I think it all stems from having a brother who is absolutely fanatical about BYU sports, football in particular. It was definitely fueled by the fact that I had recently become a BYU student again. But ultimately I can pinpoint the exact moment I stopped hating football and started to become a fan: The BYU/Utah Game of '09.
It was an easy game to be interested in, all BYU students and fans must hate University of Utah students and fans or they are not allowed to take tests or attend classes (or hold callings for that matter), and I was no exception. When faced with a rivalry, one almost certainly will take up a side and join in the cause.
Q: How many Utes does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Just one. . ..but he gets three credit hours for it.
So, I thought, ok-- maybe I technically hate football and everything it stands for, but certainly I can get involved with this one game and enjoy watching BYU beat the tar out of Utah, right? I mean, that would be enjoyable, and if I get bored, I can always take a lap around the stadium for exercise (I did actually think this very thing). Because you know, four hours is a very long time. Four hours spent doing something you hate is even longer.
I went, and much to the chagrin of everyone within earshot of me, I asked Jon to explain each and every rule and strategy (along with the fundamentals of what exactly they were doing with that ball in the first place). Before I knew it, the first quarter had passed, and then the second, and then halftime and it dawned on me that I had actually paid attention the entire first half. Suddenly the second half had promise. Third quarter was just as enjoyable, and during the fourth quarter, I got to see BYU do whatever it is that they did in order to win the game. Blue students rushed the field and I yelled "GO HOME UTAH!" as loud as I could. The feeling in the air was sweet, a BYU victory and a Utah failure that tasted just as sweet. With each disappointed look on a Utah fan, my enjoyment went up and up. Ah-- so this is what sports fans experience. And that was that. I was hooked.
I'll be the first to admit that I know nothing of the strategy behind the sport, neither do I care to get into the nitty gritty details of coaching and players etc., and I'm not totally convinced that I'd enjoy watching them on a TV screen, but when I enter that stadium and walk amid thousands of blue t-shirt clad BYU fans, something happens to me. I can't help but get a little giddy.
My Dad and my Husband split from my Mom and I --You guys go get the food, we have some fan paraphernalia and kettle corn to buy, we'll meet you at the seats after we get stopped by the opposing team as they enter the field, and after we forget where our seats are-- and finally I sit and I watch and I know what is going on for the most part and I yell "COME ON COUGS!" because I feel it, not because I have to.