My family and I have had season tickets to BYU football for more than forty years and we have had many fun and interesting experiences.
Our most infamous encounter with potential disaster occurred in 1982 during the BYU vs. New Mexico game. Steve Young was the quarterback and Eddie Stinnett was the running back. Just before the ball was snapped on the first play of the game, I put a handful of Cheetos in my mouth.
A moment later Young took the ball and faded back to pass, but instead he handed it off to Stinnett who took the ball 80 yards along the sideline to score a touchdown. There were 65,000 fans in that stadium and all 65,000 stood up to cheer and so did I.
As I lifted my arms to cheer the ‘GREAT BIG GOB OF CHEWED UP CHEETO’ went flying out of my mouth, straight up in the air and as I analyzed its trajectory I knew it would land on the head of the man sitting in front of me. It’s important to realize that this was no ordinary gob of chewed up Cheetos it was a ‘GREAT BIG GOB’ which was at least the size of a golf ball. I was surprised that it didn’t knock the guy out or at the very least give him a concussion when it hit his head.
My first thought was “Calvert, you’ve got a problem”. After a quick analysis of the situation I recognized that I had three choices to solve this problem: 1) I could tap the guy on the shoulder and say, “Hey, mister! You have a ‘GREAT BIG GOB OF CHEWED UP CHEETO’ sitting on your head; or 2) I could reach over and carefully take it off without him even knowing it was there; or 3) I could just ignore the whole thing.
It took less than a tenth of a second to decide that option one was not going to happen. So I decided to do the brave and honorable thing. I ignored it.
However, it didn’t take me long to realize that I made a big mistake. I couldn’t look anywhere in that stadium without seeing that ‘BIG GOB OF CHEETO’ in my periphery. Then suddenly I was struck with a horrible epiphany, “What if the guy’s wife happened to look up and saw that ‘GOB OF CHEETO’ sitting on her husband’s head. At this point I realized I had no choice but to use my last option.
I have always had good finger dexterity and I was not worried or afraid that I couldn’t get that golf ball sized ‘GOB’ off his head.
I reached for it, cautiously grabbed it, and started to lift it off his head. What I didn't’ realize was that when it landed on his head it stuck in his hair and so when I picked it up his hair came up with it (no he wasn’t wearing a toupee) but by now he knew someone was playing with his head.
At that point all I could do was say to myself “Oh, crap!” and I got a secure hold on it and pulled it off his head. He turned around and gave me a funny look and all I could say was, “I'm sorry mister, BUT my wife had an accident!”
This memory is true and accurate except I left my wife out of it. However, if I knew then that this was such a good story I would have really blamed it on her.
Over the years the time I spent with my sons at the BYU football games helped me create a strong bond with them. While the tickets may have been expensive, they were worth every dollar I spent as we strengthened our father/son relationship that is still strong today.
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