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DID `200' HYPE DOOM COUGARS?

I wish to congratulate Brad Rock on his excellent article "CSU didn't want to be an asterisk on LaVell's 200th," published Sept. 18. Like most of us who claim to be fans of sports, I admit to being somewhat caught up in the hype over Coach Edwards winning 200 games. I also thought that the 200th win would come with the defeat of Colorado State.

There were periods, however, when I had thoughts of another contest in the political arena. As a student of history, I remembered that the press and much of the nation had given the presidential victory to Thomas Dewey over Harry Truman before the election had been completed. Many of the conversations that I overheard had given the 200th victory to Coach Edwards without taking into consideration that the two teams still had to play the game.I know that the Deseret News tried hard not to give the impression that the Colorado State game was a pushover, but most of the writers still projected a win for Brigham Young. I wonder how often it is that well-meaning fans, boosters and the news media have lost contests for teams because of a misguided hype over a record or milestone.

I wonder if Colorado State would have been as up for the game if the players hadn't seen the congratulations for LaVell and his 200th win all over Provo. In that same vein of thought, would the BYU football team have been as mistake-prone if they hadn't been distracted in their preparation for the game by the same congratulations?

Would the game have been lost if the fans and boosters had not already given the BYU team the victory? We will never know because at the end of the game, the Colorado State football team was the victor.

The fans and Cougar boosters can blame the quarterback, they can blame the coaches, they can blame the receivers who dropped balls, and they can blame the officials, but they should take some of the blame upon themselves for celebrating a victory long before it had been won. I, for myself, must congratulate the Colorado State football team. They played well with a lot of heart and emotion. I can only console the BYU football team in their loss. I realize that the 200th win will come; LaVell Edwards is too good a coach for it not to come soon. For now, however, I hope we, the fans and boosters, will let the players on the field get the victory and not count a win until the game has been played.

Wilford T. Bishop

Sandy