football Edit

Utah Football Needs Support Now More Than Ever

After tragedy strikes, when is it right to start writing and talking about other things? After two shooting deaths of University of Utah football players in the last nine months, I can tell you, I still don’t have that answer.

What I do know is, while it will be talked about, it’s no longer important to talk about player performances and game results. After last Saturday’s 24-13 victory against Washington State, the Utes were struggling with a 2-2 record. They already weren’t doing “okay” from a mental standpoint.

When the Utes step onto the field two Saturdays from now, they’ll have said all of the standard things that they’re now playing for Aaron Lowe, for Ty Jordan, and even former beloved coach John Pease. Some will honor them and play well. Some won’t play well. Some might not even be able to gather the strength to play at all. It’s all understandable.

The players have been rocked by two unimaginable teammate deaths. Same with the coaches, but add to that their close relationship with Pease.

It’s okay for the entire program to say they’re not okay. They’re human.

This season is now about celebrating Utah football, both the current team and the memories they’ve created in the Whittingham era. Their winning ways and dominance on the field are a moot point. Those ways will return, but there are just more important matters at hand. Can they still rally for their fallen teammates and win at least the Pac-12 South? Yes. Will they? Probably not and again, that’s okay.

My heart hurts for the football program. My heart hurts for Aaron Lowe’s family. My heart hurts for everyone who witnessed their friend murdered at that party. A large number of football players witnessed this horrific event and it’s a nightmare that they won't be able to unsee for the rest of their lives.

Remember to withhold your criticism for the remainder of the season. Instead, for fans, players and coaches, it’s time to rally as a family. And “family” is a culture this program is known for. Utah football needs everyone’s love and unwavering support, now more than ever. It’s time to help lift them up through unbearable adversity.