Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Y" Not?

by Julie Coulter Bellon

In my opinion, for any BYU football fan, Oct. 11 should be a holiday. I don’t know what we’d call it though. Footballers Day? Lovin’ the Pigskin Day? BYU Lover’s Appreciation Day? How in the Heck Did the Zoobies Do That Day?

First of all, Oct. 11 is LaVell Edward’s birthday and he is arguably the greatest football coach BYU ever had. He was head coach from 1972-2000 and in that time coached quarterbacks like Gifford Nielsen, Steve Young, Jim McMahon, Ty Detmer, Robbie Bosco, and Brandon Doman. In 1984 he was named National Coach of the Year after BYU won the National Championship and finished the season 13-0. And who could forget that game when BYU was down 45-39 with mere seconds to go and Jim McMahon completed that long, miraculous pass to Clay Brown to tie it up and then Kurt Gunther made the extra point for the win. I think we heard the cheers up in Canada that day!

Oct. 11 is also Steve Young’s birthday, one of the greatest quarterbacks to come out of BYU. He succeeded Jim McMahon as starting quarterback at the Y, but initially is said to have struggled with passing. Coaches actually thought about switching him to defensive back because of it, but Steve worked hard to improve. With Steve Young as the quarterback, BYU set an NCAA record by averaging 584.2 yards of total offense per game, and because of Steve’s passing and rushing, 370.5 of those yards came from him! Steve was also named to the First Team All-American and finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy. One of the highlights of his BYU career, however, was scoring the game-winning touchdown in the 1983 Holiday Bowl and defeating Missouri 21-17. Steve eventually ended his three seasons with BYU with 592 pass completions that resulted in 7,733 yards gained and 56 touchdowns, pretty good for a lefty! He went on to a successful pro career with the San Francisco 49ers and was the first left-handed quarterback to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One little known fact is that Steve was supposed to be the secret love for Mary in the movie There’s Something About Mary, but Steve ended up having to decline.

Henry Heinz was also born on Oct. 11 (1844) and what would a BYU football game be without ketchup on your hamburger or hot dog? It is an American staple and part of the secret recipe for Utah’s famous fry sauce. Young Henry was one of eight children and at the age of eight, he helped his mother in her garden and sold vegetables door to door, but by the age of nine he was blending his own brand of horseradish sauce and selling that. At age ten he was given a 3/4 acre garden of his own and sold vegetables to grocery stores, and by seventeen he was grossing $2700/year which was a large sum at the time. He eventually started his own company and the famous slogan "57 varieties" was chosen at random because he liked the sound of 57 and thought that the number seven would have a positive psychological influence on people. Heinz was a pioneer for safe and sanitary food preparation and always loved working in a garden. I, for one, am grateful for his efforts! I love ketchup, especially since it goes with almost everything.

All three of these men showed the qualities of tenacity, endurance and hard work and frankly are inspiring to me---deserving of a holiday. None of them had it easy, and they all faced difficulties, but overcame them. It's like a BYU football season—fraught with ups and downs, wins and losses, but at the end of the day, we’re all just true blue, through and through, standing with pride in our school and our team, trying to keep our clown wig on and our blue makeup from running down our face and making the "Y" on our forehead more of an "M." We'd make them proud I'm sure.



At 10/12/2007 9:49 AM, Blogger Kerry Blair said...

Julie, I read this post sixteen hours ago and I'm STILL wondering how you know these dates! Even if LaVell Edward's and Steve Young's birthdays are printed on every calendar sold in the state of Utah, it doesn't explain the Henry Heinz thing!

Mind-boggling for sure. :-)

At 10/12/2007 10:35 AM, Blogger Anne Bradshaw said...

Wish I could drum up some interest in football :-)

At 10/12/2007 12:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kerry, yeah, the Henry Heinz thing was a stretch, but I thought it fit since there's always ketchup at the concession stand at every game. :)

Anne, did you think of soccer when you saw football? LOL

I only watch BYU football. There's just something about it that is a draw for me. Maybe it's the ketchup. :)

Thanks for your comments!

Julie Bellon

At 10/13/2007 7:26 PM, Blogger Anne Bradshaw said...

Yeah, what a difference to soccer :-) Now that's a game with skill (says I, ducking and running).


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