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PROVO — If you want to know how to pull off a successful road trip to support your team, you need to talk to someone who has done it several times.
Meet Pierre Guzman. He has been a die-hard BYU Cougar fan since he shared an apartment with some of the players back in 2006.
"I've driven to San Diego. I've driven to USC. I've driven to Wyoming. I've driven to Air Force," he said.
According to him, the most important thing about a road trip is getting a place to stay. A lot of people put that off and find the hotels are totally booked when they try to get a room.
Next, you have to find the right people to go with. For example, we all know that guy who takes the games way too seriously. He takes each loss as a knock on his personal character. If you're going just to have fun, don't bring "that guy."
"You've got to all be on the same level of the playing field, because if you're not, you get sick of the people with you," he said.
If you're going just to have fun, don't bring "that guy."
Guzman says even a Ute fan, like myself, is welcome to come along if I'm not a complete jerk about it. They wouldn't tie me to the roof or anything. They'd let me right inside the RV like a normal person.
"If you're willing to go and have fun, then we're good bringing you along," he said.
Guzman is kind of a good luck charm for the Cougars. Every time he has made the trip to cheer on BYU, the team has won. So, he has never had to take the long, uncomfortable trip back home.
The same won't be said for Cougar fan Keith Harten. He's making the trip with an avid Boise State fan. So, either way, one of them is driving home unhappy.
"This was part of the decision we had to make in deciding whether or not we would go to this game together. We had to gauge, ‘Can our friendship handle this?'" Harten said.
He's gone on road trips with fans of rival teams before. In fact, his first date with his wife was at a BYU-Utah State University game in Logan. She backed Utah State, and the game didn't go the way Harten hoped it would. But that was fine.
"She was such a gracious winner to me that I fell in love with her. That is probably why we're together," he said.
College football. It's for lovers.
Harten likes traveling with rivals. He says that look on their face when their team isn't doing well is priceless.
"Hopefully, I'm not the one with the horrible look on my face who is receiving the trash talk," he said.
Harten has known the guy he's going with for about nine years. They're great friends, so he expects the drive to be a fun one. But, he is getting the trash talk ready just in case he needs it. If he really wants to push his friend's buttons, Harten will pick on him for being Canadian.
Sure it's underhanded, but they're tight like that.
"Having a Canadian tell you to ‘take off' is a wonderful experience." He added, "He will tell me to ‘take off' if I say something he doesn't like, and I enjoy it."
Even if the Cougs lose the game, Harten says he's let his buddy bask in the glow of victory without ruining the drive back.