Opinion: We love our Utes, lose or win at the Rose Bowl

Jan 3, 2023, 12:00 PM
The Utes lose at the 109th Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif....
Utah Utes QB Cameron Rising (7) runs just before being hurt and leaving the game as Utah and Penn State play in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, on Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. Penn State won 35-21. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)
(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

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.

PASADENA, Calif. — It was painful to see Cam Rising struggle yesterday in the Rose Bowl. It was even more so to see him go down with a knee injury after that run for a first down. That man is, as Coach Kyle Whittingham describes him, “a real competitor”. And it was overall painful to see the Utes lose The Grandaddy of Them All.

Even as the Utes struggled and eventually lost, I couldn’t help but feel happy for Penn State. For those 80-plus yard plays, for the power of freshman running back Nick Singleton.

Man — that guy is fun to watch.

The spirit of competition

Watching the game, I was reminded of my father, Dave Dickson. When I was a swimmer as a young girl, my father would come to all of my meets in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. There was one in particular where I was swimming against a rival, Alishia Wasiki.

I remember her clearly after 30 years.

Alishia and I were always neck in neck in the 50, 100, and 200-yard freestyle. On the occasion I’m remembering, it was the 50-yard freestyle.

Our strokes were in unison the whole race — like synchronized swimmers powering to the wall. When we hit the wall, I had no idea who won. These were old days when timers stood at the wall with stopwatches. There were no electronic boards to consult for results.

I looked up in the stands and saw my dad clapping wildly, tears running down his face.

“Yes! I won.” I thought to myself

I did not. As I learned later, my dad was moved by the “spirit of competition” — as he described it. He loved watching me compete and regularly told me, “I’m in your corner, win lose or draw.”

In sickness and in health, if Utes lose or win

This is how I love my Utes. I am in their corner— whether the Utes win, the Utes lose or the Utes draw. It’s the same for the Jazz — and for anyone or anything I love.

I don’t just love you when you’re super successful and riding high. That wouldn’t really be love, would it? Love is when you are supportive of your team or school or employer — and especially your family — when they’re kicking it and when they’re so low they can’t see a way out.

In sickness and in health. Whether the Utes lose, or if they win.

Every day is a good day to be a Ute

So today, if you’re feeling at all down, just remember — it is a good day to be a Ute (or Cougar or Wildcat or Aggie or Wolverine) no matter what the outcome of any one game or even season. It is a good day to celebrate the spirit of competition. Remember the famous Theodore Roosevelt quote:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

We are not cold and timid souls. We are competitors, and we love our teams.

Amanda Dickson is the co-host of Utah’s Morning News and A Woman’s View.

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Opinion: We love our Utes, lose or win at the Rose Bowl