A recent birthday caused me to reflect on how blessed I am. As big of a BYU fan as I am, even to work with U of U fans who treat me with class and dignity. Uh, wait a minute…
Of all the stories I’ve worked on, this one was probably one of the most fun–mainly because all of the real-life Ute fans that I conned into appearing here did so without knowing what the story would be about. I more or less just told ’em to nod and pat me on the back. For some of them, when I asked them to look a little “disgusted” after I left the conversation, it just came natural to them after seeing my BYU lanyard. (Come to think of it, some of them never saw the lanyard and looked pretty disgusted anyways. Not sure how to take that.)
The first KSL employee to appear was all-star reporter Alex Cabrero. While maybe not as die-hard as some of the other Ute fans there at the station, he was patient enough to follow along before getting back to his latest award-winning story. If you haven’t seen Alex’s stuff, you should. Keep in mind that this guy is a one-man band, able to shoot/edit/report from everywhere in the state at the drop of a hat.
Funny story about this lanyard. I never wear it with the logos showing. It’s plain blue on the other side, and that’s what everyone would ever see. There are times during the day where the lanyard and ID/press badge at the end of it get twisted around, though, and the logos will show. So the other day when I was up at the U of U to shoot ESPN’s GameDay taping on campus, I kept looking down at the lanyard over the course of the shoot to make sure there were no twists. Didn’t want the oval Y to pop up at that particular time.
The next person up was Matt, the 5pm news producer. I think we shot this around 1:00 in the afternoon. Had I made the request much later in the afternoon, it would not have been possible. News producers have a unique ability to multitask, but they’re still at the mercy of when news breaks. And when it comes to BYU talk, Matt gives no breaks.
Next up was Chad Larsen. His desk is a mere 15′ from mine, and I endured the never-ending Ute taunts until I invested in a pair of noise-canceling headphones to, um, keep me more focused on my stories. Chad holds an ecclesiastical calling that pairs him with a BYU fan, I believe. I believe this is God’s way of teaching Chad about an opposition in all things. And, on a religious note, Chad was also the first person to tell me about the picture of a down-trodden Charlie Brown the day of LDS General Conference when they ordained three new apostles into the Quorum of the Twelve, with the caption, “TWO UTES AND AN AGGIE…BYU GETS SHUT OUT OF THE BIG 12 AGAIN.” Ah, religion and football.
Now this is where it gets kind of funny. Kory, a staunch, staunch, staunch Ute fan, was the only one that knew what the gist of this story was about. He shot 95% of the footage here. He and Chad swapped cameraman duties for a second, and we told Chad what to frame in the shot. The look on Kory’s face still cracks me up as I left the frame.
Kory does a lot of freelance for BYUtv, and I believe his sister plays/played softball for BYU. He is on BYU’s campus far more than even some of the most die-hard Cougar fans. He is a living oxymoron, which I may or may not have pointed out to him once or twice.
Scott Jones is an important part of what keeps KSL going. He has a title that is too long for me to remember. Whatever it is, it’s important. And he took the opportunity to have sympathy for a BYU fan very serious. Had I extended his clip in the video a little longer, you would have seen an Academy Award-winning eye roll from him as I walked away from his desk. He takes all his jobs seriously, this one included. And he is one of the more vocal supporters of the Utes that, for whatever reason, seems to walk by my desk after every BYU loss. Incredibly coincidental.
Tim (Lyman) has been at KSL for 30+ years, and is going to retire here soon. (I hope it had nothing to do with all the USC references in the last managers meeting.) As a director, Tim is able to sit in the control room during newscasts, calling cameras and pushing buttons. And knowing that I was a BYU fan, he took the “pushing buttons” part to all new levels with me. He just always goes above and beyond.
Seeing the monitors behind me–boy we need to re-calibrate. Ugh.
Yeah, I’m the one who came up with the idea and the story. And yeah, I made up the signs that were on my back. Regardless of the comic nature of the outcome, I did want to show the fun side to rivalries–even if it means the joke is on me. Believe me, with BYU football’s recent “success” vs. the Utes, I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty creative “gifts” the Monday following the BYU/Utah games. My favorite would be the time a few years back that the Cougs threw six interceptions I think, and on Monday I had six apple TURNOVERS sitting on my desk. I may have eaten them all in my state of depression.
Overall, it was just a fun piece. Again, big props to all those who unknowingly helped out, and to Kory for helping me out of a proverbial 4th-and-16 type of problem. I keep telling him that he works magic with the camera–because, you know, magic happens. He just rolls his eyes and mumbles a “52-10” or two, which keeps me quiet.