A perspective from a player's parent

This appeared on Facebook, in response to some people there who were harshly criticizing the Ute players:

As a parent of a son who is on the team but has yet to play, I think Ute Nation has lost a bit of perspective. This long post was triggered by someone on this page who said “Utah is ■■■■”. Several times. Who’s ■■■■? The whole state? The university? The coaches? The young men who play? The people who’s jobs depend on the team for their livelihood? The fans?

We were out played, out coached and lost. It sucks for us, the fans, who have undoubtedly invested time and money in the team, but it sucks more for the “village” that are the players who are student-athletes, coaches, families, trainers, cheerleaders, team doctors, facility workers, admin, recruiters, the bus drivers, the pilots, the cooks that prepare food for the players, the person who cleans the bathrooms in the Ute football center and the hundreds of others who’s job it is to support our players.

These players range from red shirt freshman who haven’t set foot on the field to the elite players on the team who play. They’ve all invested hundreds of hours this season. They are not professional athletes. Remember even the GOAT’s Tom Brady and Bill Belichick have lost unceremoniously. A loss is a loss by 24 point or just one. Time to move on and be thankful. “Utah is not ■■■■”.

Notice that the student always comes before the athlete. I think these players and their families chose the University of Utah for a reason-education. Many of whom may or may not have chosen college as a next step after high school if it weren’t for their talent as football players.

Congrats on being the 2% of high school football players to actually make it on to a D1 team. Let alone play and have a 11-2 season. College football has been around for 150 years and will continue to excite fans and also break our hearts. There are roughly 130 schools who have D1 football programs and will graduate hundreds if not thousands of student-athletes in the coming months. As a parent, isn’t that what its really all about?

ow many of the Ute Nation knew that the University of Utah is one of six FBS programs to share the prestigious 2019 Academic Achievement Award from the American Football Coaches Association? Utah joins Air Force, Alabama, Clemson, Louisville and Rice University who all recorded a perfect 1,000 for their single year Academic Progress rate (APR). Coaches will attend an awards ceremony in January 2020. Well done! (You can google the article if interested in more detail).

Thank you to all the student-athletes for juggling a demanding practice and game schedule with classes, tests and papers.

Congrats to the senior student-athletes who will graduate this month or in May with your degree.
Good luck to the few of you who will have a career in the NFL after graduation. Wishing you much success but if it doesn’t work out, how lucky you are to have something to fall back on.

Best of luck to the college players who will step onto the football field for the last time at what ever bowl game you play. Most of you are now going to have to redefine yourselves. You may become an accountant, sell real estate or work in marketing and some of you will have no idea of what to do next, who knows… but the possibilities are endless because you are the future.

hank you for being young men of character, integrity, who know the value of hard work and are graceful losers. Those qualities will get you farther in life than a win or a loss on the football field.

I hope that football have given you the confidence to know your worth off the field. Don’t let this loss define you. I don’t know any of you and you don’t know me. You probably don’t even know my son, who walked onto the team in August. He practices with you every day, meets you at 630am to lift weights 3 days a week, he runs from class every day to make It to practice 5-6 days a week just like you.

Here’s the rest of her post. I couldn’t get all of it into the first part above.

Many of you moved to Utah from other places in the country and have become a family. Only you and your team mates know exactly who you are and what you’ve been through these past 4 or so years. My husband played football in college, graduated in 1987. Only he and his team mates know what its really like to be a student-athlete. It’s not the glitz and glamour of being a top 25 team that bonds you, its the physical bruises, the mental bashings, the highs of winning and the lows of losing, the funny things from coaches may say, the cheers from the fans, the news paper articles either praising you or tearing you down and so much more.

Thank you to the parents who raised amazing young men and the sacrifices you probably made during their high school and college careers. Only you know what it took to get your sons to the place they are now.

Thank you to those of you who have young families and sacrifice time away from them.

Of course the fans should be thanked for their support. The nay sayers will post snarky comments about this post and that’s fine. I’m not the super fan police, just a Mom sharing her perspective.

Finally, the game could have gone our way, we’d be the Pac 12 Champions, play in the Rose Bowl or CFP, maybe win or maybe lose but the end result is the same, they’ll graduate and for 99% - their lives as football players are over. They now have to become new men navigating a world that isn’t always easy or kind.


Every season the team plays a WTF-type game. Generally, you hope it happens in a situation where sheer talent will overcome the precipitous drop off of play.

