4th and 31: A Fan’s Guide to Hating Utah

Posted on Posted in Michigan Football

Hello maize and blue fans, and welcome to a new season of Michigan Football here at The Big House Report! This season looks to be a brighter one, and all of us here at TBHR are excited to cover it for you. This year we will be bringing you a new weekly feature, 4th and 31, which will be a breakdown as to why you should hate Michigan’s opponent for the week. Some of it will be serious (most of it won’t), however we hope that you find it as entertaining to read as it is to put together. And with that, we bring you 4th and 31…

Alright, so Utah. Where do I even begin on this place? When Derek reached out to me and asked me to write something up for the Utah game, I had entirely forgotten that Utah was even a state. Trust me, this says more about Utah’s relevance as a state than it does my knowledge of U.S. geography. You know how you can name a state and an image or distinguishing feature comes to mind immediately? New York (City), California (Earthquakes), Florida (Deranged homeless man chews off fingerprints to avoid being ID’d)? Try doing that for Utah. It’s incredibly easy to forget that this place even exists in the first place. But now that we are all in agreement that yes, in fact Utah IS a state, what do we actually KNOW about it?

For starters, Utah is a place that gave Urban Meyer a job. Sure, he killed it out there, but I’m not writing this column to laud a smarmy vampire for his achievements in some easily forgettable backwater state. Bottom line, Utah was a bargaining chip. A launch pad. Urban obviously has gone on to achieve some pretty great things at other universities, but lets not forget where he came from. Utah is morally culpable for the despicable monster that currently resides in Columbus. Let us not forget that come Thursday.

Secondly, Utah takes its rivalry games seriously. Much too seriously. In an annual spectacle, Utah takes on Brigham-Young University in what is dubbed, “The Holy War”. Low hanging fruit much? Look I get it. It’s easy to pick out Mormonism as the most distinguishing feature in what sets BYU apart from Utah. But dig a little deeper and there’s gold there. Why go with “The Holy War” when much better alternatives exist?? What about the “Salt City Showdown”? Or the “Provo Polygamy Bowl”? (Yeah yeah I get it I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel here, cut me some slack it’s my first write-up.) Even “The Romney Bowl” would be a more entertaining and less menacing rivalry title. (47% of you won’t get this Romney joke.) I’m not saying that the Ute’s are bad people for the “Holy War” rivalry game; I’m saying they aren’t creative. And at the end of the day, which is the bigger crime?

If you really need any additional incentive to hate Utah, look no further than last season’s trouncing at the Big House. I’m going to try my absolute hardest not to call back on the collective dumpster fire that was the Rich Rodriguez/Brady Hoke experiment. Outside of the title of this post, (Which was the longest 4th down I can recall of the Hoke Era and an absolute comedy goldmine), But with this being the first game of a new era, I think it’s worth briefly looking back to remember the absolute depths that the boys in blue had sunk to in order to prepare ourselves for what is to come. Sure, we might’ve lost hope. Maybe we booed a little. (A lot.) But I don’t know of anyone who lost his or her love for a Football program that has given us so much over the years. So as a new season kicks of on Thursday, let us collectively dedicate this season to recapturing the passion and swagger that has for so long defined fans of the Maize and Blue. And as long as I’m making dedications and getting sappy, here’s to having a fun season hating the opposition! Thanks for reading and GO BLUE! (This got incredibly sappy for a post about dumpster fires and Polygamy bowls.)

Jim Salow
Jim Salow is a senior Business student at Spring Arbor University. He enjoys knitting cats pajamas, reading spicy hot takes, and writing his own bios. Obviously, he takes himself very seriously. Presently, he writes the 4th and 31 column on Game Weeks.