Rematch isn't fueled by revenge, or is it?
By Ferd Lewis
Advertiser Sports Columnist
"There is no revenge factor for this game ... there is no revenge factor for this game ..."
Crowton has said it so often and so adamantly this week that it has practically become his mantra for tomorrow's rematch with the University of Hawai'i on ESPN.
Never mind that, in their last meeting nine months ago, the Warriors hung a 72-45 thumping on Crowton's Cougars on national television. Or that in costing BYU its undefeated regular season and a place in the Top 10 the Warriors punted a ball into the end zone to punctuate one touchdown and had three receivers jump into the stands, a la the Lambeau Leap, to underline that score.
"We're not looking back; this is a new season," Crowton maintains with a proselytizer's zeal. "This isn't about revenge."
And, if you're buying that, then Crowton just might have a swell deal on a gold mine up in the canyon to sell, too.
The fact of the matter is the thirst for revenge is so big and so pervasive here that Crowton has been out in front trying to guide the energy and focus elsewhere.
"Ah, Coach Crowton has to say that; he has to be politically correct and he has to say all the right things," said tight end Spencer Nead, the unvarnished voice of truth and simmering retribution. "He's very good at it. But as players and I can only speak for myself that (game) has been stirring in my stomach for a year.
"You know, riding home in the plane, I thought about (Hawai'i) coming to our house (this) year and what we're going to do to them," Nead added. "Sure, we have goals as a team to get on the national scene and win the conference and they definitely outweigh the revenge factor, but deep down inside there's a little more added incentive because they got us last year."
"I might punt it in the (stands) if I get it in the end zone and we're up by 20," Nead said.
In a separate interview, Nead told the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, "I don't know if we're going to kneel (on the ball) with a minute and a half to go against Hawai'i. I hope we don't. Coach Crowton probably has a little bit more couth than me. If it were me, I'd run it into the end zone and kick the ball into our crowd."
Nor is Nead alone.
"They kind of shoved it our faces talking (on the line)," said offensive tackle Dustin Rykert. "They said, 'You're BYU, why can't you stay with us?' This and that. So, we're gonna come out and prove this week that we can play with them and dominate them. We're going to prove it to ourselves and our fans. It is a feeling of redemption, revenge. Them (Hawai'i) coming here, our fans want to let them hear it like (we) heard it from their fans."
But Crowton must be right. After all, revenge in a UH-BYU game?
What could we be thinking?