When tragedy strikes, we rely on our friends, family and neighbors to pull us out. We rarely expect solace and help from our archenemies, but when it does, it can be one of the most powerful aids we can hope to receive.
As we learn that the University of Utah has lost a second football player in less than a year, Aaron Lowe, to insane violence a few weeks ago, love started pouring in from all the local sports teams. The BYU community was the fastest in the draw, which under normal circumstances would likely have criticized the Utes for losing to them for the first time in 12 years, but instead shared Utah’s pain and grief. .
“I could never imagine that,” said Cam Treu, a BYU fan and owner of a local business, of Bam Bam’s BBQ. “I would never even be able to pretend to imagine what that would look like. Especially in such an exciting time to be a kid chasing your dream and getting this scholarship, like this whole connection is scary. Everyone was just starting to accept Ty and now it’s happening.
In Utah, it is common for neighbors to comfort someone who has lost a loved one with meals organized to relieve the family while they cope with their grief. Treu, knowing a little about the power and comforts of food himself a barbecue restaurant owner, had an idea for a Tweet sent by his Ute friends to the Utah Pig Bus to host a community gathering at the next tailgate of Utah to celebrate the lives of Ty Jordan and Aaron Lowe together, but he needs everyone’s help and cooperation.
“We used to bet every year, me and Pig Bus,” Treu said. “The last time we made a bet was three years ago and the deal was that if I won they would wear BYU shirts and go down and hatchback with us at BYU and if I lost I would come to the lot of Guardsman wearing a Utah shirt and feeding 100 people for free. I lost. Of course. So I came over and fed everyone with a Utah jersey and it was awesome. The fun part was that Utah had a four-game losing streak after that and that’s why we didn’t make the bet anymore. They didn’t want me up there anymore because I’m a “curse.” So when I saw his Tweet the other night – and it was very sincere and seeing all my friends in Utah depressed about what happened, I reached out and asked how I could help. How could we bring everyone together? I have so much love for this guy and thought we could reverse the karma. “
“I don’t think they answered for a second, then I told them I was bringing food for 200 people,” Treu continued. “It’s more than what happened. It’s Covid… we just need people to come together right now and I’m kind of in that mode lately. I just want to bring people together and show even though we’re rivals it’s interesting getting to know them because I have more and more Utah fans hitting Bam Bam’s since I became friends with Pig Bus. I even kicked a few BYU fans out of Bam Bam’s for harassing Utah fans a few years ago right before a game. All my Utah hatred is gone. All of the “rivalry” is outside of the game – it’s different, but as far as all the fans are concerned, I think it’s silly. Anytime we can do something to bring people together, it’s a good idea.
For those looking to join in the celebration of two great young men who left the Utah community too early, Treu will be camping at the Pig Bus on October 16 for Ute’s game against ASU. It’s Treu’s hope to have a good representation of different fans at the hatchback to show that the state of Utah is a united community despite our individual differences.
“I would love to see 100 people come up, have a sea of blue just to show that – I mean, just think of that photo,” Treu said. “I think it would be something people would remember for a long time. Nothing like this has ever happened up there on this land. The last pic I have from up there is me with Utah cheerleaders in my Utah jersey. Wouldn’t it be cool to ask someone to fly a drone and see blue and red people? With everyone in town our game is at Baylor, I see no reason why we couldn’t have a good turnout.
Treu has already received positive feedback regarding the original tweet, with the BYU community quick to ask how they can help and donate.
“When I posted it was more about getting people to come and just support, but I was surprised because I didn’t say anything about money,” Treu said. “I just said I would have food and all of a sudden I started getting DMs and messages about what they can do. Who knows? Maybe we can feed 500 people? It didn’t surprise me that BYU fans wanted to do this, it’s amazing, but it surprised me in the sense that I didn’t think about offering this option to donate. It was pretty cool that they thought about it themselves.
“Honestly, I just want the Utah fans to let it be known that we’re coming so no one is mean to BYU fans coming in alone because that might be a little weird,” Treu continued. “I just want them to know we’re coming, but as far as volunteering goes, I don’t really know? Maybe we could get people to have a party and bring in some Jell-O and soda and beer. Maybe we just tell people to bring stuff, but honestly for me, we’re just going to bring a bunch of meat and there will be sandwiches. Pig Bus always has good stuff. I just want people to be there. Just come on. This is my number one request.
Besides feeding perhaps more people than he initially dumped there, Treu is open to other ideas to make this a memorable and healing event for a community that has collectively been rocked by too many. tragedies in recent times. He is also hoping that the positive energy could lead to good things for the Utes on the pitch as well.
“I hadn’t really thought about reaching out to people who could make the event more special, whether it was a few BYU alumni or Utah alumni, cheerleaders, just something,” Treu said. . “I think it’s going to start to gain momentum. I just want everyone to be there and have a good time together. What would be even cooler is for Utah to continue on a winning streak. It would be so cool to celebrate Aaron Lowe’s life to be together and to have some positive things about football as well. It would be good for everyone, you know?
While good things are still possible for the Utes and Cougars as the football season continues, Treu is struggling to shake off the shock of what has happened. He knows it will be some time before everyone makes a full recovery, as that just isn’t something that typically happens in Utah.
“Regarding the Tweet, I just felt a force, like [Pig Bus] is such a positive bunch and they’re always great with the BYU fans too, but you can just tell with the way the season goes and then what happened to Aaron – it just felt like it was so hard to take, ”said Treu. “I have never experienced anything like this. Even as a fan – we’ve lost players for one reason or another, but nothing like that and having back to back – especially since for a lot of guys it’s 100 times safer here – like who would have ever thought of Sugar House? It’s heartbreaking.
Hopefully, joining forces on the 16th will be a good first step towards healing for everyone, red and blue. Overall, the past two years have been tough for everyone, with Utah’s heartbreak being just the rotten cherry on top of a sundae melted on concrete. However, he recognizes that there is power in unity and that there is no other community that can come together for a common cause quite like the Hive State.
“I think now and maybe that’s what it was – maybe it’s because we had the political climate, Covid, you think of everything and it was just about separation”, said Treu. “Maybe sport is the best way – a softer version of bringing together two parties who don’t necessarily love each other for something more important. I don’t think we’ll ever get Democrats and Republicans together, but we can start with BYU and Utah. It’s good to be connected right now. People need to be with other people and when you can do it in a way that brings groups of people together who wouldn’t necessarily spend all the time together, especially with the date we’ve chosen, it works. very good and I hope a lot of BYU fans want to come. I want them to wear their BYU stuff and show Utah that we’re here for it – that the people at BYU are here to show their love and aren’t afraid to go to the ranger park and we all go break bread together and celebrate something that is much more important than Football. “