Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BYU Cougar Kickoff

Every year around the start of football season, BYU hosts the Cougar Kickoff at their football practice facility.  Traditionally it is held on a Tuesday night, so I have missed being there because I work late those days.  I was excited when I found out it was on a Wednesday this year and the whole family could go together.  Nellie was super-excited I'm sure, because things revolving around BYU football thrill her to the core (that was a joke by the way).

When we showed up at the field, we got miraculously close parking, which is always a good start.  Lulu rode in the stroller while Eva and Scott walked.  The whole practice field was surrounded in booths of different types.  Many of the booths held tables at which sat football players with sharpies signing autographs.  There were other booths there that housed different games that kids could play and win different prizes.  Cosmo (BYU's cougar mascot) roamed around the gathering as did the cheer squad and some of the athletes whose autographs weren't required.  
I love this picture.  I was trying to get Lulu to look at me and she kept closing her eyes.  I asked her to open her eyes and this is what I got!

One thing I loved about the Cougar Kickoff was being able to be an unabashed Cougar football nerd.  Since I have followed the team and recruiting for years, it isn't unusual for me to recognize players when I see them around.  I am good at reminding myself to only engage in casual conversation if it is appropriate to engage them at all.  I also make sure to never mention that I know what high school they went to or that they are currently healing from a grade 2 ankle sprain, or that they may need to get their grades up in order to continue playing.  At the CK it's a little different.  Since the players seem a tad bored signing autographs, it was fun to talk to a few of them.  
Scott and Taysom Hill
Scott's extra hair is gone and so is Jake Heaps (2011 Fall Camp)

Scott and I met Taysom Hill, who we hope will be a fantastic quarterback over the next few years.  He was really nice and patient with all the fans who wanted to take a picture with him.  I got a picture of him and Scott (hope that turns out better that when I got a picture of Scott and Jake Heaps a couple of years ago).  Scott and I took turns getting players to sign our BYU helmet.  The helmet was a birthday present from my father-in-law that had previously been a prop for ESPN.  Unlike most of the helmets you see autographed it is a full-on helmet.  Many of the players remarked that they wore that actual model or used to wear it.  I laughed at how many of them just slipped it on their heads.  Terrance Alletto slipped it on and posed for a picture with Scott.  
Gotta Work With Scott on His Stance...Scott and Terrance Alletto

I was really impressed by how cool most of the players were.  They stopped and talked to Scott like he was the only kid around (which he certainly wasn't). We did get rejected by one star player (who will remain nameless) toward the end of the night.  I'm sure it was just a matter of needing to stop at some point, but it was a little hard to see Scott turned away by him.  
We're Still Missing Some Players--Great Start Though

Eva and Lulu spent most of their time playing games and making their way around the field.  While we were there we had to change out Yaya's medicine.  We had all her supplies and simply walked to a corner of the field where no one was and took care of the change.  She was a little embarrassed until she realized no one seemed to be paying attention and got over it pretty quickly.  We also ran into an old friend I used to work with and his family.  It was so nice to be able to catch up (albeit quickly) with one of the truly good guys I've had the privilege of knowing.  His little kids were darling and seemed like great future Cougars. 

Anytime I run into people I know at fan events, I tend to like them a little bit more.  I think it's because I figure they must be pretty big BYU fans to make it out to an event like this.  Next time I see them I'll hit them up about how KVN is playing or something like that.  

In review: great event for kids and families.  I owe Nellie big time for putting up with 4 kids tonight.  Maybe I'll watch Anna and the King with her sometime as a payment.  Also: I can't wait for August 31st when BYU kicks off at Virginia!

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