mark Jones

Matheson reflects on lessons of Major League Baseball opening day

Boyd Matheson, of Inside Sources, talks about the lessons to be found in baseball.
23 hours ago
a man plays golf -- a study looked at weekday golfing...
Elizabeth Weiler

Weekday golfing has gone up thanks to remote working, study finds

If employees' productivity does not change, should employers care if they are golfing during the work day? 
11 days ago
Utah Valley University coach Mark Madsen directs his players during a basketball game against BYU a...
Mark Jones

Utah Valley University men’s basketball team has a winning culture

Utah Valley University men's basketball coach Mark Madsen joined Inside Sources with Boyd Matheson on Tuesday to discuss what made the team so successful this season.
17 days ago
The Utah Royals FC women's soccer team is returning to Salt Lake City.   And when they return, th...
Jessica Lowell

Utah Royals returning to Utah with policy assuring abortion for players

In a statement to KSL, the Utah Royals said they have a policy to cover any medical procedure that is not provided in the state of Utah.
18 days ago
BYU rover competition...
Ben McGonnell

BYU Men’s volleyball team wins against Ohio State

The BYU Cougars men's volleyball team faced off against the 15th Ohio State Buckeyes in a closely contested match.
20 days ago
salt lake city Olympics rings...
Adam Small

Salt Lake facing more competition for 2030 Winter Olympics

An Olympics official recently said there are five regions interested besides Sweden, meaning six total bidders -- including Salt Lake.
24 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Cheerful young woman writing an assignment while sitting at desk between two classmates during clas...
BYU EMBA at the Marriott School of Business

Hear it Firsthand: 6 Students Share Their Executive MBA Experience at BYU’s Marriott School of Business

The Executive MBA program at BYU offers great opportunities. Hear experiences straight from students enrolled in the program.
Skier being towed by a rider on a horse. Skijoring....
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking for a new winter activity? Try skijoring in Bear Lake

Skijoring is when someone on skis is pulled by a horse, dog, animal, or motor vehicle. The driver leads the skiers through an obstacle course over jumps, hoops, and gates.
Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five common causes of Cervical Cancer – and what you can do to lower your risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get ready for fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy.
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 easy Christmas dinner ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Opinion: BYU fans — please don’t boo your team