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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

BYU, Utah football: Blood is thicker than water

Lifelong Cougar fan changing his colors this week

By Dick Harmon
Deseret News
PROVO — This is a week Tom Sitake should be torn in half, his emotions frayed, his loyalties tested.

He should be a guy in conflict, talking to friends, speaking to a shrink while he's laid out on a sofa in some room with fish staring at him through a big plate-glass wall.

Sitake has been a BYU fan all of his life — as loyal as you'll find on the planet. But his son, Kalani Sitake, a former Cougar fullback, draws a paycheck from the University Utah as the Utes' linebackers coach. It's his son's job to find a way to disrupt and ground Max Hall and the Cougar offense come Saturday.

"It's pretty simple," Sitake said Monday as he prepared for this week and a game he calls the most dramatic in rivalry history. "My loyalties are with my son. I love my son, I support Kalani, I have his back and he can count on me, win or lose.

"I am a BYU fan, I always will be, but my son has my love, my loyalty, and I want him to succeed."

Tom, who turns 59 on Wednesday, feels things in this conflict that few others will ever know.

To crawl inside his mind and know his heart, you have to know how devoted he is to what he believes. And in this case, his family comes first, even when he's flying two flags at his house — one blue and the other red.

Continue to Deseret Times

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