Place item was collected
Zachary Grant Bess
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
My name is Zachary Grant Bess, I’m a student with a Dual Major in English Teaching and History Teaching. I’m in the military, as well as a student, and currently serve in the USUSA as the Senator for CHaSS here at USU. I was raised in Southern Utah. A huge Aggie fan, I participate in all things against BYU.
I’ve seen these shirts around, since I started here in 2011, but think it began before that. It is used both by Utah State Aggie Fans, as well as University of Utah Utes Fans. This is because of a shared mutual distain both student groups feel towards their Private religious rival. That rivalry, is founded much upon a perceived uppity and self-righteousness of BYU, whether actual or not. The use of the hashtag is short and simple and used for trash talk, particularly right before the user’s institution is going to face off against BYU (i.e. before Utah State v. BYU Men’s Basketball etc.) Buck FYU, the separated phrase, is a play on the more vulgar real term “Fuck BYU.” They letter-swap is not unique to these rivalries, and is used against Michigan [Muck Fichigan] and also against Washington Huskies [Huck the Fuskies] and likely others. Some of these phrases are believed to date back to at least 1995 if not before. These shirts are still worn, but, with Administrative pushback, it’s harder to find someone willing to print them. Most importantly, this rivalry isn’t as important as it used to be, especially to Ute fans, as they consistently beat BYU (the last eight years) and are in a better conference. Utah State still practices the shirts, but they are significantly less common in 2017 than there were in 2011.
[one of the simplest forms of the design, and most common, as it is on a blue background, we know it’s Aggie based]
[A fan wears the shirt in 2011]
[A Red variant, found online, to be worn by a University of Utah Fan, the man in the photo also interestingly has a white undershirt, indicative of religious vestments (garments) and is likely a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, who owns BYU. The individual may not wear it if it explicitly said “FUCK BYU”]
[A black version, available for purchase, likely to be interchangeable between different fan bases]
These shirts are worn both humorously, and with some jest, much like other athletic-rival sentiments. It takes on a special usage here in Utah because “Fuck BYU” is vulgar, and many of the fans, on both sides of the rivalries, are religious and avoid the word “Fuck.” Thus, “Buck FYU” is a cleaner way of expressing the exact same sentiment. In most ways this phrase is used like any other athletic rivalry material, however, it is particularly effective against BYU as they find it offensive (compared to U of Washington for example.) These shirts, gain negative attention among University officials and they do not like them, asking student leaders to discourage their wearing. Discouragement stops some students, while encouraging others to wear them more often.
Lynne S. McNeil
Semester and year
Bess, Zachary Grant, "BUCK FYU SHIRTS" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 8.
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