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A New Era at Vanquish The Foe

It’s a new day here at Vanquish The Foe. Just as BYU will be ramping up its independent football schedule, VTF is stepping up its game to be a more prominent part of Cougar Nation and to provide you with more to chew on, discuss, and debate.

We are grateful to SB Nation for the opportunity to come together with you, our fellow Cougar fans, in this capacity. We also appreciate the work of all those who have managed this site before us. (And a tip of the hat to our friends at Big East Coast Bias for an assist so we could get rolling.)

Our goal is for VTF to be (cliché time) a true destination for BYU fans. While we will coordinate to minimize duplication of stories, we will attempt to engender the diversity of opinion that already exists on our staff and throughout BYU fandom. Team Riley or Team [Name Redacted]. Big 12. Big East. Independence and West Coast Conference. As managing editors, we will pound our stakes into where we stand. But the rest of the staff might—and probably will—provide a different voice to the buzzing topics of each week.

Make sure you bring a healthy sense of humor as well. If you feel like we’re making fun of you as a fan, it will be stemming from within—we’re really just making fun of ourselves. Outside of sports fandom, like many of you, we are also a part of that “peculiar” bunch of believers. We won’t mock that, ever—but, a healthy dose of self-jabbing may still occur. Tune your heart and humor accordingly.

To do our part to Rise Up (c. 2011, BYU Marketing), among many changes, the Mangum brothers are bringing aboard their Rise And Shout podcast. We will also bring you a more active Twitter presence, so make sure you follow @VanquishTheFoe (which we currently don’t have control over at the moment…we’re working on it).

Here are some quick bios so you can get to know the new VTF staff.


Zach Bloxham (@zbloxham)

Zach attends Gonzaga University School of Law and is currently in the state of Washington. Having graduated with honors from Weber State University in Political Science, Zach enjoys campaign politics, appellate law, film, literature, technology, and the study of theology. He was brewed (not an Honor Code violation) a BYU fan by his BYU-diehard (and University of Utah alum) father and grandfather. His first BYU memory is watching the 1990 Holiday Bowl. There simply isn't anything as glorious as a fall Saturday at Lavell Edwards Stadium.

Brett Hein (@bhein3)

Brett is a communication graduate of WeberStateUniversity. He currently plays on the internet all day while answering phones for his “job.” (If you know someone who wants to hire the best student of his college class, speak up.) He was a math and geography whiz in grade school thanks to newspaper box scores. The first BYU sporting event he attended in person was a football game against New Mexico in 1996 when Omarr Morgan blocked a field goal to secure the victory. Brett has attended at least one BYU football game (he’s not from Utah County or Salt Lake) every year since that game except in 2006, when he was in Indiana as a missionary. He is happily married and living in Utah with his first little mini-me dude on the way.

Zach and Brett have (and continue) to cover college sports in the West at The Upset


Adam Mangum (@ajmangum)

Adam has bled BYU blue since birth. One of his first BYU memories was the Cougars beating Michigan in the 1984 Holiday Bowl. Adam's favorite BYU athletes of all-time include Robbie Bosco, Michael Smith, Ben Cahoon and the Jimmer. When he's not writing about BYU sports or recording a podcast about the Cougars, he's often talking about it to anyone who will listen, even if he does live in Minnesota. Adam covered the Cougars for one season at the Provo Daily Herald.

Matt Mangum (@matt_mangum)

After graduating from BYU, Matt is currently working on an MBA at PurdueUniversity (Boiler Up!). He grew up in Massachusetts and saw many BYU games via satellite feed at his church, so his first BYU football game he attended was in 1996 when the Cougars opened with Texas A&M. Matt will never forget watching K.O. Kealaluhi run and slide in the endzone on the final touchdown of the game, and gets chills every time he sees the replay.

Keith Harten (@keithharten)

Keith lives in Utah after graduating from BYU with a Masters in American Literature and taught English at BYU for two years. He is a third-generation BYU graduate, and his favorite BYU memory is Steve Sarkisian’s lasso celebration in the 96/97 Cotton Bowl. He enjoys backpacking, sports, and film/literature (currently in a Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy phase). He and his wife are expecting their first child in early 2012.

Geoff Johnston (@geoffjBYU)

Geoff is a native of San DiegoCounty but now lives in the greater Phoenix area. After obtaining a Bachelors at BYU and a Masters at San Diego State in the mid-90’s, Geoff has worked at various internet companies since. He started blogging in earnest in 2004 and took his BYU sports habit to Twitter a couple years ago. Geoff loves BYU football, but may love BYU hoops even more.

Peter Case (@spaffoo)

Peter has been a BYU fan as far as his memory goes back. BYU fanhood was a natural fit for Peter while living in Utah as his dad worked for the school. His fanhood started when he was too young to know what “pass interference” meant as he mingled with BYU-fan adults. Now, following Cougar sports it is a hobby bordering on obsession. Every day of every week of every year is an opportunity for him to share his love of BYU and hopefully bring recognition to the institution that has been part of his family's legacy for generations.

Thank you for joining with us. Go Cougars!

Zach Bloxham and Brett Hein