I could drag this out with repeats on all twelve verses, but as an early Christmas present to you I am just going to spit the whole song out in one fell swoop.
On the twelfth day of Christmas, I got gifts from the U:
Twelve Gymnasts Tumbling 12
Eleven Canadians 11
Ten Dollar Tickets 10
Nine Ladies Dancing 9
Eight Basketball Wins 8
Seven Foot Bachynski 7
Six Alpine Skiers 6
Five Fans of Mine 5
Four Olympians 4
Three Field Storms 3
Two All-Americans 2
And a Football Win over BYU! 1
12. The incomparable Red Rocks actually carry 13 talented ladies on their roster — a baker’s dozen if you will. I’ve said it before and it is worth repeating once again: These lovely ladies are elite athletes and literally poetry in motion. Do yourself a favor and treat yourself to one of their home meets in 2013. (see Day 10 below)
11. Bob & Doug McKenzie’s version of the Twelve Days of Christmas is one of my all-time favorites, so in their honor I wanted to specifically mention the Great White North. After scouring through all of the Ute rosters, I ultimately found 11 Canadians: Paige Crozon (women’s basketball); Michelle Plouffe (women’s basketball); Taryn Wicijowski (women’s basketball); Dallin Bachynski (men’s basketball); Nansy Damianova (gymnastics); Andy Trow (skiing); Stephanie Larsen (women’s soccer); Kersten Merry (swimming); Alyssa Johnson (track); Myles Sullivan (golf); and Garrett LaBarre (men’s tennis).
10. Single-meet lower bowl tickets to watch the Red Rocks compete are only 10 bucks. That is a steal! With all due respect to the other fine teams on the hill, you will never pay so little for so much entertainment. For the same $10, you can also watch a Runnin’ Utes basketball game from the upper bowl. For $8 you can sit in the lower bowl to watch the Lady Utes play.
9. No, I did not forget to change this line from the original song, but rather this is a reference to the Lady Utes basketball team. I know there are more than 9 women on the team, and 9 of them aren’t allowed on the floor at the same time, but just work with me a little on this. While the Lady Utes didn’t make it to the Big Dance last year, they did make it to the NIT. With a 9-1 start this year, hopefully they will be dancing at season’s end.
8. The Runnin’ Utes are off and running again, winning 8 of their first 12 games (in comparison to last season’s total of only 6 wins over the entire season). I know, I know, one of those 8 wins was just an exhibition game, but we lost our exhibition game last year so I am going to count every win I possibly can. Pac-12 play starts after the New Year. For those fans who have been fickle enough to stay away for the past few years, it’s time to come home to the Huntsman Center once again.
7. One of the many bright spots for the Runnin’ Utes this season is 7-footer Dallin Bachynski. A sophomore transfer and only a few months home from serving as an LDS missionary in Croatia, he has already stolen the starting job from Jason Washburn (notwithstanding Washburn’s own inspired play this year).
6. OK, OK, it’s actually alpine and nordic skiers, and there are a lot more than six of them competing for the U, but I’m not smart enough to make every line in the song work out perfectly. Similar to the dominant Red Rocks, the ski team is perennially in contention for a title and has finished second at the NCAA Championships for the past two years.
5. I am not under the illusion that any more than five people actually read my column in any given week (and most of those are related to me). I just want you to know that I truly appreciate those of you who do.
4. Four Utes competed in the 2012 London Olympic Games. Beach volleyball player Jake Gibb is a Utah graduate and finished fifth at the Olympics. Three players on the Canadian women’s basketball team were former or current Lady Utes — Michelle Plouffe, Kim Smith and Shona Thorburn — and the Canadians made it to the quarterfinals at the Olympics.
3. I applaud the emotion and investment in the rivalry game by the fans that resulted in them storming the field not once, not twice, but three times before the win over BYU was final. That hasn’t happened, and won’t happen, for any other opponent (sorry Larry Scott, not even for Colorado, but thanks for trying to manufacture a new rival for us).
2. Dominant defensive tackle Star Lotulelei made the first team of both the Associated Press and Walter Camp All-American teams and landed on a total of five All-America teams. Lotulelei is expected to be a top-three selection in the NFL draft. Electrifying kick returner Reggie Dunn made the first team of both the Athlon Sports and CBSsports.com All-American teams. Dunn concludes his collegiate career as the proud owner of five NCAA kickoff return records.
1. In a very disappointing football season with not much to celebrate, the win over BYU was the indisputable highlight of the season. Chris Hill, I implore you, throw the fans a bone and please reconsider your suspension of this incredible rivalry game.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!!!
Dwayne Vance is a sports commentator. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.
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