Those Poor Cougars

I am not a good football spectator. I regularly chime in with insightful queries, such as “This is the sport where they say ‘love’, right?,” or “So when do they let the lions loose?”

Fortunately, not being a good football spectator made me an excellent match for spectating a recent BYU football game, as it is a not a good football team.

Now it’s important to note that BYU football has recently undergone some exciting changes as part of joining something called “the Big 12,” which, contrary to popular belief, is not actually my order at Cowboy Donuts on Saturday mornings, but the name of a football conference. It’s called “the Big 12” because of the number of teams in it, which is–and I am not making this up–14 teams. Next year? 16. At least. Why not? Inflation is real.

Numbers and football are not what you’d call simpatico. When a team scores, they get somewhere between 1 and 6 points–but not 4 points, and certainly not 5. And that can depend on if they’re rolling with advantage, or disadvantage, and if they’ve leveled up in the correct proficiencies. 

There are dozens of other statistics that matter, but apparently they don’t actually matter because BYU was way behind on every single one of them except for the statistic known as “points.” This is because whenever BYU scored, they chose to score with the bigger numbers, instead of the small ones. I don’t know why Texas Tech always scored with the little numbers. You’d think a technical college would be able to train their students that 6 is bigger than 3.

Texas Tech’s mascot is the Spirit Halloween costume version of Yosemite Sam. And whenever their team scores 1-6 points, apparently the tradition is for their fans to hurl flour tortillas through the air like drunken discus throwers. One tortilla glided down the stadium stairwell and hit a random lady in the neck with the precision of a piloted drone. (The fan who threw it was rightfully pulled aside, and offered a quarterback position by both teams.)

BYU doesn’t give their fans tortillas. Instead, we have what’s known as Cougar Tails. Cougar Tails are very long maple bars, and they have a segment each game where they zoom in on fans eating their Cougar Tails in interesting ways in an effort to get more people to buy Cougar Tails, or to get uncomfortable and call their youth leader to pick them up early.

The existence of Cougar Tails is problematic, of course, because it implies the existence of thousands of cougars wandering the Wasatch Mountains without any tails, and with maple frosting instead of fur. It’s a harsh reality overshadowed by the circus of entertainment that is college football, but it’s an important issue, and one we all need to consider seriously. That is a lot of free dessert just roaming around.

There’s also Soda of a Particular Brand, which is available for purchase at any food vendor, or you can lick it up from the river of spilled soda at your feet. It descends from at least a dozen rows above you, but much like the true source of the Nile River, no one seems to know its actual origin.

Anyway, the game was a lot of fun until the second half, when it became terrible. I think BYU technically won, if numbers are to be believed, but the real winners were whoever called their youth leader to pick them up early. The second half was full of what’s known as “stoppages.” A stoppage is when everybody agrees that we’ve all had enough football for now and that we all deserve a little break. Football is a really fun sport because they are always stopping the playing of football, over and over again. They never really quit stopping.

So there’s actually an online resource for tracking exactly how many times they stop play, and if you look it up, the official count of stoppages for this game was 10 bazillion. (That also happens to be the predicted size of the Big 12 conference by the year 2025.)

My editor is now throwing tortillas at me, so it’s time for this newsletter to experience a stoppage of its own. Until next time, may your trickling streams of Soda of a Particular Brand flow freely, and may you always score 6 points instead of 1, 2, or 3.

This article first appeared in the Duzett Gazette, the really official newsletter of Carl Duzett. Sign up here to get more content like this in your inbox, as well as some other content that isn’t quite like it, but is probably also good.

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