Falling in love with America's number one sport

Written by: 
Hannah Jones

Football fans and Super Bowl lovers at BYU-Hawaii attributed their love for the sport to their upbringing and examples from family and friends. Whether their team wins or not - and despite what they think of Tom Brady - the students shared how they became interested in America’s number one sport.

Will Strong, a freshman business major from Wisconsin, said he has watched the Super Bowl “every year except the last two because I was on my mission, but usually every year.” He discovered his interest in football through friends and family.

He explained, “My dad likes it, my cousins all like it, my friends. … I played it a little bit,” as to how he got into it. Strong reasoned, “I’ve got a couple of teams I like – the Vikings, from my hometown, and the Colts.”

Rylee Widdison, a freshman from Nevada studying information technology who has watched the Super Bowl every year, became interested in football through her dad. She said, “In high school, my dad played football. He loves football.”

She added, “It’s almost like a holiday at our house. We make food we wouldn’t normally make and just have fun. My high school has a good football team. My senior year of high school, I was a football manager.”

As for Koa Fowlke, a sophomore from Wyoming majoring in business, football was not a family affair. “I started my fourth grade year and we’d play all the time at recess. The parents weren’t too keen on the idea of football, but I decided to do it and it was a lot of fun. I was just little back then. I played football all the way up through my ninth-grade year.”

Fowlke explained he has watched the Super Bowl “pretty much every year except the years I was on my mission.” Surprised that the question was even asked, Fowlke said, “I watch the Super Bowl. I think most Americans do.”

This Year’s Super Bowl

Though these students watch the Super Bowl every year, Strong admits that it’s not really the game itself but the fact that it’s such a big event that attracts him. He explained, “If it was a normal game, I wouldn’t have even watched. I didn’t really care for either team much, but I for sure don’t like the Patriots so I was cheering against the Patriots more than anything.”

Fowlke was asked what team he cheered for and bursted out, “One hundred percent the Eagles. I’ve been a die hard fan since the fifth grade.” He assured, “I have video evidence that I’m not just a bandwagon guy.

“Technically I became a fan in fourth grade, but it was a big year in fifth grade. That’s when [the Eagles] played the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and I cried when they lost.” Having anticipated the year they’d win, Fowlke said, “It’s like a full circle, but this time they come out on top.” He waited 12 years for the Eagles to beat the Patriots. “That’s a long time. I was just waiting for my team to get back in the Super Bowl.”

Widdison said she wasn’t excited by the outcome because she’s a fan of Tom Brady. However, Strong stated, “I liked that the Patriots lost. I hate Tom Brady, he’s a punk. The Eagles had a sweet touchdown where the quarterback became the receiver. A lot of suspense and a really good game. It was really fun to watch.”

Widdison’s favorite part was “the commercials, because they’re funny and it’s a good break.”

Strong also appreciated the halftime show. He excitedly said, “JT killed it in the halftime show.”

Fowlke added, “Honestly it was magical this year. It was one of the very few games I’ve ever seen where it was just so entertaining the whole time. It was a very heavy game. I was so happy with it.

“I would’ve been okay if the Eagles had lost just because it was that good of a game, but It was that much sweeter because they came out on top. Probably the most entertaining NFL game I’ve ever seen.”

Although she was unhappy with the outcome, Widdison still enjoyed her time watching the game. “It was just funny because half the table wanted Eagles, half wanted Patriots, so we were all divided and it was so close at the end.”

While Strong was happy with the outcome, he stated that there were things he didn’t like about the game. He explained, “The Vikings, they made it to the NFC championship and it was meant to be that they were going to win the Super Bowl in their home field.”

Fowlke had no reservations about the game. “One of the best Super Bowls ever, for sure. Most yards ever out of any NFL games, and it came in the Super Bowl with a rookie backup. It’s a big deal.”

Fowlke said he painted his body and wore a foam eagle head. He reasoned, “I wanted there to be no doubt that I’m an Eagles fan. Go big or go home.”

After a long silence, a big grin on his face, and a sigh, Fowlke said, “Twelve years. Oh my gosh. Twelve years. Just imagine every year getting disappointed and then this year they just came out swinging.”

Fowlke, above all, said, “It just was good company and a good game.”

Date Published: 
Monday, February 19, 2018
Last Edited: 
Monday, February 19, 2018