Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
XX is a young man on the Utah State University football team. He is from the Midwest and is a sophomore credit wise, but is a redshirt freshman for the team (according to ncaa.org a red shirt freshman is a student on a NCAA college sports team who was kept out of competition for a year in order to prolong his or her eligibility. The following year, they begin their 1st of 4 years of eligibility, or their "freshman" year of eligibility, even if they are sophomores in terms of academics.). He would like to go to law school after he graduates from USU.
I met XX in an English class fall semester 2018. He often wears USU football team gear to class so I asked him to participate in my collection project as I’m collecting stories, legends, and traditions relating to Utah State University. I asked him after class on a Tuesday and we stayed after class on a Thursday to do a quick interview. We stayed in our classroom in the Ray B. West building and chatted for a few minutes (general pleasantries as we don’t really know each other) prior to my turning on the recording for the interview. At one point while XX was talking a professor we both know came into the classroom and we all said hi and the professor left. I don’t think football traditions and rituals are greatly discussed inside or outside of the locker room. The traditions seems to be something the new players learn by doing rather than being told. There is definitely an “insiders club” vibe that I think very few are privy to. When I had initially asked XX to participate in my collection project, I asked if he could contribute without breaking some kind of magicians code (an oath taken by a magician to never reveal an illusion to a non-magician because once the knowledge is out the trick is lost forever). XX laughed at this, but I think it is the truth pertaining to college football culture. The man and business XX mentions in the interview is Jim Laub, who owns multiple business in Cache Valley including a restaurant called Herm’s Inn (which reportedly has the best breakfast in the valley) at the mouth of Logan Canyon. Additionally, a “booster” is a person who has participated in or has been a member of an organization promoting the university’s athletics programs. Boosters have made financial contributions to the athletic department or to a university booster organization (information taken from ncaa.org).
RS: Ok, so this is an interview with XX, on 11/15/18.
XX: Ok, so, some football traditions, uhhh, one of them is every year, so, fall camp we have in the last month of summer and it’s, it’s like hell - [professor walks into classroom]
RS: [whispering] Sorry, just one second, [normal volume] I’m sorry we’ll be quick.
XX: Hey, how you doin’?
PC: Hi. You’re good.
XX: And it’s, it’s a- it’s pretty like intense like we’re there from 7am to 8pm every day for like the month before school starts and so right the day before that starts we have, uhh, dinner at the Laub’s house.
RS: What’s “The Lobb”?
XX: Uhh, he’s a, uhh, booster for our program. He’s like a really wealthy, uhh, man who donates a lot of money to the football program. He lives here in Logan. He owns Herms.
RS: [confusion in voice] And his name is Lobb?
XX: Well, that’s his last name.
RS: [laughing while talking] Oh, I thought it was like some kind of random title.
XX: [laughs] Yeah, no no no, his last name is Laub.
RS: Gotcha, ok.
XX: And, uhh, so we have dinner at his house, and his house is really, like elegant and like it’s really- it’s a mansion, and we have dinner there and we call it “the last supper” because it happens right before fall camp starts [RS: sure] umm, and, yeah we just have really good food and hang out there. We go and look at his cars. He has like his Porsches’ shelved in his garage.
RS: That’s bonkers.
XX: Um, yeah.
RS: Ok, so do you have any other traditions?
XX: Everyone has their own, uhh…
RS: Hazing rituals?
XX: No, not really, there’s like when you first come in like you’re gonna get more like crap from everyone but nothing like really extreme. Like I mean the XX like [unclear] have their own rituals like- so I’m a XX so like the XX like I have to- like the incoming freshmen on XX have to like go like all the way under like in the ice tub like but nothing like really like…
XX: Nahh, nothing too brutal.
RS: That’s good.
XX: Umm [pause] yeah we have, uhh, movie nights before like every game, they call- and our strength staff puts them on and they’re called-
RS: Where do you do those?
XX: Well if it’s a home game we do it at Herm’s [RS: umm-hmm] and then if it’s an away game we just do it at the hotel [RS: uhh-huh] and the way they describe it is movies by men for men and they’re like- we watch like Rambo’s, umm, last week we watched, uhh, Roadhouse, uhh, and like, uhh, Predator.
RS: Oh, sure, sure.
XX: So just those old timey- just like Arnold Schwarzenegger type movies.
RS: Umm-hmm, that’s hilarious. Ok, anything else that you think the folk archives at Utah State University needs to know about the football team?
XX: Umm [pause]
RS: Any shenanigans?
XX: [pause] Not really.
RS: [laughing while talking] ya’ll are boring!
XX: [laughing] I’m sorry, yeah…
RS: That’s ok. Well, thank you.
XX seemed uncomfortable while telling me about the football traditions. I think part of it was he didn’t quite know what to say, but he also seemed to be holding something back. Immediately after I stopped recording XX told me there used to be some scandalous activities that took place among the football players. XX asked me not to put his name or football position in my project or the specifics of what he told me as he didn’t want to get himself or anyone else in trouble.
Semester and year
G1: Groups/Social Customs
Smith, Rebecca, "The Last Super" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 463.