Roy Exum: A Lesson For Us All

Wednesday, September 27, 2017 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

As the University of Wisconsin made preparations to play at Brigham Young for the first time in history, a panic ran through a large crowd of Badger fans planning to make the trip: “Where are we gonna’ get our beer?” Brigham Young, of course, is sponsored by the Church of the Latter Days Saints, which shuns alcohol, and not until morning deejays in Madison reminded their listeners, “You can buy beer in Provo,” were the worst fears dashed away.

Beer is big in Wisconsin – are you kidding, with Milwaukee just down the road -- but the better fact is that Camp Randall, where Wisconsin plays its home games, is one of the most famously-raucous stadiums in the country.

Visiting teams hate it and, don’t worry, the Badgers fans are every bit as snarly as the prison guards who once kept Confederate POWs at the site. Some in the Big Ten believe it is a prerequisite before graduation that students must be arrested there.

Wisconsin was ranked 10th in the nation last week, so a huge crowd followed the team to Utah and, since hardly a one had ever attended a game with a fan base that doesn’t swill down beer by the gallon bucket, they had no idea what to suspect. As one Badger would later say with a smile, “It was like we had stepped into the Twilight Zone.”

As writer Jody Genessy pointed out the next day in the Deseret News, “Wisconsin killed BYU on the football field but BYU fans killed Wisconsin … with a plethora of kindness.”

Seriously, it’s the talk of college football around the country, how BYU bent over backwards to welcome the Wisconsin fans. One newspaper headline read, “Kindness Finally Wins!”

How’s this: early last week a caller from Provo called a restaurant in Madison asking how Badgers liked their bratwurst. “I hate to tell you this because I know you don’t drink, but we boil it in beer.” The reply? “That’s what we need to know … give us the recipe … we aren’t going to drink it but we can sure cook with it.”

This shouldn’t be a news story but at a time when our nation’s angst meter is in the red, Provo’s hospitality and the BYU fans bowled Wisconsin over. There are two bars in Provo. At ABG’s Libation Emporium they usually don’t open until 11 a.m. but, for Wisconsin, they unlocked at 8 a.m. and by 10 o’clock Saturday morning every seat was taken. Downtown Provo was a sea of red and white.

What was the pre-game like? “It was New Year’s Eve … St. Patrick’s Day. Everywhere is crammed but the Wisconsin people were really nice, too … it was a super-fun day,” said a bartender. “We didn’t run out of anything except Pabst’s but, man, these people will drink some beer!”

That’s when two Badgers who live in Idaho showed up dressed like LDS missionaries. Black pants, white shirts, skinny ties and bicycle helmets. They even had name tags that read, instead of Latter Day Saints, “The University of Wisconsin.”

As you might guess, they were mobbed by the BYU fans but instead of brawling with “Elder Bucky” and “Sister Becky,” the fans found it hysterical and lined up to have pictures made with the two. As “Sister Becky” told everybody, “We are going to convert some Wisconsin fans today.” (There were numerous requests for the ‘missionaries’ to be pictured with their beers.)

The weather perfect, the game got off to a bumpy start when a sky-diver came in a little too hot and bounced off a wall at Edwards Stadium. Then Wisconsin quarterback A Hornbook put on a clinic, completing 18-of-19 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns. The Badgers won easily, 40-6, but there was no gloating or mockery.

During the third quarter, free ice cream from the BYU Dairy was passed out to the totally-stunned Wisconsin fans and every Badger was telling about how many times each had been stopped and welcomed to BYU. “These people take nice to a new level. I’ve never seen anything like it … and I have never been treated so kindly at any football stadium.”

Dieter Uchtdorf, the president of the Latter Day Saints, attended the game and cheerfully approached a number of Wisconsin fans. David Esser, who has lived in Utah for 12 years after leaving Wisconsin, admitted the two crowds at BYU and Camp Randall are “polar opposites” but said of the Badgers, “They are good hearted, good religious people, too, but they like to have fun and have their beer.

“It’s just a different take on it, a different way to do it,” he added.

Kindness will always be undefeated.

royexum@aol.com


Jim Morgan - My Coach And Neighbor

Don’t Trust County Attorney Taylor’s Gag Order

Send Your Opinions To Chattanoogan.com; Include Your Full Name, Address, Phone Number For Verification


Upon Jim Morgan's death, my mind and heart flooded back to my memories of growing up in Chattanooga. I thought I would share my fond memories of such a great man. A few thoughts for ... (click for more)

At this point, most of us are aware of the WWTA debacle on site selection and the half-baked planning for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road. There were also untruths given to the ... (click for more)

We welcome your opinions at Chattanoogan.com. Email to news@chattanoogan.com . We require your real first and last name and contact information. This includes your home address and phone ... (click for more)


Opinion

Jim Morgan - My Coach And Neighbor

Upon Jim Morgan's death, my mind and heart flooded back to my memories of growing up in Chattanooga. I thought I would share my fond memories of such a great man. A few thoughts for one of the sweetest and finest men I ever knew: I remember Jim Morgan "Coach" not just as one of his wrestlers, but as a close family friend, teacher and neighbor. While Coach was my ... (click for more)

Don’t Trust County Attorney Taylor’s Gag Order

At this point, most of us are aware of the WWTA debacle on site selection and the half-baked planning for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road. There were also untruths given to the public about the basis or need for a new treatment plant on Mahan Gap Road by WWTA. That, my friends, is offensive. Pam Sohn of the Times Free Press outed the WWTA’s false contention ... (click for more)

Breaking News

2nd Man Charged In October 2018 Murder Of Jacob Dakota Moore Of Apison

A second arrest has been made in the October 2018 murder of Jacob Dakota Moore of Apison. Authorities earlier charged Askia Witherow in the slaying. On Thursday, warrants were issued for James David Robinson, 42, charging him with one count of first-degree murder, one count of especially aggravated kidnapping, four counts of especially aggravated robbery, four counts ... (click for more)

Linda Damewood Killed, Another Critical, Third Injured In Shooting At Crossville

One person was killed, another critically injured and a third hurt in a shooting at Crossville on Saturday. Linda Damewood, 74, of Crossville, was dead at the scene. The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office, Tansi Security, and Tennessee Highway Patrol units responded to 8610 Cherokee Trail at approximately 6:38 p.m. to a reported shooting. Cumberland County Sheriff’s ... (click for more)

Sports

Fast-Starting UTC Wrestlers Whip VMI

Chattanooga wrestling coach Kyle Ruschell set a few pretty specific goals for his UTC wrestling team on Sunday afternoon at Maclellan Gym and the first-year head coach was more than pleased with the results. Getting off to a fast start and winning the first six matches, the mat Mocs improved to 3-5 overall and more importantly 1-0 in Southern Conference action with a commanding ... (click for more)

Brainerd Hangs On To Hand Tyner 1st 6-AA Loss

Despite an uncharacteristic first half of the season, the rumors of Brainerd High School’s basketball death among the District 6-AA kingpins has been greatly exaggerated and Saturday afternoon inside the comfy warm surroundings of the High-Jackson Gymnasium the Panthers made that loud and clear from the opening tipoff. The Panthers forced 12 first-quarter turnovers and raced ... (click for more)