5: The Holy War Podcast

Matt hosts a panel discussion about the religious dimensions of one of college football’s oldest rivalries: the Cougars of Brigham Young University v. the Utes of the University of Utah and is joined by Troy and guest panelists Dave Lunt and Jeff Gardner.



  1. JennWestfall

    I wasn’t really sure I would find this podcast interesting, but decided to give it a go and just see. It was actually really interesting. A couple things:

    A) I grew up rooting for the Air Force Academy as my father is an Academy Grad. I attended and graduated from BYU. We had a fun family rivalry for many years but as my faith waned, I found it more and more difficult to root for BYU despite the fact that I graduated from there! I recently decided to just give up and root for Air Force! Not as much a conflict of interest now that BYU is an independent team…but I digress. I tell this story as a way to say that for me it is interesting that my loyalty changed after I “lost” my faith. As a now non-believer I find it difficult to get behind anything that the Mormon church supports, including sports.

    B) The idea that God cares about sports is not unique to this rivalry or BYU at all. I live in Colorado and there are any bumper stickers that say “If God is not a Broncos fan why are sunsets orange?” …and this is before Tebow’s brief stint here…

    Reply Sep 15, 2012 @ 13:38:00
  2. JennWestfall

    That should say “many bumper stickers”

    Reply Sep 15, 2012 @ 13:39:49
  3. Audrey

    Hey guys – I loved the podcast and learned some fun stuff about the rivalry I enjoyed so much as a BYU student in the late 70s and early 80s. However, it was interesting to note that even the DAMU is still sexist when it comes to sports. As a former BYU coed who got up early every home football game morning so she could sit in the card stunt section and flip her card along with a bunch of other guys and gals, I find it frustrating that no women were included in this podcast. You’re not alone in resisting the entrance of women into the mancave that is college and professional sports – I’ve definitely received a chilly reception when I’ve called my local ESPN station to make comments – but I expect better from the progressive minds at the Expositor. Take it from a woman who spends more time in the sports pages than the lifestyle section – girls like football, too. And it wouldn’t have hurt to have evened things out with another Cougar fan either.

    Reply Sep 15, 2012 @ 22:13:18
  4. Matthew Crowley

    Audrey, maybe we should have gotten you!

    Reply Sep 16, 2012 @ 00:13:05
    • tisatruth


      Reply Sep 16, 2012 @ 00:50:46
    • tisatruth

      oops, that’s my wordpress name:) That was still me, Audrey.

      Reply Sep 16, 2012 @ 00:53:00
  5. Matthew Crowley

    Jenn, I agree that there are plenty of people who joke around about God wanting this or that team to win. But is there another program anywhere that believes that it is missionary tool that advances the kingdom of God on earth when it plays? We said we were going to link the address Bronco Mendenhall gave and I forgot to, so I’m linking it below. If you have any doubt that at least the coaches of the BYU football team think they are an instrument in the hands of God, give this a listen:

    Reply Sep 16, 2012 @ 00:53:46
    • JennWestfall

      Wow. Just Wow. There really are no words!

      Reply Sep 16, 2012 @ 03:34:37
  6. Dave Lunt

    Interesting comments. Audrey, I agree that this podcast would have been better with some additional points-of-view. I also think Matt and the others running the show did the best they could with schedules, deadlines, and availabilities, but the point is well taken.

    Thanks for posting the youtube clip, Matt. Here’s my transcription of Bronco’s report about Elder Bednar’s admonition to the BYU players:

    “I expect you to be unique, different, and peculiar in everything that you do – on the field, in the classroom, in your personal lives, and again in what we represent. You are to be not like any other program or person that plays football in the world.”

    To some extent, I think that football players are often considered representatives of their schools, but Elder Bednar’s expectations carry the force of Apostolic commandment. That “we” of “what we represent” is a lot of extra weight for a college kid to bear.

    Reply Sep 17, 2012 @ 15:41:04
  7. Keith

    this was the most disappointing podcast, 40 minutes in I had to ask myself when will this talk about football end and the topic actually addressed. Now I look at this and realize it was really meant to be all about football. Really? Please give more appropriate titles in future.

    Reply Oct 14, 2012 @ 00:43:00

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