I knew the Utah fight song “Utah Man” by the time I was 3. I heard it from birth, sung to me by my parents, while my Dad attended the University of Utah Law School.
Oh no, that’s just the trunk of my “Ute fan” tree. My roots go much, much deeper.
My maternal grandfather got his Ph.D. in medicine at the University of Utah. He was also a Professor at the U.
My paternal grandfather played for the University of Utah basketball team in the early 50’s.
These roots helped me to endure life as a fan outside the comfort of Salt Lake.
Being LDS (Mormon), and growing up outside of Utah, I was surrounded by BYU fans my entire life. 50 Mormon kids graduated in my High School class with me, only 2 of us went to the University of Utah. Probably 40 went to BYU or one of its satellites. That’s a 20:1 ratio reflecting the BYU to Utah fan, aka my friends/enemies to myself.
You wanna know how I come up with snide BYU comments, harsh criticisms, and cutting comebacks on the spot? I trained my whole life standing up for myself when associating with my BYU fan friends.
With how passionate I am about the U, you can bet I was never spared any abuse from those live-right gentlemen from down south. The Sunday church proceedings, following a Utah loss, were filled with smirks and an air of boastful haughtiness that made your blood boil.
The combination of all these things equates to the person I am today. When people ask me how I can like a team/school so much, I really can’t convey how instilled and intertwined the University of Utah and Dan Condie are.
“Who am I, sir? A Utah man am I. A Utah man, sir. I will be till I die…so fill your lungs and sing it out, and shout it to the sky. We’ll fight for dear old crimson, for a Utah man am I.”