Fully Invested? We'll See

Bronco Mendenhall has come up with many bold, attention-grabbing slogans for his football team, such as, "Raise the Bar," "Cougars Reloaded," "Band of Brothers" and "Tradition, Spirit, Honor." However, he has created another slogan that is directed not only to his team, but more importantly, to you and me and anybody else who wears the white and blue and calls themselves Cougar fans.

That slogan?

"Fully Invested."

Dictionary.com's definition of the word invested says, "To devote morally or psychologically, as to a purpose; to commit." When one is invested fully,in a purpose or cause, it can motivate an individual to do things, and persevere through trials, when it seems almost hopeless.

For example, an LDS missionary, a father providing for a family, or a grounded college student often comes to mind when thinking of full investment. After getting doors slammed in your face all day, it is the fully invested missionary that keeps going, with a perfect brightness of hope. It's when the bills aren't going to add up at the end of the month that a father gets that second job and still makes time for his children. It's when that student has already spent 10 hours at the library and realizes they aren't even halfway done studying – but keeps going. This is full investment.

Yet, it is obvious when an individual is less than invested or just halfway there. It can be sad and very disappointing.

Usually, when speaking in business terms, when an individual invests in something, they are devoting means or attention towards that particular investment with hopes that over an extended period of time it will yield a profit or benefit greater than what was given up or sacrificed.

So it is with this BYU football program.

A few years ago, if the BYU football program was put on the stock market, I would be more than surprised to see many people investing much, if anything, into it. I don't think you would have seen many "Fully Invested" t-Shirts selling at the BYU bookstore back in 2004. However, Mendenhall and Co. have made it easier for you, the investor, to take the plunge – and that is exactly what he is asking you to do. He gave you a MWC Championship, a near-first-round NFL draft pick, a win over Utah in historic fashion, the most dominant home field margin in the nation, a top recruiting class, and even a win over a BCS school in a bowl game at year's end. Yes, for an investor, this was the perfect time to put your emotions, money and fanship fully towards Mendenhall and the BYU football program.

Those who invested in BYU long before the success of 2006 knew that there would be bumps in the road. They anticipated a letdown here, a loss that should have been a win there, and they were okay with it; they were in it for the long run day or night, rain or snow. Loyal strong and true, they would wear the white and blue.

After BYU beat Arizona in the opener it seemed that the fans who had become fully invested during the 2006 season and during the summer had made a good choice. The investment paid off, right? What remains to be seen is how invested Cougar fans are after two straight losses and most likely more in the future.

This is the time, Cougar Nation, to show your true colors. This is the time to show you are no band-wagoner – you are a true fan who remembers the "legends who have gone before us, and they are the giants upon whose shoulders we now stand." You are a fan who sat through the blowouts of the down years from 2002-2005, yet got emotional when John Beck was presented the MWC Trophy and proclaimed to the people who sat through the hard times, "It feels pretty good now, doesn't it? It feels good!" This is a call to all cougar fans out there to not just wear the shirt, but to become converted or fully invested in what BYU means and in what Bronco Mendenhall is doing. I invite all of you Cougar fans to go to http://justanotherdumb.com/byu/2007/BYUvsUA2007.wmv and watch the video, and then remember what it feels like when BYU is winning. Then listen to the Cougar Fight Song and really think about those words you are saying when you rise and shout with 65,000 strong.

We have a tradition unlike any other. We are a proud, successful academic and athletic school. When you wear that BYU shirt you represent much more than some college in Utah. Now is the time, Cougar Nation, to be "fully invested." Show it day or night, rain or snow.

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