Always an intense rivalry game, the stakes are even higher as the University of Utah travels to Provo this weekend for the Utes’ final football game against BYU until 2016. The battle for bragging rights extends beyond the football field and into the business community.
For the sixth consecutive year, the Salt Lake Chamber and the Utah Valley Chamber have renewed their annual friendly wager on the game. If the Cougars win, the Salt Lake Chamber must fly BYU’s flag in at its offices in the heart of Ute country. But if the Utes prevail, the Utah Valley Chamber must fly a Ute flag at its offices in Provo.
In the past five years of friendly wagering, the Salt Lake Chamber holds a 4-1 lead over Utah Valley, emerging victorious in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 (admittedly, with a little help from Coach Whittingham and the Utes).
“When we first arranged this wager we bought a BYU flag but we haven’t used it very much,” said Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber. “We’d like to see it gather some more dust over the next few years and we’re sure the Utes will accommodate.”
“We are always excited to place this wager,” said Val Hale, president of the Utah Valley Chamber, who is also the former BYU athletic director. “With the game in Provo this year and Kyle Van Noy anchoring the defense, I like BYU’s chances. Besides, whether he admits it or not, Lane Beattie always looks better in blue than he does in red.”
The Utes are 2-1 and will face BYU after a tough overtime loss at home to Oregon St. The 1-1 Cougars are coming off a bye week that followed a 19-point victory over then 15th ranked Texas.