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.
This shirt takes its humor in playing off the three “jersey letters” of the in-state rivals of Utah. Each school follows different methods for their selection of letter, but the shirt incorporates each’s self-identifying letter. Brigham Young University is known as “The Y” for the large painted “Y” on the mountain in Provo, which stands for Young the middle part of their name. University of Utah has the simplest choice, known as the “U of U” they chose, “U”, of course. [arguably for their mascot the “Utes” as well.] Utah State is in a harder spot because “U” is already taken, and the idea is to have a single letter. While the Athletics department does use a stylized “U” with “State” across the center, the official [jersey] letter is an “A” for Aggies, as is reflected in our “Block A” used for “True Aggie Night”, and the similar four-sided bell tower, which has an “A” on each ridge of its roof. These chosen letters create the misspelled play on Word’s that is “Y Don’t U Kiss my A.” Obviously inflammatory for use at rival athletic events, the shirt challenges both University of Utah fans and BYU Fans, using the common euphemism “Why don’t you kiss my Ass” as its base. This shirt/slogan carries particular weight because of how Utah State is viewed within the State, as being the “Little Brother” of the “Real” Universities. Aggie fans are often mocked as being unserious, or cheering on a hopeless cause. This remains true even in years that the Aggies beat the teams from the other Universities.
[The Most common design, surely the one printed the most time, uses the actual Block Letters, heavily vectored, with soft edges to justify not breaking copyright issues]
[Here a student with an Anti-BYU sign wears the shirt, as does the man with blue hair, and two others in the photo]
[A less common design, but more well done, this version could not be mass produced as it utilizes copyrighted trademarks of the universities, their logos. Also a variant of such]
These shirts are usually worn in clean, athletic rivalry, a little tongue in cheek with the allusion to “Ass” they are worn as a fan shirt, most often on game-days where the Aggies are playing one of the two mentioned teams. While some of the versions explicitly break copyright, all versions bring unnecessary attention from USU Administration, which in-turn causes some students to wear them in spite of guidance not to.
Lynne S. McNeil
Semester and year
Bess, Zachary Grant, ""Y don't U kiss my A"" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 9.