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In Defense of the Off-season

As a fan, oftentimes it's hard to remember there's more to football than the games we watch.

Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

I hate the off-season.

By February I start asking, "Is it August yet?"

The off-season is only filled with drama, heightened expectations, injuries and no actual football, right?

After the news and resulting Twitter fallout that Utah RB Harvey Langi was looking to transfer to BYU after his LDS mission, I thought August really couldn't come fast enough.

But getting off the freeway at the same exit that leads right to BYU, I saw an SUV with a Y sticker on the back and a weathered Y window flag flapping in the wind. It felt just like game day.

That's when it dawned on me. Why can't I be more like that person? Why don't I believe that, in the words of BYU sports marketing, every day is game day?

The off-season brings a clean slate for all football fans. No matter what happened last season, next season will be better.

This is when we as fans can get our unbridled hopes up with news of every Letter of Intent, every transfer, and every first- and second-round draft pick.

We can fully believe Taysom Hill when he says after spring scrimmage, "We are certainly better right now than we were last spring."

But most importantly, we as fans can feel 100% confident that all of our players are training their hardest for the upcoming season. Whatever happens in the fall is a direct result of what happens in the off-season.

The off-season is where trust is built and the team becomes one.

On June 20, the BYU Cougars competed in BYU's annual Cougar Challenge. The challenge consisted of a 1 mile swim, running the stairs at LaVell Edwards Stadium, a 25 mile bike ride, and a 5 mile hike. Jamaal Williams tweeted he woke up at 4:45 a.m. for the event.

While the course was rigorous, the players and coaches made the most of it.

I beamed with pride when I saw all those who finished the rigorous challenge.

There's no reason a die-hard fan like me shouldn't be cheering these players and coaches on every practice, every challenge, every second they're working hard in the off-season to make the season great.

So I'll wave my Y flag proudly, because maybe the off-season isn’t so bad after all.