Unfortunately, we had our annual WTF game last Friday. I don’t blame the kids. They played their hearts out. I don’t blame the coaches. They called what they though would work. Oregon just flat out played us and we had no answers that worked. We lost. The way it happened has us asking WTF; but ■■■■ happens.

It’s time to turn the page, develop a short memory, and bring home some hardware from San Antonio.


The vocal minority of a few do not speak for the hundreds of thousands of loyal Utah fans who support these teams no matter what.

Some people choose to be negative and point out the down times, I prefer to focus on the positives and enjoy what we had this year.


What a great post post! Thank you mom. Too many fans lose perspective about college sports. I for one am very thankful that Utah recruits good kids and emphasizes education as well as athletics. There are many more fans like myself than the turds that make insensitive comments to players and coaches. I hope her son realizes this and ignores the a-hole minority who cause the problems.


Agree, except I still think the WTF game was USC. We just got our ass kicked in this one.


Great post from the parent.

I wouldn’t even say there was a WTF game this year. 'sc exploited some obvious weak points in our team/scheme and Oregon copied that playbook almost exactly. Both teams simply had the right talent to counter us and the coaching to have it executed.


Not sure about that. 16 penalties and a fumble on the goal line is pretty much a wtf game for me. Oregon kicked our ass and pushed us up and down the field till we clearly gave up in the 4th quarter.


No doubt about it.

There was a reason that there were so many penalties. We probably just have a different view of what a wtf game is.

  1. They OWNED us in the trenches, on both sides of the ball. They schematically beat us there the same way USC did, but even better. Watch the tech of their dlinemen and they exploited the exact same gaps. Offensively they held better contain and opened running lanes and gaps by having the numbers on the correct side of the ball.
  2. They used the run and short underneath routes to setup the pass over the top in order to beat us schematically there. When our safeties and corners got caught cheating for run stoppage, they went over the top.

There are more ways they schematically beat us using their strengths, but for me a WTF game is losing to UNLV, not losing to a good team who showed up and beat us with scheme and plays they hadn’t extensively used previously.


The Utes’ record at the end of the regular season was better than every team in the conference except for one, where they were the same. The championship game was lost, and the team that beat Utah had the same total season record as Utah. The Utes did quite well in my estimation.

Both of those Pac-12 teams were in consideration for the CFP until the last few games of the season in regard to Oregon and the last game of the regular season in regard to Utah. That is a great season.


Lots of ways to see this game. To me the head-scratcher is the margin of victory and the domination. As John Pease said on Riley’s show, this game was the one the team played all season for. It was the unfinished business that several seniors (like Moss) came back to handle. And yet they looked (Pease said) like they were scared, or unprepared, whatever adjective we want to choose. They weren’t the Utah team we watched all year.

I love this team and will be forever grateful for this year’s ride, which in my long years as a Ute fan is unparalleled. I just feel bad for them and their puzzling collapse, and I’m really sorry they will have to remember it from now on.


A friend of mine went to the game. We elected to sit this one out, having gone last year. But we figured Utah was either in the CFP or the Rose Bowl, so we were saving our pennies for those games. But I digress. My buddy, a keen observer of college football, put it differently and I tend to agree with him. He said for Oregon they were going to the Rose Bowl whether they lost or won. They came out loose and ready to play, having prepared well for Utah. Utah he offered had a ton on the line, more than just the Rose Bowl, that many thought was a consolation prize at that point. He thought the players were tight, keyed up, nervous from the get go because what they have worked for all season long for this moment, and all of that was now on the line.

To be sure, Utah had not played a team of the caliber of Oregon, USC being the closest, and we all know that Utah fell short in that game despite making it into the Red Zone some seven times. No matter what, to beat Oregon was going to take Utah’s best game, and for reasons only the team and coaches know, they did not deliver that night. I feel terrible for the kids, to have come so far, to have so high of expectations from themselves, only to come up short with the season on the line. And, as some posters have pointed out, it was the line that broke down.

But none of that warrants the level of directed criticism on players. They gave us their bodies for four plus years, their heart, their dedication, their pain from training and playing, everything they had. We should celebrate how well they did, not what was lost. I love these guys and will remember them for a long, long time.

One more opportunity to see them play. Go Utes!


I think this sounds about right. It is s shame. I agree, no one should beat up on the players. This is a great and historic bunch of Utes.